948. Squaw Butte

It’s literally out our back yard. It’s not dizzying in elevation but it’s a 2000 ft elevation climb from bottom to top. Squaw Butte, the Butte that feels like a mountain.

Nate D-O-G-G Latest Winter Ascent

This mountain looks majestic here in the valley when it’s snow covered. Although there is a road that goes up the back side and a lookout and communication towers on top, the front side taken from the Black Canyon Dam feels like a real excursion. You can route find and make the climb a bit more difficult requiring class 3 rock scrambling. I have a standard route that requires two dog lifts over separate cliff-ish areas. Those are affectionally called the Koufax Steppe and the upper one is the Kyra Cornice.

Squaw Butte, the East Cliffs

So the picture above shows the route. Where the two foreground hills form a V, that’s the creek drainage you follow to get to the climb. There’s an actual trail and there’s usually running water year round, an unexpected riparian habitat in an otherwise dry scene. Then you follow that spine up to the cliff areas. You route find through the cliffs and sometimes have to dip over the ridge to the left to find a way through. Once you summit, you follow that holler to the left of the top… a bowl. We call that Coyote Coulior.

Z Boogie on Koufax Steppe

The top of Squaw is almost 6K Ft. but it feels like it’s much taller. You get a great view of the varied terrain between Emmett and Horseshoe Bend, beautiful view of the Boise Mountains, the West Mountains, across the valley to the Owyhees, and over the Snake River plain into Oregon. I’ve been up it maybe 10 times, sometime solo, one each with each son, twice with buddies, 3 or 4 in winter, tried to ski down once with zero success. I would like to do a complete night ascent with headlamps with Z. He’s down with it too.

Under Darkening Skies
C&Me Winter Squaw
C&Me Top of Squaw, 2016 Expedition

It’s so nice seeing Squaw summoning you to it from the valley and know you can be at it’s base in 30-40 minutes ready for your next adventure. One time I started on the trailhead pre-dawn and made it back to our house by 11am. Whenever you need the connection with nature, a complete unwind, Squaw is always there.

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