FATMAP difficulty grade
Galena is a tall and impressive, but surprisingly accessible peak in the Boulder Mountains, in between Sun Valley and Stanley, Idaho.
There is more than one reasonable way to the top, but this route from Senate Creek is as good as any.
It’s of moderate length but respectable elevation gain, requiring no technical skills or equipment when snow-free.
Therefore it’s a suitable beginner peak under normal summer or fall conditions. Get there by heading toward Galena Lodge then taking Senate Creek Road into the national forest.
The road is a bit rough, so if your car can’t handle it you might walk or bike the last couple miles.
The route starts where the road ends, at the base of Galena’s west ridge.
There is no official trail, but you’ll likely follow worn paths through the trees and even among the talus higher on the mountain.
The route is steep but straightforward.
Simply follow the ridgeline upward, weaving slightly among trees and boulders.
Eventually you’ll break above the timberline and continue up blocky talus.
No real scrambling is necessary, but you might use hands for balance here and there. All along this hike, you can look around and admire the power of avalanches, which have cleared large swaths of forest and scarred the mountainside.
Looking close around your feet, you’ll notice a variety of alpine vegetation, including blossoms from large to tiny.
As you hike this peak, try your best to follow firm paths or solid rock, so as not to damage the fragile plant communities. Once on top of Galena, you’ll enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the Boulder Mountains, as well as further ranges on every horizon.
You can see to the mountains near Boise, and even beyond to the Owyhee Range on a very clear day.
In the other direction you can see the Lost River Range, including Idaho’s highest––Borah Peak.
Then of course there are the jagged peaks of the Sawtooths and pyramid summits of the Pioneer Mountains closer at hand.
Take it all in, and when you’re ready to turn around simply backtrack the route down. Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/galena-peak/153215 https://idahosummits.com/galena/galena.htm