Oneida County High Point Trip Report

Oxford Peak (9,280+ ft)

Date: July 11, 2001
Author: Ken Jones

Driving: In Clifton, Idaho (on the old highway, west of US 91), near the south end of town, find First Street South. Set odometer (0.0). Follow First Street South to the west; it will eventually become forest road 045. It passes the Clifton cemetery, and winds through ranches. At 3.0 miles, keep left. In the next segment you will pass through a pair of gates (not locked when I was there, and probably never locked). At 6.2 miles an ATV trail heads left; continue straight. At 6.4 miles the road ends in a meadow. Park here; only ATVs and 2-wheel vehicles can legally continue driving (if you have one, it will make this trip easier). You can probably get to 6.4 miles in a passenger sedan with some effort, but high clearance will make life more pleasant.

Hiking: Walk the ATV trail. It soon climbs to Oxford Ridge, and spends most of the time on or near the crest. The USFS map shows this trail, the USGS does not. The USFS map is wrong beginning near the north line of Section 1. The trail does not bear to the west side of the ridge, but down to the east. I cut across easy sagebrush terrain and picked it up again where it climbs from the east to the north of point 8635'. From here there is a good trail to point 9098'; it gets rough down to the saddle, but good again to the summit.

The actual highest point on Oxford Mountain is probably not at the 9282' benchmark, but at the 9280'+ contour just to the south. The sighting is made more questionable by a large, mortared cairn on point 9282'. I'd advise doing both in order to claim Oneida county.

This trail was not a pleasant place to be on my return, as electrical storms were in the valleys on each side of me. Watch the weather before getting caught on this exposed ridge.