Borah Peak, Idaho

Prominence: 5982 ft, 1823 m

Elevation: 12,662 feet, 3859 meters

True Isolation: 150.76 mi, 242.62 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 12,668 ft / 3861 m
SubpeaksBorah Peak-North Peak (12,247 ft/3733 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)44° 8' 15'' N, 113° 46' 52'' W
44.137376, -113.781122 (Dec Deg)
277538 E 4890892 N, Zone 12 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceIdaho (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionCuster (Highest Point)

Search Engines - search the web for "Borah Peak":
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Other Web Sites
     Borah Peak at
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     Weather for Borah Peak Mount Borah at
     Borah Peak at Summits on the Air (Amateur Radio)
     Borah Peak Climbing Guide Trip Report for Custer, ID by Edward Earl Trip Report for Custer, ID by Dale Millsap Trip Report for Custer, ID by Adam Helman Trip Report for Custer, ID by Scott Surgent Trip Report for Custer, ID by Dean Molen Trip Report for Custer, ID by John Birrer Trip Report for Custer, ID by Carl Millsap

Weather and Snow
     National Weather Service Forecast
     NOAA Snow Depth Map

Lists that contain Borah Peak:
     Contiguous 48 U.S. State High Points (Rank #9)
     U.S. State High Points (Rank #11)
     United States State/Territory High Points (Rank #11)
     USA Lower 48 Range3 High Points (Rank #8)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 100 miles of Isolation (Rank #21)
     5000 foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #14)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 5000 feet of Prominence (Rank #27)
     Most Prominent Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #13)
     EPIC List - States of the USA (Rank #12)
     Most Isolated Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #20)
     5000 foot Prominence CoHPs (Rank #20)
     Combined USA-Canada-Mexico State/Province High Points (Rank #21)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #27)
     United States Peaks with 100 miles of Isolation (Rank #39)
     USA Peaks with 6000 feet of Prominence (Unranked)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs in Lower 48 (Rank #50)
     5000 foot gain CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #16)
     USA Lower 48 Range4 High Points (Rank #21)
     Top 10 Prominence Grid for U.S. States (Rank #40)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #27)
     Idaho Peaks with 25 Miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     Idaho County High Points (Rank #1)
     Idaho County Prominence Peaks (Rank #1)
     Idaho Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Idaho Range Highpoints (Rank #1)
     Idaho 11,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Idaho Peaks with 1000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Exploring Idaho's Mountains (Lopez)
       Fifty State Summits, Guide with Maps to State Highpoints (Zumwalt)
       Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits (Holmes)
       Highpoint Adventures: The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints (Winger)

Ascent Info

Total successful ascents logged by registered users: 698
     Show all viewable ascents/attempts (Total: 677)

Selected Trip Reports:
     2003-08-09 by Scott Surgent
     2004-07-04 by Ben Lostracco
     2004-07-24 by David Obert
     2006-07-03 by Milda Tautvydas
     2006-07-09 by Dennis Poulin
     2011-07-16 by William Musser
     2011-09-15 by Paul McClellan (GPS Track)
     2012-06-27 by Walter Blume (GPS Track)
     2012-08-02 by Brian Friedrich
     2012-08-17 by Kelsey Backen
     2012-09-08 by Weston Broadbent
     2013-07-15 by Rob Woodall (GPS Track)
     2013-08-04 by Jason Vogler
     2013-09-14 by Daniel McLaughlin
     2014-06-11 by Craig Weiland (GPS Track)
     2014-09-07 by Richard Mclellan (GPS Track)
     2016-06-29 by Eric Lombardo (GPS Track)
     2016-07-07 by David Odenwalder
     2016-08-11 by Ryan Turner (GPS Track)
     2017-08-19 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2017-08-20 by Marcus Lostracco
     2017-08-21 by Joe Merlone
     2017-08-23 by Arthur Caverly (GPS Track)
     2018-07-09 by Brian Hutchins
     2018-07-10 by Keith Turner
     2018-07-26 by David Darby (GPS Track)
     2018-08-14 by Nick Goumas
     2018-09-02 by Daniel Coulter
     2018-09-29 by Anthony Wilkinson
     2019-08-31 by Destry Orth
     2020-06-26 by Ben Brownlee (GPS Track)
     2020-07-11 by Evan L
     2020-07-16 by Josh Grundy
     2020-07-22 by Andrew Mack
     2020-08-08 by Brian Webb
     2020-08-15 by Dan Krueger
     2020-09-02 by Jackson Hall
     2020-09-02 by Art Brody (GPS Track)
     2021-07-17 by Garret Stoops (GPS Track)
     2021-07-18 by Bradley R (GPS Track)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Borah Peak
     Elevation Ladder from Borah Peak
     Prominence Ladder from Borah Peak


Borah Peak, the highest point in Idaho, is a large and rugged summit crowning the dry and isolated Lost River Range in the central part of the state. The Lost Rivers are perhaps the driest range in all the Rockies--what little forest clings to their slopes is open, sparse, and dusty, and the valleys surrounding the range are wide-open sagebrush reminiscient of Nevada. Borah Peak, naked of vegetation, still looks like the giant fault block it was back when it first rose up out of the desert.

Climbing Notes:

In summer the ascent is relatively easy, given that the vertical gain on the standard route is a punishing 5300 feet. The first of the two main obstacles to the summit is the horribly dusty, boulder strewn Birch Springs road leading east off of US 93 north of Mackay--it includes a couple trenches and steps resulting from a powerful 1983 earthquake. The second main obstacle comes after the well-worn route has ascended steeply for a few thousand feet: a notch forces the climber to downclimb a 20-foot vertical face, but plentiful strong hand- and footholds make this easy for the expeienced scrambler, even if solo. Other than that the climb is mostly a lot of broken talus. Snow would certainly make things more difficult, though.

Most climbers do Borah as a day hike, although a draining one. There is no water on the mountain at all, and few level spots, so camping out would be difficult. Leave extra time if you feel you need a rope for the short vertical face. Borah Peak is one of the more challenging state highpoints, but a typical day will still see a reasonably large number of people on the trail, all drawn by the lure of a high point.

Other routes on Borah besides the standard ascent from Birch Springs are virtually never attempted, and the entire remainder of the Lost River Range is a virgin wilderness where many of the peaks, among them the highest in Idaho, still have no names. The difficulty of access, extreme aridity, and huge expanses of scree and talus are likely to keep things this way.

A view of the cleft forepeak along Borah's north ridge (1991-08-23).
Web Map LinksPeakfinder Panorama
GeoHack Links   CalTopo   MyTopo   Bing Maps
Google Maps   Open Street Map
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 5982 ft/1823 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 6022 ft/1835 m
  Line Parent: Francs Peak
  Key Col: 6680 ft/2036 m
IsolationIsolation Page  (Detailed isolation information)
   Distance: 150.76 mi/242.62 km
   Isolation Limit Point: 43.729876, -110.812472
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Middle Teton  (E)
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Rocky Mountains
Range3: Idaho-Bitterroot Rocky Mountains (Highest Point)
Range4: Lost River-Lemhi Ranges (Highest Point)
Range5: Lost River Range (Highest Point)
Range6: Central Lost River Range (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Pacific-Western USA
Pacific Ocean

Salmon (HP)
Pacific-Western USA
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: Salmon-Challis National Forest (Highest Point)
Topo MapBorah Peak O44113b7 1:24,000
Route #1 Exposed Scramble
Trailhead: 7250 ft/2210 m
Vertical Gain: 5412 ft/1649 m
Distance (one way): 3.25 mi/5.23 km
Data Source1:25,000 (or larger) Topographic Survey Map
Dynamic Map

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Other Photos

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Sucessful summit of the tallest peak in Idaho (2011-07-16). Photo by Karen Musser.
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08/31/14 - A fresh layer of snow made my late summer climb just a little more interesting than I had planned! (2014-08-31). Photo by Ken Curtis.
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View of the summit in early June 2016 from the top of Chicken-out ridge (2016-06-02). Photo by Levi Dayley.
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View down en route to Borah Peak, ID (2006-11-27). Photo by Jerry Beals.
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The crux of Chicken-out Ridge (1996-07-17). Photo by Dan Moore.
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With Carmela's ashes on Borah Peak - Idaho Highpoint (2020-08-11). Photo by William Inman.
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