Hyndman Peak: East Ridge

Sun Valley

The tallest peak in the Pioneer Mountains, and one of only nine in Idaho exceeding 12,000 feet.

Hiking Severe

19 km
1.5 km
1.5 km
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
3.6 km
Hyndman Peak: East Ridge Map

Idaho has nine peaks that exceed 12,000 feet. At 12,009, Hyndman just makes the list, and it’s considered the easiest of the 12ers to climb. It’s an impressive peak nonetheless and among the most eye-catching on the skyline over Sun Valley. It rises above the rest of the Pioneer Mountains, and in profile, the peak appears to tip over on its precipitous north face.


The east ridge provides the standard route to the summit, not exceeding Class II. It’s still a big day (or two) with lots of elevation gain. The journey begins from Hyndman Creek Trailhead, following an old jeep road for the first couple of miles, across sunny slopes in a creek valley. This portion is relatively flat, so you could ride it on a mountain bike to save time.

Around 7900 feet elevation, a worn footpath turns more steeply upward, leading through beautiful meadows and glades to eventually reach the basin below the peak. There you’ll strain to look upward at the Pioneer Mountains’ big three––Cobb Peak, Old Hyndman, and Hyndman Peak. The trail continues up to reach the shore of a small lake, which is a good place to camp for those wishing to make this a two-day ascent.

Above the lake, the trail pretty much disappears, but cairns may mark the route. Pick your way through talus and around cliff bands to gain the saddle between Hyndman and Old Hyndman Peaks. Once there, you’ll enjoy a view over the massive exposure of Hyndman’s east face. Then the only way to go is up, along the steepening ridgeline toward the summit. It’s aggressive hiking on blocky talus, perhaps using hands for stability here and there. You might wander left or right to find more stable rock along the way, but the route is generally straightforward to the top.

On Hyndman Peak, you’ll be standing on the roof of the Pioneer Mountains, overlooking all the peaks of this daunting range. Further ranges stretch in all directions, and on a clear day, you can easily see Idaho’s tallest––Borah Peak in the Lost River Range.

Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/east-ridge/159480 https://www.idahoaclimbingguide.com/bookupdates/hyndman-peak-12009/



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and November


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area