Cassia County High Point Trip Report

Date: July 12, 2000
Author: Ken Jones

At the sign indicating the southern end of Idaho route 27, on the outskirts of Oakley and about 23 miles south of I-84, start your odometer. At 0.5 mile, turn left (E) in "downtown" Oakley on Main/2000 S. Go right at a fork 0.9 mile later, following the sign toward "City of Rocks". The pavement will end about 4- 1/4 miles later; keep going. At 13.3 miles from the end of route 27, you'll see a sign indicating "City of Rocks 2, Almo 9" - this is the Emery Canyon road. Turn left. At 14.6 miles cross a pair of cattle guards and a sign indicating City of Rocks National Reserve; just beyond turn left (a sign indicates "National Forest Access"). (This point would also be reachable via an eastern approach from Almo.) This road passes by several City of Rocks campsites before entering Sawtooth NF (sign, cattle guard) at 17.6 miles. Continue on the main road, crossing another cattle guard at 18.5; 0.6 miles further cross another and reach a junction (sign: "Information Center"). Keep left at the junction (the right fork goes to Graham Peak). At 19.6 miles pass the obscure junction to the left of the Fish Creek 4WD route (see note below); at 19.9 the signed road to Logger Springs forks off the route to the right. At 22.4 miles the road crosses another cattle guard and fence line, and turns sharply right. To this point it has been easy going for passenger sedans; beyond this point higher clearance may be necessary in spots. At 22.7 miles pass through a gate. At 24.4 reach the end of the road in a saddle. There are a pair of signs (~50 yards apart) to the Ranger Trail heading north and south out of this saddle. The old road shown on the topo continues up the ridge briefly, but it has been bermed. It would be passable to motor bikes or ATVs, or perhaps to a more experienced 4WD driver, but I decided to walk it.

Note: If you look at the maps, you may be tempted to shorten your drive by going up the "short cut" via Fish Creek. High clearance, and probably 4WD, are required to make this go, and it takes substantially more time than going around via the route described above. In addition, you may end up following a road to a quarry on the hillside by mistake, and have to backtrack, if you're like me.

From the saddle parking area, walk up the old road and 4WD track shown on the topo to a spot NE of elevation 9401. Just before, and just after, you cross the fence line at the end of the track, smaller tracks head NE; these quickly rejoin. Follow the joined track for some distance toward Mount Independence. I think it goes to the Independence/Cache saddle, but I didn't go that far on it. Pick a likely spot and head uphill to the right toward Cache Peak. There is some brush, and boulder hopping toward the top. I found the going easier on the way down by staying more northerly on the west ridge/shoulder of Cache Peak and tying clearings together for a route.

Total hike is about 4 miles round trip with 1800' of gain. I took under 3 hours round trip.