Mount Borah Trail

HARD 60 reviews
#2 of 17 trails in

Mount Borah Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.3 miles Elevation Gain: 5,242 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

rock climbing

snowshoeing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

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.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
washed out
48 minutes ago

I hiked this today. The trail starts off nice and it’s all an up hill climb but be ready for some sketchy rock climbing on chicken out ridge. If you are used to scrambling over rocks with a huge drop off beneath you then you will probably be fine but it will definitely be a mental challenge for those that are scared of heights. The view at the top is really nice and I had a good time other than meandering through chicken out ridge.

hiking
8 days ago

Me and a buddy summited today. Conditions were perfect but it was a little windy. If you have any climbing experience Chicken out ridge is easy. There was still a little snow in between some of the scrambles on the ridge. The snow is pretty bad but these sections are not long. Just be careful. I’m sure the snow will totally be gone in a few weeks. The scramble to the summit is not so bad. It looks worse then it is. Once your on it, it’s easy. This climb was very rewarding.

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked it this morning with no problems. There are still some sections where you’ll have to walk across snow but it’s pretty soft and there were footprints in the snow for all of them so absolutely no issue, never even needed to use spikes or my axe. I think the footpath on the final ascent to the summit goes through some steep snow fields so I just scrambled up the ridge.

hiking
13 days ago

September 2017: The trail is quite steep, before briefly leveling out as the summit comes into view. Chicken out ridge isn't a big deal if you go slowly. There was a small remainder of a snow bridge. Views were obscured by wildfire smoke, but I would still recommend it. The hardest part was impact on the knees from going downhill after summiting. 5hrs, 20 minutes.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely wonderful if you’ve hiked with exposure before. Scary if you haven’t but still do able if you can keep your head. Trail is easy to see and usually busy so there’s lots of companionship and camaraderie on the trail. Wonderful views! We stayed at the campground at the bottom and got decent sleep and a decent early start.

4 months ago

Train before attempting.

8 months ago

Great adventure. Be prepared. The weather can change quickly. Best in late July - early September. Plan on 7-10 hours round trip.

9 months ago

I am 73. I staged this hike. Camped at the 1st saddle. Left the next morning at 7:30 : was on top at 2:30, left at 3:00. Was back at the TH by 8:40 with a little help from my head lamp. No wind except enough to keep one cool. I believe this hike, though not as long and high as Longs Peak in Colorado, is tougher than Longs Peak. The hidden danger on this trail is not the bouldering but hypoxia - altitude sickness. Climb slow enough and take frequent rests to allow your body to adjust to the altitude gain. I’m a photographer so I always wait for the light - no early morning hiking until I can take photos. Don’t just “bag a Peak,” enjoy the climb and the views.

9 months ago

If you camp, it’s $5 and the fee station is right next to the outhouses (insanely clean in there). Personally I’m not the most fit person as I spent the past month and a half in California (~500 ft in elevation) but it took me about 10 hours to do it. The ascent starts out moderate then gets steeper till the tree line. From there it’s pretty easy going even through Chicken Out Ridge. The last bit is a bit intense but no one was on their hands and feet so it’s not that steep. The trail can be a little hard to find sometimes so I’d just look up once in a while and make sure you’re actually on a trail and not just rock hopping. Chicken out ridge is not that scary. Just be careful and take your time. It can get a bit intense when the wind is blowing really hard but again just take it slow.

hiking
10 months ago

it was pretty smokey, but the views were still beautiful. Recommend hitting the trail before light as it took us total of 10-11 hours, and the views of watching the shadow recede over the valley made is glad we started early. very tough decent, and would recommend trekking poles to save the knees and ankles.

10 months ago

Glad I did the hike, swore I would never do again, surprisingly want to do it again next year. Great moments with my son and nephew. Highly recommend doing some training before attempting. I am 45 years old and In good shape, trained for about 6 weeks before the trip, regretted not doing more training. Took us 12 hours and struggled for parts of the trip. Recommendations: 1. Don’t stay at the campgrounds, got about 4 hours of sleep, very busy. 2. Take up as much water as you can carry. 3. Have water at the end of the trip, no water at the campground, cold beer is not bad and the end. 4. Start at 5 am, Long day and it gets hot in the afternoon. Last thing, the last 800 feet of the ascend and the last hour of the trip is hell and will really push the average hiker to your limit. This was bucket list thing for me, I would really recommend,

hiking
10 months ago

I hiked Borah Peak on 28 August 2018. There was a heavy storm that dumped quite a lot of snow on the mountains the night before. Nevertheless the hike was amazing! There was a group ahead of me who created a trail through the snow (thank you!) otherwise I would not make it by myself. The hike is really challenging. The sign says 12 hours (I made it in 10). The trail is pretty steep (you realised on the way back the switchbacks in the forested section are a killer). Remember to bring gloves, there is a bit of rock climbing to do! Winter hike in August, who would thing of it! Love you Idaho! It's a pity there are no other trail in Lost River Range uploaded on the AllTrails.

hiking
10 months ago

Brutal, but so fun

10 months ago

Made it to the top in about 6 hours and took 3 coming down. Me and a buddy both brought 3 liters of water and ran out near the end. We ending up getting lost somewhere after the snow bridge but eventually found our way back. One of the best and toughest hikes I’ve ever done.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked up with my 12 year old brother, my 30 year old brother, and my 70 year old dad for the total eclipse. This was a tough trail. I carried most of the weight and it was very difficult given we had about 50lbs of water. There was no water along the trail. We bivied on the side of the mountain (just above treeline) to make it more manageable for my dad to get to the top. It took us 12 hrs of hiking to get to the top as my dad really struggled with the elevation and steepness. It also took us a ridiculous 13 hours to get back to our car because my dad's knees were in a lot of pain. That said, it was the best hike we have ever been on and we would do it again in a heartbeat!!! To see the total eclipse was stunning and the summit views were unbelievable. You really have to earn it on this mountain. Chicken out ridge, to us, was so much fun. You are a bit exposed at some parts and it definitely is not for someone with a fear of heights. Very solid handholds everywhere so if you are careful, it will be no problem!

11 months ago

4h up, 3h down. Well kept trail up to chicken out ridge. Not a tough scramble, only 1 section where a fall would be disastrous but totally doable keeping 3 points of contact and taking your time. the snow bridge was almost gone with only a small area requiring you to walk on snow. Following the flattish section the trail becomes hard to follow with very few cairns. This is the most dangerous section as footing is very loose with danger of rock fall. Stick to the ridge crest on your right for a much safer and fun route. This will require some easy bouldering. Enjoy the summit, there is still an American flag there to hoist.

11 months ago

Left before five am, went straight up , (should of went slower). The view s are great. And spectacular from the summit! I rested there for 45 minutes then came down. It’s too easy to get lost coming down. While going up the summit is always in site, down is convoluted and can be threatening. Knees hurt some coming down but I was in my truck by three pm

hiking
11 months ago

7/14/2018 Amazing hike! It took us, a group of 9, 11hrs and 23 minutes with plenty of breaks along the way. The total length was around 9.7 miles. Tons of mosquitoes so bring plenty of bug spray. The snow bridge was a little sketchy but totally doable. Bring trekking poles and knee braces if you like your knees.

hiking
Thursday, July 12, 2018

7/11/2018 Tough hike. About seven miles RT and the guide book said to plan for 12 hours. What?!? I was convinced I’d do it in eight with a stretch goal of six. Humbled, it took me ten. I did lose the trail on the final push so I did some extra scrambling but “wherever you go, there you are”. Most important thing to note in my mind is that if you climb very early in the morning, the snow bridge may be an ice bridge. There was no kicking holes in the snow and the existing boot holes were iced over and not very deep. It’s only about 25-30 steps but one slip will take you far away. Bring spikes or an ice axe. Later in the day it softens up. It was MUCH softer and easier by noontime. I had the benefit of perfect weather and the views were amazing! I was the only person on the mountain. Two people well behind me turned around at Chicken Out Ridge (which wasn’t that bad) Great hike. Do it!

camping
Monday, April 23, 2018

This was our first ever mountain climb. Summited on Aug 21 2017 the morning of the total solar eclipse. There are no words to describe how surreal the experience was. We also got engaged on top of the summit before totality. All around amazing experience. A lot harder than planned but mostly due to the altitude, give yourself time to adjust.

rock climbing
Thursday, August 31, 2017

BRUTAL. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

One of my favorite hikes in the area. Not only is it a rigorous uphill battle with some nice exposed class 3 scrambling, at the end you find yourself at the highest point in the state! I'd recommend going in August, and starting at the trailhead early in the morning before daybreak. If you can make it to the tree line in time, you'll see the shadow of Borah creeping across the valley below. Also, an early start will get you to the top before the heat of the day arrives in full force, and give you time to get off the top before any afternoon thunderstorms arrive. Chicken Out Ridge isn't as bad as it sounds. As you ascend the ridge, travel up through the obvious notch, after which you can traverse around the right side until you reach the transition between the brown rock and the grey rock. At that point, stick to the top of the ridge (avoid the temptation to try and traverse around the ridge on the right side). The downclimb to the snow crossing is simple, as the holds are obvious and bomb proof. There will be a well beaten path across the snow by August. Earlier in the season an ice axe and maybe crampons would be advisable. The last push to the summit involves some mild scrambling, and there's a lot of loose material - so watch for rocks dislodged by anyone ahead of you.

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Forewarning, this is a hard hike, but in my opinion a very fun hike. I loved the chicken out point. My personal opinion is chicken out point isn't scary but some people might find it to be scary. I loved the challenge and definitely the elevation change. When you get closer to the top you'll notice the altitude change and the hike will become much harder. The temperature will change quite a bit as well going from bottom to top. So bring extra clothes just in case. We started this hike at 6am and I would definitely recommend starting sooner then later. Just because this might just be the longest 7 miles ever. It takes a good amount of time to complete the hike but well worth it!

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Kicked my butt, but loved every minute of it!! So worth it!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

My father and I did this hike last year in early-mud August. It's an incredible hike and incredibly rewarding. The trail kicks your butt right from the get go, so definitely stretch out before embarking on a summit attempt. This site has the round trip mileage listed at 7.5, but that's only one way. It is 7.5 miles to the summit and 7.5 grueling miles back to your car. Start early, bring lots of water and snacks. we stayed the night at the trail head and then started climbing in the dark around 6 am and returned to our car at roughly 4pm. It's a trek to get to the top. I would not recommend it to people who have not climbed/hiked in this area or similar terrain before.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Hard hike for sure, but worth it! Leave early to beat the heat and potential storms that can come in the afternoons.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Start early

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