Owyhee County High Point Trip Report

Hayden Peak - also known as Cinnabar, BM Silver (8,403 ft)

Date: June 8, 2003
Authors: Barney Metz & Sammy Metz

This was a drive-up for us.

We drove to the Silver City Road from ID-78. We drove about 8 miles out, maybe a little less, and camped the night there. The next morning we proceeded to Silver City. For all who follow after this, just follow the biggest road. There were over 30 side roads from where we camped to Silver City. However, if you proceed on what is the obvious main road, you will have no problems. About 1/2 mile before Silver City you will hit a junction, which the right turn goes to Jordan Valley and the left goes to Silver City, about 1/2 mile prior to this spot is the turn off to the left for War Eagle Mountain. There is a nice place to camp there on Slaughterhouse Gulch.

We were able to witness a very unrealistic phenomenon, the Mormon Cricket. We pasted them at one point on the road, where for about 100 yards, the entire road was covered in crickets. To quote CNN.com,

"The Boise County Commission has already declared a disaster and the state has posted warning signs on roads for the pests. Crickets smashed by cars on the road surface create a mush slicker than black ice."

Hayden Peak was swarmed under these bugs also. Here is the link for the rest of the story.

We went into Silver City and went to the old hotel and talked with some locals about Cinnabar and the Mormon Crickets. We then traveled back east past Slaughterhouse Gulch up to some old corrals and unload the ATV there. We took the road around the East side of War Eagle and if you are driving a four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle, you must go this way. On our return trip we came back via the west side of War Eagle and that is impassable by car, truck, or SUV. Once you get up on top just south of War Eagle the road actually gets pretty nice all the way to the base of Hayden Peak. The jeep trail has evolved into an ATV trail and you would need to be diligent to run a large vehicle up the road.

We looked all over the top and found the two BMs, both stamped silver. Andy's cairn is no longer there. There are several cairns, but I believe the true highpoint to be the little rocky outcropping to the north of the radio installation. Not only were the crickets thick on top, but in the snow field in the couloir due north of the peak, it was swarmed with the Mormon Crickets. We stayed on top long enough to enjoy the sites and headed back to the rig and off to Payette and Gem counties.