|H. Wayne Phillips atop Homer Youngs Peak, high point of West Big Hole subrange.|
Since I was to be in nearby Dillon last weekend for a meeting, I decided to join him Sunday for what turned out to be a delightful climb in this scenic range on the Continental Divide just east of Idaho and the Lemhi country.
We went in from Jackson (hot springs) up the Miner's Lake Road some 12 miles to a Forest Service campground of the same name. We had dinner and a soak at the hot springs before climbing into our tents for the night.
Our route was to follow the Miner's Creek Trail 187 to its junction with Trail 402 and when that petered out to ascend a series of benches to a ridge that intersects with Youngs' summit ridge. While the map shows trail beyond the first lake, there is none.
|Heart Lake below our ridge route to the top|
Dense lodgepole forest opened to gorgeous meadows that covered dry lakes with great views of the long ridgeline.
Only one other place I've been had more sign of elk than this wapiti paradise.
|The bottoms were full of color|
When we hit the base of the ridge I wanted to go straight up and walk the ridgeline, but Wayne was more interested in a gentler approach at a saddle.
On top there were a series of alpine lakes to south, some perched in cirques. This volcanic country is reminiscent of the High Sierras. Beyond were a series of 10,000 feet peaks along the Continental Divide.
In the distance we could see the Pioneer and Anaconda-Pintlar mountain ranges to the east an north.
We exited just as a thunderstorm began to pound the area.
Wayne got his high point.