Ascent of Big Elk Mountain on 2017-06-28

Climber: Dustin Erickson

Date:Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Elk Mountain
    Elevation:9476 ft / 2888 m

Ascent Trip Report

Loop Route! with Packrafts and mtn bike. This is a great area, the north side is very lush for Idaho. We drove as far as possible and hiked the ~1300 vert then continued down a little used and unmarked (on our map) trail down the north ridge. Very green through here with lots of wildflowers and fantastic views of the Grand Teton edge on engulfing the middle, south, Buck etc. making it look all the more prominent. Top secret peakbagger protip. When you reach the junction with the better trail just below 7000 ft take it up and down a couple of valleys ~1/3 mile) to a flat camping area that has a coldwater spring. Camp here, there is an amazing surprise you will enjoy. Trust me. Next day continue down 1200 ft or so to the river and packraft out! It is shallow, but swift when we did it which is normally late for this river, but this area got absolutely slammed with snow this year and it was flowing well. A little boney at first, but better after side drainages accumulated. Very beautiful and frequently pleasantly narrow, only one downed sweeper made us get out of the rafts. Left a mtn bike at the bridge take-out for the 8 miles ~2200 vert mtn bike back to the truck. Was able to bike almost all of it, but had to push for maybe a 1/2 mile total. The Bear creek doesn't have a gauge, but nearby Salt River does. Forrest Mcarthy suggests a minimum of 800 cfs on that gauge. We did it at 1900 cfs, but like I said this year is a bit different and a creek probably dries out faster and we felt like we were at pretty low flows.
Great end to a trip that included an tiring ascent up Mount Owen via the Koven route in the Tetons and a rowdy float of the nearby Greys River.

Also I could not find a register, so bring one if you remember.
Summary Total Data
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads

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