McGown Peak
Elevation 9860'
August 27, 2005
44.2128°N / 115.0816°W
Morning view of McGown Peak from Stanley Lake.

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We were going to be taking our yearly family camping trip to Stanley Lake and somehow my brother Ken agreed to give up valuable sleep time to make the 12 mile round-trip scramble up McGown Peak. We made good time up the trail to the 7800' saddle on the Alpine Way Trail before leaving the main path. There were several sketchy paths leaving the saddle, but they all seem to converge eventually just to the southeast side of the ridgeline.

After a while, the trees began to clear and things got more enjoyable as we made our way up and into the cirque on the east side of McGown Peak. We stopped and pumped some water at Lake 8575', then meandered our way towards the base of the east rib where the scrambling begins. Sticking to the crest of the rib seemed to be the easiest going, so we followed this general course up to the base of the summit block. About three quarters of the way up, we came across a mountain goat who hung around for a while letting us take pictures before wandering out towards the north side of the peak. Once we reached the summit block, we traversed around to the north, then up. This was a fun section and the route was generally pretty straightforward.

We hung around on the summit for about 45 minutes, and enjoyed views to the east of the cirque, Stanley Lake to the north, the Hanson Lakes to the west, and the vast Sawtooth Range to the south. On the way down, we decided to traverse southward along the ridge for a while, then drop down the slope to the northwest of Lake 8906'. The footing was sandy and loose, perfect for a quick descent down to the lake. The area around Lake 8906' was very nice and would make a great campsite. The rest of the trip back was uneventful, and by the time we made it back to camp, we were ready for a nap
.

This is the terrain at about the 8200' level as you climb into the Lake 8609' cirque.
This is the terrain at about the 8200' level as you climb into the Lake 8609' cirque.
The east side of McGown Peak from Lake 8575'.
The east side of McGown Peak from Lake 8575'.
Here's a closer shot of the east rib, where the real climbing begins.
Here's a closer shot of the east rib, where the real climbing begins.
A Mountain Goat making his way out onto the north face.
A Mountain Goat making his way out onto the north face.
Lloose stuff we had to pass through prior to reaching the summit block.
Lloose stuff we had to pass through prior to reaching the summit block.
Here we are perched on the summit.
Here we are perched on the summit.
Hanson Lakes to the west.
Hanson Lakes to the west.
The view to the south is spectacular, with the entire Sawtooth Range visible.
The view to the south is spectacular, with the entire Sawtooth Range visible.
Looking back down on Lake 8575' to the east.
Looking back down on Lake 8575' to the east.
I'd always wondered what Stanley Lake would look like from the summit. Now I know…
I'd always wondered what Stanley Lake would look like from the summit. Now I know…
This is a photo of Lake 8609' taken after descending.
This is a photo of Lake 8609' taken after descending.
Here I am, with our quick descent route in the background.
Here I am, with our quick descent route in the background.
A view of McGown from the flat portion of the trail on the way back.
A view of McGown from the flat portion of the trail on the way back.
Photo of McGown Peak taken the next morning from our campsite. Not a bad view to wake up to.
Photo of McGown Peak taken the next morning from our campsite. Not a bad view to wake up to.
Gratuitous
Gratuitous "mountain behind elevation sign" photo taken from the road on the way home.

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