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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Circumnavigating Mill Mountain

    Mill Mountain(10,793') is a prominent peak on a spur Ridge of the Lemhi Range about 15 miles west of Leadore, Idaho. The peak is visable from Highway 28 and most of the Lemhi Valley. I had hiked most of the trail before and thought its about time I rode my mtn bike around Mill Mountain. This would entail about 6 miles of singletrack trail riding, 6 miles of jeep road riding and about 12 miles of old logging road riding to complete the circuit. I took off early in the morning in a late August day before the forest fire smoke became too bad. I drove up Hayden Creek then the East Fork of Hayden Creek to the 6,720' foot level where the road gets rough. I jumped on my bike and pedaled up the two miles of rough road to the East Fork Hayden Creek Trailhead. I thought I would start on this end of the trail in case the downfall became too bad. I proceeded pedaling and pushing in spots up the trail with the downfall never becoming too bad and in approximately 6 miles I topped out at the East Fork of Hayden Creek and Mill Creek Divide at 9,500'. The final push up to the pass was grueling and I thought I should have ridden the route clockwise instead. Once I got up to the pass, the views made it all worthwhile with views of 10,000' plus peaks all around. It was a bit smokey in the higher elevations but still could get good views. I had some lunch and awaited my downhill ride to Mill Creek Lake, about a mile via trail.

    To be continued.

    Photo's are:
    Crossing East Fork Hayden Creek.
    Trail does up canyon to the left.
    Through the meadow.
    Mill Mountain through the smoke.
    The pass ahead.
    Mill Mountain from the southwest.
    Looking down East Fork Hayden Creek Canyon.
    Trail up to the pass.
    In the pass.
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  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Continuation, Part 2 of 2

    The trail initially drops down out of the saddle steeply toward Mill Creek Lake and I walked a little where I didnt want to get hurt as its a long way from anywhere. In about a mile I reached the lake outlet and the rough jeep road that goes up to the lake. The lake has a small dam for irrigation purposes at the outlet. The jeep road was built long ago for access for building the dam. I cruised down the road about 5 miles and reached the logging road on the east side of the peak. Now another 7 miles and a thousand feet of climbing up the road before heading down the final 7 miles of road downhill with about 1,100 foot of elevation loss to the truck. It was a strenous trip but I had accomplished my goal. It was about 8 miles of climbing from 6,720 feet to 9,500 feet, six miles of downhill from 9,500 feet to 6,880 feet. Then 7 miles of road climbing from 6,880 feet to 7,800 feet then 7 miles of downhill from 7,800 feet to 6,720 feet. The views in the Mill Creek Lake area and the pass above it are spectacular. This is one of the many fun, scenic and strenous rides in the Lemhi Valley area and I was fortunate to be able to do it.

    Photos are:

    Mill Creek side of the pass near the top.
    Mill Creek Lake.
    Upper end of Mill Creek Lake.
    East Fork Hayden Creek-Mill Creek Pass from Mill Creek Lake.
    Mill Creek Lake Jeep Road.

    The end.
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