West Warrior Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,030' 619 m
Descent: -3,723' -1,135 m
High: 8,703' 2,653 m
Low: 5,755' 1,754 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)
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“A lightly-used backcountry singletrack on an alpine ridge with a gnarly, steep descent into Black Warrior Creek.”— Trevor.
To access the west side of this trail, you'll have to climb up Horse Heaven Trail from either direction to the high point on that trail. Starting from this saddle, climb up to Swanholm Peak. This isn't too bad, although there are a few sections that'll hint at what's to come.
From Swanholm Peak, you'll hike a low-traffic trail along the ridge to your west. It's smooth at times, and more technical at others. As you proceed along the ridge, you'll pass several lakes to your right, which make for an epic lunch spot or campsite. Eventually, you'll hit an intersection with the Lodgepole Trail. This point marks the start of the descent.
The descent to Black Warrior Creek starts gentle, but quickly develops quite the downward slope. The trail heads straight down a steep ridge with lots of loose scree. Don't think your hike is over once you're down off the mountains though. You've still got the Black Warrior Trail left, which has dozens of creek crossings that WILL soak your feet. You'll want to take the Eagle Creek Trail to escape to the road, despite having a steep climb, it's far less work than continuing to the Black Warrior Trailhead.
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Land Manager: USFS-Boise National Forest-Idaho City Ranger District