The trail to Pickett Mountain leaves from the South Fork of the Payette River Trail. Check out the Taylor Springs adventure for information about the first several miles of the hike.
Picket Mountain is one of only two peaks in the Sawtooths that have a trail to the summit. The rounded summit offers outstanding views into the west side of the Sawtooths and onto the South Fork of the Payette River. As a day trip, this is a 15-mile out and back hike, but 7 of those miles are along the relatively flat trail along the South Fork of the Payette River.
The two stream crossings at Baron and Goat Creeks can be troublesome at higher water, and the ford across the South Fork of the Payette may very well limit access until mid-summer. The trail climbs through the 1999 Queasy Burn, so it can be a hot hike with little shade in the heat of the day. There are great wildflowers along the upper reaches of this hike.
Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:
• From the Grandjean Trailhead to Pickett Mountain: 7.5 miles, 3,211 feet.
• From the Waipiti Trailhead to Pickett Mountain: 10.2 miles, 4,104 feet.
• Grandjean to Pickett Mountain to Waipiti Loop: 17.7 miles, 4,606 feet.
As mentioned above, this trail can be linked into the Waipiti Ridge Trail. There is also a junction at the divide with the Arrasta Creek that descends to the North Fork of the Boise River.
Rather than retracing your steps back down the trail, adventurous hikers can traverse the high and mellow ridge between Wapiti Creek and the South Fork of the Payette. This route crosses a high burned plateau to an easy forested ridgeline that leads to Point 7,980. From here, hikers will be positioned for an awesome view looking directly up the Goat Creek drainage. It is a steep descent down the northeast ridge (or northwest ridge to the Wapiti summer homes), but there it looks to be free of any steep cliffs or rocky sections. Hikers will have to find a reasonable spot to make a second ford of the South Fork of the Payette.
Most of the trail lies within the Sawtooth Wilderness. Please observe the following regulations:
• Mountain bikes are not allowed past the wilderness boundary.
• Self administered wilderness permits are required and available at the trailhead.
• Dogs must be on a leash between July 1 and Labor Day.
• Camp 100 feet from trails, lakes and streams.
• Pack out all garbage.
• Human waste should be buried and well disguised in a cat hole that is 6 to 8 inches deep. Pack out all toilet paper.
• Campfires allowed ONLY in a backcountry pan or fire blanket.
• Campfires are NOT allowed at some lakes and in some drainages in the Sawtooths. Please review the campfire restrictions at individual trailheads.
• Permits required for all stock use in the wilderness. No grazing allowed in the Salmon River watershed (This includes the Alpine Lake drainage).
• No equine stock at Edith Lake. ALL stock prohibited in the Goat Creek and Alpine Creek (Alturas Lake) drainages.
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