At 11,714 feet in elevation, Ryan Peak is the tallest of the Boulder mountains of Idaho. From the North Fork of the Wood River trail-head in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), Ryan Peak rises almost a mile in the sky (5,172 feet).
On Saturday morning my son, Kyle and I decided to take on the challenge of summiting Ryan Peak. In about three and one-half hours we covered five and one-half miles in distance and almost mile up in elevation to reach Ryan Peak for a delightful lunch.
The effort to reach Ryan Peak does not involve climbing of a technical nature (i.e., ropes and other rock climbing tools). However, the hike to West Fork Saddle (10,004) is strenuous. Depending on route choice, the remaining 1,710 feet of gain can be a very demanding Class 3 Rock Climb. We chose a direct route which is clearly the steepest and kept us using all fours simultaneously most of the time. Once on the ridge line of the mountain what appears to be a Class 4 effort to the top is actually a stunning Class 2+ hike. However, it does involve establishing some careful hand holds and foot placement on rock. A slip likely means a fall and unplanned descent of a few thousand feet.