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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.

Length 7.3 mi Elevation gain 5,242 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Rock climbing

Snowshoeing

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

No shade

Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips
Getting There

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 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.

From Arco take US 93 northwest for 46 miles, turn right onto Birch Springs Road, the trailhead is after 3.5 miles

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (146)
Photos (169)
Recordings (86)
Completed (319)
Trent Essex
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

7/11 4.5 hours to summit.. took the ridge by accident as mentioned below as well. Was a fun way up but would not really want to come down that. Easy to find the actual trail coming down. 3 hours for the descent. My dog made the summit, however, I carried him 90% of the way from the start of COR. Lots of mosquitos

Michael Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

Summit on 6/27. Started at 6am and was at the top at 10:30am. The snow "bridge" was good but it did still have snow. I did it in trail sneakers and one hiking pole. Seems like some people were uncomfortable with it and did turn around. There is a good boot pack. I would not have put on crampons even if I had brought them if that is any indication. However, if you're not comfortable on snow/ice/glaciers, you may want to consider traction devices and an ice axe. Additional note: I followed and scrambled the ridge to the summit, which was fun but if you look carefully, there is a good trail that follows westerly to the summit so you can just hike up. No mosquitos or bugs at the trailhead or trail that weekend.

Leif Milliron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
HikingSnow
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Wendy Bird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingBugs

Hiked 5/29 and loved it! I didn’t summit due to very strong, gusty winds above the tree line. Lots and lots of mosquitoes, so be sure to pack bug spray. Lot of beginners out due to Coronavirus stir craziness and I want to give this warning: It’s much colder (like, below freezing) at the summit and there will probably be snow until late July, even when it’s very hot at the trail head. Plan accordingly! Bring lots of food and water. Not at Mount Borah, but I got hypothermia and frostbite once to poor planning/gear choice and had to be taken to the hospital via Lifeflight. Don’t be too proud to turn around! The summit is optional, the descent is not.

Scott Paxman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 19 2020
Hiking

Summited June 19 due to snow: 8.5 hour car to car. It snowed two days prior and had 10+ inches starting at chicken out ridge. There were no mosquitos after the forest. The scramble and ascent with the snow were pretty intense. Had a dozen slips, slides, grabs, jams, etc. to get up. Three points of contact! If doing it before July: Bring gloves (maybe even 2 pair) Bring extra socks Bring ski pole or ice axe (I did it with one ski pole) Bring hat, chapstick, sunscreen, 2 liters water. Ammo can at top signals summit. Amazing views!

Jason Arden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
RockyScramble

Climbed in late September, much easier than I had imagined. Don't let the ridge scare you, as long as it's not covered in snow it's safe. 3 points of contact at all times and a rope isn't really needed. The last few hundred meters is a scramble but just take it slow. Some of the best views of any state high point!

Josiah McCarthy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
HikingScrambleSnow

Hiked it yesterday but had to turn around by COR due to snow storm rolling in. Would recommend but snow a good 1.5 feet deep around half way up. Plan on coming back to summit

Aaron Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 29 2019
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

great hike! bring gloves for the ridge and the cold! fair amount of snow up above 11k. round trip about 7.5 hours. weather was not looking good as we drove away so I'm sure conditions will not be great moving forward.

Cody Hendrix
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 25 2019
Hiking

Hiked yesterday. Some snow on the trail after COR.

Andrew Cullinane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 24 2019
HikingSnow

Absolutely beautiful hike. Bring gloves and wear sunscreen, a good chunk of the hike is through snow and well above treeline. Be prepared to scramble and to lower yourself ~10-12 feet onto a snow bridge via a climbing rope. Steep as all hell but the views are well worth it, 10/10

Bryce Goodwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 16 2019
Hiking

Very steep but enjoyable hike with great scenery.

Akshay Sathe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

Trail in excellent condition. Super exhausting and tiring. The chicken out ridge is really a thrilling experience. One of the most amazing hikes I have ever done

View Akshay's Recording
Keith Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

Everything was great. there was a little new snow, but not on the trail.

View Keith's Recording
Kathy Morell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 13 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Awesome Hike... be ready for a good effort and try to pick a day when weather not an issue. COR not that bad so don't let that deter you.. just be mindful as you will be literally scrambling/climbing up and around rocks .. there are plenty of hand/foot holds and drop off not that daunting... there is a 15' section where this is a rope in place to help you out.. was a bit muddy with some snow at very top as it had snowed a few days prior.. spectacular views .. poles helpful for most of hike except in rock pass section. door to door took us 7 hours.. bring gloves... a good attitude and some miles under the legs.

Brandon Hoxie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 07 2019
Hiking

The trail is in great shape. Lots of people out today, we had great weather. It's a pretty grueling hike, the elevation really got to me. COR was intimidating but much less so on the way down. Several people skirted around the ridge though I don't know if I would recommend it.

View Brandon's Recording
Courtney Erin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Sep 03 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Second time up, and not any easier than 16 years ago. Tips: 1) Bring wet wipes and pee before you leave the tree line (but there are a couple ledges out of view near the top); 2)Bring 3-4 liters of water and hide a liter water bottle at the top of the tree line to retrieve on your way down; 3) bring windbreaker, poles and garden/work gloves; 4) keep track of where go over Chicken Out Ridge, so you can find your way back the same way; 5) take 5-10 minute breaks on the way up to acclimate and avoid altitude impairment; 6) DO NOT BRING A DOG; 7) avoid windburn with chapstick, etc.; and 8) the time up and time down are about the same because the rock and dirt are slick and difficult. AFTERWARDS: Check out Challis Hotsprings or Gold Bug Hotsprings

Brent Blackburn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 28 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views. Chicken out ridge can be bypassed on the left side but you still have to scramble a bit. Make sure you're conditioned before this hike. Bring a jacket, it's cold at the top!

Steven Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 25 2019
HikingRockyScramble

Not much more can be said for this trail I guess but from my perspective chicken out ridge wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I stayed to the side instead of the ridge line and that worked great. That last 1,000 feet can be tough but you are almost there, you can do it!

Steve Oswald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 24 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
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