Granite Mountain - 6818'
Location: 43.36778°N, 115.49833°W
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation gain: 2500'
Class (difficulty): 2
Time: 4.25 hours
I had just gotten out the day before on Warm Springs Point, but I had another morning without plans. So Zach agreed to a speed ascent of some mountain nearby (I had to be back to mow the lawn and then go to the BSU game that evening). We both hung up the phone with the task of finding a peak within 1 hour of Boise and that would take us about 4 hours to climb, that way we would then meet at 6am and be back by 12pm to 1pm.
When we met in the morning, I had come up with Wilson Peak in the Boise Mountains and Zach had come up with Granite Mountain near Anderson Ranch Dam. Zach's was closer and seemed doable, so off we headed. It took exactly 1 hour to get to the dam and start of the climb (we started hiking at 7:20am). However, the slopes above the dam were too steep to get up safely, so we drove about 1/4 of a mile up river and parked in a boat ramp parking lot, where we could see a potential route heading up the slopes toward Granite Peak.
The intial part of the slope was very steep and slick. We slowly inched our way up and step-by-step, realized this route would get us up to the flats above the canyon rim. Eventually, we started reached forest, with better footing, then made it over the canyon rim and were on the flats. We hiked rapidly across the flats towards the base of the south ridge. About a mile into the hike, we came across a well used ATV track that headed more toward the base of the actual peak. We then changed direction (headed north) and followed the ATV track for about 1/2 a mile to the point where it crossed a creek. The creek had a decent trail along it, so we followed it west to the base of the peak, then took a ridge west up to the south ridge and followed that ridge to the summit.
The top of the peak had fine views. We could see House Mountain, Danskin Peak, the Soldier Mountains, and Bennett Mountain. Looking down at Anderson Reservoir from the top was spectacular. The top also had a large cairn, remnants of a triangulation station, and a benchmark on it.
It had taken us 2:40 minutes to summit, leaving us 2 hours to get down by 12pm, so we could be in Boise by my 1:00pm goal.
We cruised down, even finding a more direct and less brushy ridge to follow down to the creek we used to get to the base of the peak. All went well on the way out and we even stopped for some impressive views directly above the reservoir. I arrived at the car at 12:07pm, Zach arrived shortly thereafter, and we were on the road at 12:15pm. My wife didn't seem to mind me being 15 minutes late. After getting the lawn mowed, grabbing a shower, and taking a quick cat nap; it was off to the BSU - Nevada Wolfpack football game. I was hoping for a quick, uneventful game so I could get home and rest my legs on a cushy couch. What I ended up with was a 4 overtime thriller. It was definately worth it though!
Make your way to Anderson Ranch Dam. Cross over to the north side of the reservoir, turn east (right) on the road and park at the boat ramp where Elk Creek dumps into Anderson Ranch Reservoir.
From the boat ramp, head up the slopes to your west, hiking due west up the steep slope and eventually onto Wilson Flat. Continue west on Wilson Flat until it is bisected by an ATV track. Turn north (right) on this track and follow it for about 1/2 a mile to a creek bed. Turn north (left) and head up the creek, crossing 2 more ATV trail enroute to the base of the Granite Mountain. Either go directly up to the face ahead of you, or follow a subsidary ridge up to the south ridge near Point 6164. Once on the south ridge, follow it to the summit.