East Camas Peak viewed from Lower Camas Lake.

Michael Hoyt

East Camas Peak viewed from Lower Camas Lake.

East Camas Peak (8,766’), sitting high above Kidney Lake, is perched on the south rim of the Camas Cirque. Perhaps best known as a place to backcountry ski, this summit offers a small taste of the Bitterroot backcountry to hikers and climbers. With a hikers’ trail all the way to the base of the climb, East Camas Peak is a fairly easy summit to reach.

Rising about 1,400’ above the isolated tarn, Kidney Lake, the summit offers visitors wonderful views of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness stretching far into portions of Idaho where few humans trod.

Begin from the Camas Lakes Trailhead and follow the well-established trail for 2.5 miles to the unmarked cut-off trail for Kidney Lake (46.15419 N, 114.27371 W, elevation 6,800’). Follow the abandoned but obvious trail to Kidney Lake. Hike around the north side of the lake then hike and scramble (Class 2) up the east ridge over talus and boulders to the summit.

—Michael Hoyt


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