Mount Borah Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mackay, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Stand on the roof of Idaho! This is the highest peak in the Lost River Range of Idaho as well as the State's highpoint. The standard route to the top of this 12,662 ft peak is the Southwest Ridge from the Birch Springs Trailhead. This ascent of of over 5,250 feet in less than 4 miles is steep but can easily be done in a day. If it is early season you may want to bring an axe crampons and your mountaineering skills.
We camped about half way up on the saddle and it was great. Kinda had a natural block from the wind so no issues there. The climb was pretty rough and the stretch right before Chicken Out Ridge got me. I think if I was tied in I wouldn't have minded as much but the climb with pretty sheer drops had me pretty nervous. If you don't like heights you probably don't climb peaks and I'd stick with that motto here but if danger is your thing this is a nice peak.
Super fun! Start early so your hike is in the cooler temperatures of the morning. Also, have good boots/shoes because the downhill was the worst part for me!
Awesome hike truly. Unfortunately I hiked it this year when there was tons of smoke so the views at the top were somewhat limited, but still amazing. Definitely the most strenuous hike I did this summer. There is a lot of climbing involved. I saw no mention of it anywhere, but right before chicken out ridge you climb up this narrow crevice and then there is a rather intimidating point where you have to get past an almost sheer wall to get on this pathway above. There is one foothold that is pretty far out, and below you is a long fall with a lot of sharp rocks. I found this to be the sketchiest part of the hike.
Chicken out ridge had me worried but truly isn't that bad. Everyone says staying on top is the best course of action, but there is essentially a trail that goes along the left side that isn't hard to traverse at all. The only downside to this route is it required us to climb up most of chicken out ridge, but at the very end of this trail when you come to the area with the snowfall, there's a clear and easy climbing path to get back on top of the ridge. It is strenuous but I never felt in danger at that point.
Additionally after chicken out ridge there is a huge last stretch to climb me and my buddies called "Heartbreak hill." It is an incredibly steep portion that gains 1000 feet of elevation extremely quickly, and is a complete scramble. There is no trail and you are going almost straight up on the loose rock. This part is extremely physically taxing.
But the feeling of accomplishment at reaching the summit and the flag up there provides a truly great experience. And the golf club on top allows for some fun if you bring some golf balls.
Arrived at the trailhead at 6:00 am and got done just after noon. This is a hard hike, which is exactly what I was looking for. The elevation gains sap your energy and seem to never end. Chicken Out Ridge is extremely intimidating, until you just face it and get it over with. Once you're actually on the ridge it's not as bad as it looked. Saw one guy on our way out who was just standing at the bottom of chicken out ridge, unable to go on. The views were spectacular, not just at the top, but along the way as well.
Strenuous hike until you hit chicken out ridge. Then the rock climbing starts for the remainder of the ascent. Stay on the top of the ridge as best you can. The last 1000ft scramble after the saddle will test you if your conditioning is not up to snuff. The view at the top is amazing. Search for Borah Peak, Idaho 2014 on YouTube I have about 7 videos that I filmed with my go pro camera on this climb. When you climb don't forget gloves!
When is it to late to hike Mt. Borah? Thinking of hiking it this weekend or next?
Great hike. all ages can do it. had 8 year Olds in our group and they made it just fine. definitely better mountains close by that are a way better hike/climb in my opinion though
one of the hardest hikes i have done but once you get to top the view is unbelievable. getting past chicken out ridge is a little tricky :)
This is a gorgeous hike! Going over chicken out ridge it was not bad climbing up, although it's kinda hard to tell which was you are supposed to go. There's not a defined trail so you are pretty much just Rock climbing and scaling the mountain side. Be prepared to rock climb and DO NOT go if you are afraid of heights! Also be careful when crossing the snow, it's slippery and kinda scary! The worst part on the way up is after chicken out ridge on the last part up borah! It is very steep and my legs were burning! The view at the tops amazing! The way down was long and very strenuous! It's hard to go down the rocks and going down chicken out ridge was SCARY! If you slip and fall you are going to fall thousands of feet down...so be careful! Also my toes were killing so you would be better off wearing boots than tennis shoes! Don't forget to being LOTS of water, I drank almost 4 liters! Good luck! :)
This is a very difficult hike, but well worth it when you get to the top and take in the awesome views. Make sure you are in good shape because the climb is strenuous to say the least. Quite a few people quit at chicken out ridge, but it wasn't too bad and we never felt like we were in danger of falling off, and after you make it past the knife-ridge it is pretty smooth sailing until the final quarter to half mile to the top, which is a difficult ascent up some loose shale type rock. We started at about 8:30 am and finished the hike about 3:30 pm. Make sure you check the weather because it can often storm in the afternoon.
Strenuous but completely worth it. Stay on the ridge at Chicken Out, don't get caught too far down on either side, that's how you get stuck in exposed areas.
Let's put it this way, most people start their hikes at 4 a.m.; I started at 10:30 a.m. Also with me was my son and dog, Andy. At 1.1 miles the pooch and son were blazing up the mountain while I continued to pace myself...slow. As I was continuing the climb up others were hiking down. What was so wonderful is the downward hikers asked if I was Karen. I always responded with yes. Then they would proceed to tell me the young man, my son, and "the pooch" were doing fine. What a relief for me. It was like getting trail "trailers" from people. Right before getting to Chicken a huge hail storm with thunder got me during a place like tundra with no rock or tree protection. I choose to turn around since the weather continued to look threatening. Many people spoke of a 73 year old taking his grandsons up the trail. They also spoke of this was his 23 hike up Mt. Borah. I was hoping so much to meet this legend. Well, it turned out I waited at the point my son, pooch and I had departed. Carl, the legend, choose this same spot to take off his outer layer. We got to chat and had a lovely time...and then total relief...Andy and my son arrived! Those two completed their Mt. Borah hike in six hours! I loved the journey! I would like to know if anyone else has ever taken a pooch up the Mt. Borah trail.