Bald Mountain - 10313'
Location: 44.36712°N, 114.34419°W
Distance: 8.6 miles
Elevation gain: 3500'
Class (difficulty): 2
Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes
Range: Salmon River
After climbing White Mountain and the Twin Peaks the day before, we found an excellent campground right on the Salmon River, with grass, a toilet, and picnic tables. Plus it was within a couple of miles of the Bayhorse turnoff, which we were using for our climb of Bald Mountain today.
Bald Mountain is a large peak, 4th highest in the Salmon River Range, and 99th most prominent peak in Idaho. It is a bulky peak with black upper slopes and very visible above US 93.
We chose to climb the peak utilizing at old mining road that started in Bayhorse Canyon at 6800'. The road angled steeply on forested roads to a mining area around 8400'. We gained a lot on this section, but it was steep and I had some low energy levels until the food I ate after 30 minutes of walking kicked in. This initial 1600 feet of gain only took us an hour. Instead of continue up the basin, we decided to follow a mining road that caught the northeast ridge at 9200'. The final switchback on this "road" was the steepest road I have been on. Amazingly, the footing was great and gave us a quick way to get up 800 feet of terrain.
Another 700 feet of climbing got us above the tree line and seeing incredible views of numerous ranges, especially the White Clouds. After a ridge walk that seemed to take forever, we were finally atop of Bald Mountain. Unfortunately the wind was cold and we bailed to escape after capturing great photos from the top. You won't find too many mountains with a 360 degree view like Bald Mountain has. Mount Borah, Castle Peak, Diamond Peak, Bell Mountain, Hortsman Peak, etc... were all distinguishable from the top.
On the way down we simple skidded down the scree fields and back to the mining area around 8400 feet. Then it was out to the road for one final beer.
Leave US 93 at the signed road to Bayhorse. Follow the road approximately 4.5 miles, turning left onto a jeep road just after passing a national forest sign. We followed this road to a split at 6800' and parked. Just after we parked, we encountered a gate. The road is probably driveable, but you better hope you make it, because the turnouts are miles between each other.