The [Devils] Bedstead

From the Summit of the Devils Bedstead (West) - © Jeffrey H. Lubeck - MESH Gallery - all rights reserved.

The Devils Bedstead is an Icon of the mountain peaks of Idaho.  What most are not familiar with is that depending on the reference point The Devils Bedstead represents two peaks in the Pioneer Mountain Range of Idaho - West (11,105) and East (11,865). They are situated across from each other in the Kane Creek Valley.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) designates the peak on the west as The Devils Bedstead as shown on official topographic maps. The most recent local commercial maps designate the peak on the east as The Devils Bedstead.

Both can be seen from Trail Creek Road - the West looking up the Wilson Creek Drainage (center) and the East looking and driving up the Kane Creek Drainage. There is even a sign on the road that makes such declaration for the East flavor. For those who hike to the viewpoint on the Summit Creek trail (4.2 miles), The Devils Bedstead West is most prominent (left-center).


The Devils Bedstead (West) from Trail Creek Road (Wilson Creek Drainage).

The Devils Bedstead (East) from Trail Creek Road (Kane Creek Drainage).

Both peaks are large, have facinating features, are not accessed directly from trails, have class 3ish routes to the summit and should be explored.

On this day I chose to summit the official Devils Bedstead (solo).

Note:  For those who are not familiar with scrambling/climbing at high elevation, I strongly recommend using a guide such as Sawtooth Mountain Guides.  For example the last 100 linear and 20 vertical feet of the Devils Bedstead (West) climb is rather dicey. I call it The Devils Walk  It is as narrow as anything I have attempted to cross without aid. In short it is 1 to 2 shoe widths wide for the length of the section. A fall to the east would be a 3,500 vertical foot free-flyer to the Kane Creek Valley floor.  A fall to the west would be hundreds of vertical feet.  However, there is a class 3 scramble to the final summit from the false summit if you descend 20 or so feet to some reasonable footing and then head back up.  The summit has ample room to sit, eat, rest, relax and take in the magnificent view.

From the Summit looking back at the Devils Walk to the False Summit. The climb begins at the Kane Creek Trailhead 1/2 way down the valley floor (on right).

The Devils Bedstead (West) in the basin of the bedstead (this would be about 2 miles cross-country off trail from the Summit Creek trail vantage).

The Devils Bedstead (West).  The North Spire (left) is 250 feet below the Summit (right).