Pinyon Peak Loop

5/5 (1 reviews)
Nestled in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Pinyon Peak Loop, also known as Beaver Loon Creek, is a remote and intense journey with breathtaking vistas of nearby peaks. This rugged drive is a gateway to the grandeur of the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness with alpine meadows and ... Read More
Start 7-Day Free Trial
All-Access Icon
Pinyon Peak Loop is an All-Access Member Only trail guide. You'll need to start a 7-Day Free Trial to see this guide.

Highlights of Pinyon Peak Loop

Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Camping Category Icon Camping
Forest Category Icon Forest
Mine Category Icon Mine
Overland Category Icon Overland
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Highest Elevation
9348 ft
Shape of Trail
Straight Through
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
N/A
Official Trail Name
172
Nearest Town
Stanley
Nearest Services
Stanley
Management Agency
Salmon Challis National Forest
District
Challis-Yankee Fork/Middle Fork Ranger District

Overview

Nestled in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Pinyon Peak Loop, also known as Beaver Loon Creek, is a remote and intense journey with breathtaking vistas of nearby peaks. This rugged drive is a gateway to the grandeur of the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness with alpine meadows and the imposing granite slopes of the Salmon River Mountains.

Coursing exhilarating mountain ridges, the trail offers glimpses of mountain basins far below. The pinnacle of the adventure is 9,942-foot Pinyon Peak. At the summit rests a historic fire lookout, a perfect vantage point for the endless panorama where mountains seem to fade infinitely into the distance.

Heading southward leads to the wilderness's most untamed and formidable peaks. Painted with striking red and white hues, they soar over 10,000 feet above numerous alpine lakes. In contrast, the northern landscape widens with open arms as it drops away to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Eastward, the vigilant guardians of Sheep Mountain and Greyhound Mountain watch over the Rapid River. Westward is a rare view of Idaho's wild expanse, with Loon Creek nestled along the base of Pinyon Peak.

Descending via eight sharp hairpin turns from Pinyon Peak, the terrain transforms into the embrace of Loon Creek, a significant tributary of the Middle Fork. Diamond D Ranch sits nestled beneath the jagged peaks of the upper section of trail.

Leaving behind Loon Creek, the road traces along Mayfield Creek, ascending towards the summit above Jordan Creek, where all these waters converge into the Main Salmon River. The journey culminates in a beautiful descent to Yankee Fork via Jordan Creek. Along this final stretch, traces of mining history line weave an intricate tapestry of the past.

For history enthusiasts, this expedition unfurls a rich narrative of lookouts, mining remnants, and an abundance of hiking trails that beckon the intrepid backpacker. And throughout the entire journey, the breathtaking scenery remains a constant companion.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
13 Waypoints
41 Trail Photos
1 Trail Concerns
1 Community Reviews
1 Video
Trail Tools
App Store Icon Open in App
Gaia GPS Icon Upload to Gaia GPS
Download GPX
Directions to...
Share Trail
Print Trail

Start a 7-Day Free Trial and Unlock 5,000+ Trail Guides

3000+ Detailed Trail Guides
2000+ Member Only Scout Routes
Companion App with Offline Use
New Tracks Added Weekly
Download GPX Files and Print Guides
Access to Trail Guide Writer
What makes our Trail Guides so great?

Sign Up for Free to Get a Taste of Adventure

Free Members get 207 introductory guides to explore. Upgrade to an All-Access Membership for 5,000+ trails at your fingertips.
Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial