Trip Report (July 10th, 1999):
Smoky Dome is the highest point in the Soldier Mountains of south-central Idaho. The peak towers 5,000 feet over the Camas Prarie. It is located at the center of a long east-west running ridge that stays mostly above 9,000 feet. The view to the south takes in the Camas Prarie and Bennett Hills, while the view north is a spectacular scene of talus covered mountains and deep canyons. Iron Mountain and the Trinity Mountains are seen to the west, while the Smoky and Pioneer Mountains dominate the view to the east.
From the end of the road at about 7,500 feet, cross the creek and work your way up the southwest ridge to Point 9835, then cross the saddle and scramble to the top of Smoky Dome. (Numerous other routes would be feasible, even a ascent up the peaks south face would be pratical.)
From Fairfield, turn north on the only paved road and follow it through town and past until the town of Soldier is reached. At Soldier, turn west onto Baseline road and follow it to its end. At the end of Baseline, turn north towards the foothills and turn left onto Chimney Creek road when you reach a sign identifying the route to the Ear Creek Corrals. Follow this road through a gate, and follow it several miles until a major fork and a sign for the Ear Creek Corrals is reached. At this fork, turn east. The road will immediatley reach another gate. Continue through the gate for several more miles past the Ear Creek Corrals. Soon after the road passes the corrals, it takes a sharp turn northwest. After that turn, look for a road on the right hand side heading up a ridge. Follow this road until it reaches a junction. At the junction, turn south. From that point, stay on the most used road and the middle fork at any intersections. After a few miles of following a winding ridge, the road will drop into a small canyon near a creek and end. A 4-wheel drive or high clearance vehicle is a must!
Pictures: Click on the pictures below to see the full-size version.
Peak 9,666 taken from the south face of Smoky Dome.
The view from a saddle just west of Smoky Dome.
Looking east towards Couch Summit.
Looking west towards Iron Peak.
Looking north towards the lower north summit of Smoky Dome.