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Diamond Peak

Lehmi + Lost River Range, Idaho

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Diamond Peak

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  • Panorama of Diamond Peak from the east.- Diamond Peak
  • Diamond Peak in the spring of 2017. The East Ridge Route is  visible on the right side of the peak.- Diamond Peak
  • Diamond Peak from the east. The East Ridge Route is the prominent ridge going up from the right to the center of the peak.- Diamond Peak
  • Diamond Peak's north face.- Diamond Peak
  • Bell Mountain from Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • Bushwhacking in Badger Creek on Diamond Peak's western approach.- Diamond Peak
  • The road into Badger Creek. Diamond Peak is visible in the upper left corner.- Diamond Peak
  • The upper reaches of Badger Creek just below Diamond Peak, which is visible in the center-right of this photo.- Diamond Peak
  • Fossils are plentiful in the Lemhi Range.- Diamond Peak
  • Nearing the summit of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • Looking north from the summit of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • The rugged ridge near the upper reaches of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • The scree on the western approach is both steep and deep, making for a very tedious ascent.- Diamond Peak
  • Looking back down the scree chute and into Badger Creek.- Diamond Peak
  • The view south from the summit of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • When the scree gets to be too much, you can always try the steep rock on the side of the chute.- Diamond Peak
  • The terrain is very steep near the summit of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • Badger Creek flows all year and is quite beautiful.- Diamond Peak
  • Badger Creek from the upper slopes of Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
  • - Diamond Peak
  • An abandoned mine en route to Diamond Peak.- Diamond Peak
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Excellent views. Epic scrambling on eastern approach. Solitude.
Cons: 
Rough roads. Remote location. Deep scree on the western approach.
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Region:
Lehmi + Lost River Range, ID
Access: 
Vehicle
Climbing:
Non-technical rock
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Unfrozen water
Recommended Equipment:
Helmets, Ice axe / crampons
Highest point: 
12,197.00 ft (3,717.65 m)
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade II
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Primary aspect: 
East facing
Total Distance: 
9.00 mi (14.48 km)
Total elevation gain: 
5,197.00 ft (1,584.05 m)
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,000.00 ft (2,133.60 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

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Diamond Peak is located in east-central Idaho's remote Lemhi Range and is one of the state's most spectacular peaks. At 12,197 feet, it is the fourth highest mountain in the state, and with 5,377 feet of prominence, it qualifies as one of Idaho's three ultra-prominent peaks. It is one of only nine 12,000-foot peaks in Idaho, and it is often climbed by those seeking to complete this list. The mountain is also the highpoint of Butte County and the Lemhi Range. Diamond Peak towers above every other peak in the range and is over 400 feet higher than then next highest peak, 11,612-foot Bell Mountain. As a result, the mountain sticks out and is highly visible from many areas of the state. On a clear day it can be seen from Idaho Falls almost 75 miles away.

Even for those not trying to complete the Idaho 12er's, Diamond Peak is a must-do for anyone interested in climbing Idaho's mountains. All routes on the mountain are at least Class 3 YDS and involve steep scrambling and exposure. During the summer a climb will usually take half to a full day depending on how quickly you move. During the winter the mountain is a major expedition requiring alpine skills and equipment. When snow covers any portion of the route it is recommended that an ice axe and crampons be brought along.

There are two main routes up the mountain. The shorter and most popular route follows the spectacular East Ridge. The route climbs up steeply from the Birch Creek Valley directly to the summit and offers sustained Class 3 scrambling, amazing views, and a good amount of exposure. This route is often called one of the classic climbs of Idaho and is one that people keep coming back to. Diamond can also be climbed from the west via Badger Creek. This route is far more remote and taxing because it involves a four-wheel drive approach, bushwhacking, more milage, route-finding problems, and seemingly endless steep slopes of loose scree in addition to Class 3 scrambling near the summit. Even though this route is more difficult in many ways, it is still a very interesting and rewarding climb. Badger Creek saw a lot of mining activity in the late 1800s, and many cabins and mine shafts remain to this day. Additionally, Badger Creek is a perennial stream, so water is available all year long. Anyone who takes this route is virtually guaranteed absolute solitude, but be warned that the scree on the upper slopes of Diamond Peak will make you earn every single step. Note that most of the photos featured on this page are from the western route.

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