Getting there: From Mackay, Idaho go North on Highway 93 about 23 miles until you reach Doublesprings Pass Road. Turn Right and head Northeast. Follow Doublesprings Pass road for approximately 11 miles until you reach an intersection in the road. Turn right (East) on this road that will take you to Horseheaven Pass. Continue on this road for about 14 miles, making sure to steer right at any fork you encounter, until you reach the trailhead.
Total round trip hike distance: 8 miles
Total elevation gain: ~4200 feet
Leatherman Peak was my third 12er in the list of nine. Our journey to Leatherman Peak included Brother’s Steve and Mark, friend Mark H. and myself. We set off Friday around noon for the roughly 6 hour drive to the trailhead. Once off the main road, back country journey led us over Doublesprings Pass and Horseheaven Pass. This peak, by far, has provided the most spectacular drive into the trailhead. Unlike most Idaho 12ers which can easily be accessed via Highway 93, Leatherman Peak trailhead is accessed via the West Fork of the Upper Pahsimeroi River. This is one of the most beautiful valleys I have driven through. Although it’s a long trek to the trailhead, it’s well worth it. For this trip, we were lucky that Idaho had been experiencing a relatively easy fire season, as we enjoyed pristine blue skies the entire trip.
We arrived at the trailhead and enjoyed a beautiful evening near the campfire and the east fork of the Pahsimeroi River. A bit of conversation quickly gave way to tired eyes and a hankering for a soft pillow and a warm blanket. We awoke early Saturday morning and began our trek toward the top. An opening in the trees revealed a glimpse of what lie ahead. That’s Leatherman Peak off in the distance. As we approached the base of the mighty mountain, we soon realized what we were in for! A straight up hike from here on out. A lack of photos on the way up could be contributed to the desire to conserve as much energy as possible. But we made it to the summit. The view was beautiful! After a quick rest, some sweet eats, and plenty of photos, we reversed course and headed down. As we left the rocky tundra, we turned to take a final look back on the mountain we had just conquered. We spend another night camping, resting our weary bodies. After a great night’s sleep, we packed camp and headed back to civilization. Driving out we had excellent views of Mt. Borah and much of the Lost River Range.