Nicholia, Idaho

Nicholia, Idaho

Joined: April 14th, 2010, 3:52 am

June 16th, 2010, 1:36 am #1

In 1881, while hunting for lost horses in the Beaverhead Mountains, William McKay found high quality lead ore in the roots of an upturned tree. By 1883 the Viola Mining & Smelting Company was formed to supply lead pigment to the painting trade. The rush was on!

Nicholia was organized at the mouth of Smelter Gulch in Birch Creek Valley.
The town was named for Ralph Nichols, manager of the Viola Mine. In its heyday Nicholia had over 300 residents. The ore ran out in 1887, making 7 years from boom to bust. Wages were $3.50 for a 10 hour day in the mines. A private ranch occupies the site today.
Delphine Allhands photo of Nicholia, looking up Smelter Gulch, mid 1880's.

Today's peak is located at the head of Smelter Gulch. Because it is also located at the bend of Willow Creek, I reference it as 'Willow Bend' el 9100'~. The quartzite summit has a prominence of about 520', and is a gentle hike from Willow Creek.

This 6/15/10 view from the top looks west across Birch Creek Valley as a storm brews over the Lemhi Range. In view- Sheep Mtn to Sheephorn Pk.

Lots of good macro views:

Here's the south side of Eighteenmile Peak 11125', high point on the 739 mile long Idaho-Montana line. My nickname for Eighteenmile is 'The Ice Cream Cone'. Can you see the resemblance?

Micro views were also eye catching...

...especially Western Pasqueflower (Anemone) in the upper meadowland of Willow Creek.
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Joined: March 29th, 2007, 7:48 pm

June 17th, 2010, 7:31 pm #2

Nice... love your mini trip reports!
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Joined: April 14th, 2010, 3:52 am

June 19th, 2010, 5:40 pm #3

Maybe some of you are familiar with South East Idaho's most southern mountains. Just south of the border there are two attractive Utah wilderness areas that offer a window back into Idaho.


From the summit of Mendon Peak 8766' in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness this view is N.
The I-15 corridor is on left. Cloud shaded Gunsight Peak (Malad Range) is 5 miles inside Utah. The hazy blue mountains behind it are in Idaho. From L to R: Elkhorn, Wakely, Old Tom, Oxford, Old Baldy, Sedgwick. Also visible but not in the photo are Cache Peak and Pilot Peak in NV.


From the summit of Mount Elmer 9676' in the Mount Naomi Wilderness this view NW looks across Cache Valley, with the Idaho line 10 miles away.
From L to R: Deep Creek Range to Deep Creek Peak; Bannock Range- Old Baldy, Elkhorn, Wakely. On right is Oxford Peak.


Mt Elmer is one of the more remote Bear River Range summits, and 95% of its tilted summit block is guarded by limestone cliff bands. View N showing Mt Elmer's south face.
It is interesting to speculate on the variables that account for such a robust mid June snowpack. The 9565' cliffy point on the left is known to some as 'Fudd Peak'.
Other trivia: Mt Elmer qualifies for "The Peaks of I-15 Series". This requires a clear line of sight between summit and freeway.

All photos from a June 17-18,2010 outing using Logan,UT, as base camp.
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Joined: April 14th, 2010, 3:52 am

June 24th, 2010, 3:52 am #4

Nice... love your mini trip reports!
Today's pursuit (some would say trivial pursuit) of Lemhi Range 9000' peaks continues on the Big Windy Peak quad.
Four Points el 9520'+ is so named because of the 4 tiny enclosed 9520' map contours gracing its limestone summit area.



View NE to Four Points from the Deer Flats section of Little Lost River Valley.

Here's what you can see from Four Points summits:

View E to Glenn el 10487' (NSPSV on 10/5/91).


View NE, L to R: Mt Inspiration 10715' and Mt Perspiration 10693' (NSPSV on 7/20/91)


Summit of Four Points looking across Little Lost River Valley to Lost River Range- Wet Creek to Dry Creek section.
High on Four Points, Ursa's deft paws had turned over dozens of rocks looking for a tasty snack. No doubt grubs and maggots were in season- Yum!

For myself, I had almost given up hunting for signs of previous visitors. Finally, 50 feet off the summit I found an old broken geologist's survey stake. Likely, this was placed by Mortimer 'Tim' Hait (1931- dec), here ca 1957-59 while doing PhD field work on 'Structure of the Gilmore Area'. Hait later became a pioneering USGS lunar geologist. It was a privilege to cross his path on this 6/22/10.
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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

June 24th, 2010, 3:35 pm #5

Maybe some of you are familiar with South East Idaho's most southern mountains. Just south of the border there are two attractive Utah wilderness areas that offer a window back into Idaho.


From the summit of Mendon Peak 8766' in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness this view is N.
The I-15 corridor is on left. Cloud shaded Gunsight Peak (Malad Range) is 5 miles inside Utah. The hazy blue mountains behind it are in Idaho. From L to R: Elkhorn, Wakely, Old Tom, Oxford, Old Baldy, Sedgwick. Also visible but not in the photo are Cache Peak and Pilot Peak in NV.


From the summit of Mount Elmer 9676' in the Mount Naomi Wilderness this view NW looks across Cache Valley, with the Idaho line 10 miles away.
From L to R: Deep Creek Range to Deep Creek Peak; Bannock Range- Old Baldy, Elkhorn, Wakely. On right is Oxford Peak.


Mt Elmer is one of the more remote Bear River Range summits, and 95% of its tilted summit block is guarded by limestone cliff bands. View N showing Mt Elmer's south face.
It is interesting to speculate on the variables that account for such a robust mid June snowpack. The 9565' cliffy point on the left is known to some as 'Fudd Peak'.
Other trivia: Mt Elmer qualifies for "The Peaks of I-15 Series". This requires a clear line of sight between summit and freeway.

All photos from a June 17-18,2010 outing using Logan,UT, as base camp.
Which way did you get to Elmer? Did you get anywhere near Flattop?
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Joined: April 14th, 2010, 3:52 am

June 24th, 2010, 4:40 pm #6

Wow! Never thought there'd be a response to Utah peaks on this message board.

Russ, to reach Elmer I motored from North Logan to the Green Canyon trailhead el 6100', then hiked the Mt Naomi National Scenic Trail until it disappeared in snow. From the head of Green Canyon I cramponed across the headwall of the next drainage to find the tiny break in Elmer's cliffs.
Sorry, I don't know of a Flattop in this area. From Preston the Mt Naomi massif does appear to have a flat top.

Miles and miles of skiable snowfields in the Jardine-Elmer area.


From the summit of Mt Elmer this view is N to Bear River Range highpoint Mt Naomi el 9979'. On left is Cherry Peak, on right Mt Magog. Center distance, probably Bloomington Peak in Idaho.
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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

June 24th, 2010, 4:59 pm #7

Rick:
I live near Preston and love it when something about my "home" mountains comes up on this site.
Flattop is an unnamed but very prominent mountain east of Smithfield. It dominates the Bear River ridgline in front of Elmer and Jardine and actually obscures these two slightly higher peaks from the valley. it is west of Elmer at the top of Smithfield Dry and Birch Creek drainages. Approximately 1 mile west and slightly south of Elmer with marked elevations of 9539 on the north end and 9515 on the south. Matt Durrant is my son and we plan to climb Flattop soon. You really should write a book! Love you thoughtful and descriptive prose and pictures.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

June 24th, 2010, 5:04 pm #8

Maybe some of you are familiar with South East Idaho's most southern mountains. Just south of the border there are two attractive Utah wilderness areas that offer a window back into Idaho.


From the summit of Mendon Peak 8766' in the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness this view is N.
The I-15 corridor is on left. Cloud shaded Gunsight Peak (Malad Range) is 5 miles inside Utah. The hazy blue mountains behind it are in Idaho. From L to R: Elkhorn, Wakely, Old Tom, Oxford, Old Baldy, Sedgwick. Also visible but not in the photo are Cache Peak and Pilot Peak in NV.


From the summit of Mount Elmer 9676' in the Mount Naomi Wilderness this view NW looks across Cache Valley, with the Idaho line 10 miles away.
From L to R: Deep Creek Range to Deep Creek Peak; Bannock Range- Old Baldy, Elkhorn, Wakely. On right is Oxford Peak.


Mt Elmer is one of the more remote Bear River Range summits, and 95% of its tilted summit block is guarded by limestone cliff bands. View N showing Mt Elmer's south face.
It is interesting to speculate on the variables that account for such a robust mid June snowpack. The 9565' cliffy point on the left is known to some as 'Fudd Peak'.
Other trivia: Mt Elmer qualifies for "The Peaks of I-15 Series". This requires a clear line of sight between summit and freeway.

All photos from a June 17-18,2010 outing using Logan,UT, as base camp.
This is where I was born and raised- born in Logan, raised in Preston. It's good to see you made it down to our neck of the woods. It really is a beautiful place. Looks like my Dad (Russ) is excited to see you made it down there too!
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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

June 24th, 2010, 5:19 pm #9

Wow! Never thought there'd be a response to Utah peaks on this message board.

Russ, to reach Elmer I motored from North Logan to the Green Canyon trailhead el 6100', then hiked the Mt Naomi National Scenic Trail until it disappeared in snow. From the head of Green Canyon I cramponed across the headwall of the next drainage to find the tiny break in Elmer's cliffs.
Sorry, I don't know of a Flattop in this area. From Preston the Mt Naomi massif does appear to have a flat top.

Miles and miles of skiable snowfields in the Jardine-Elmer area.


From the summit of Mt Elmer this view is N to Bear River Range highpoint Mt Naomi el 9979'. On left is Cherry Peak, on right Mt Magog. Center distance, probably Bloomington Peak in Idaho.
I'm pretty sure you cant see Mt. Naomi from anywhere in Preston (I will recheck tonight). It is complely covered by Prater Mountain behind Cove (my home town) You were probably looking at Flattop which is very prominent from Preston. Mt Naomi can only be seen briefly in eastern Cache Valley if you are coming north out of Smithfield on HWY 91 and get a breif view of the summit up Smithfield canyon. The best views are from mid to western Cache Valley. It is only then that you can appreciate the Naomi massif as being "dominant".It is surrounded by peaks that are only a few feet lower than it, so it is easy to miss unless you get far enough out in the valley. Cherry Crick peak is the only one that really has a Hyndman look to it in these parts.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

June 24th, 2010, 5:31 pm #10

Rick:
I live near Preston and love it when something about my "home" mountains comes up on this site.
Flattop is an unnamed but very prominent mountain east of Smithfield. It dominates the Bear River ridgline in front of Elmer and Jardine and actually obscures these two slightly higher peaks from the valley. it is west of Elmer at the top of Smithfield Dry and Birch Creek drainages. Approximately 1 mile west and slightly south of Elmer with marked elevations of 9539 on the north end and 9515 on the south. Matt Durrant is my son and we plan to climb Flattop soon. You really should write a book! Love you thoughtful and descriptive prose and pictures.
Rick,
Here are some picture of Flattop
From Mt. Elmer (looking West):http://www.summitpost.org/image/354548/ ... ntain.html

From the North (On the far right. It doesn't look flat from here):http://www.summitpost.org/image/314316/ ... attop.html
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