Distance: 12.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 3800'
With colder weather moving in and a snowstorm forecasted for the central mountains, the Owyhees seemed like a good option. In November 2016 I noticed the Sugar Loaf's rugged summit from nearby Bald Mountain. The main reason why I had not done this peak yet was the 600 to 700 feet climb back from Stobie Creek. No one of the Lists of John site had recorded an ascent either, probably for the same reason. Certainly a few people have reached this summit, especially during the height of Silver City's existence.
With the forecast predicting snow later in the day, I parked at 3800' near a sign indicating the road was closed. For the next few hundred feet the road was dry with patches of snow above it so I could have driven much further. Parts of the road were completely dry in exposed areas all the way to the Bald Mountain Road, 5.2 miles and 2000' feet above where I parked. The descent to Stobie Creek was steep and traction was poor with a thin snow layer. Once at the creek I steeply climbed about 900' without too much difficulty although it was slick in the snow. There was a small gully that looked possible if dry so I headed slightly north. I was able to climb about 50 feet before reaching an impasse on slick class 4 terrain. After winding my way around to the north side of the mountain I found a short but doable class 4 section that led to easier terrain. The views from the top were great, especially of the higher Owyhee peaks to the south. There was a large cairn at the top unlike the much easier but slightly higher Little Sugar Loaf (also in view) which I did two weeks earlier. It was windy at the summit so I did not stay too long before heading directly south on some much easier terrain, easy class 3 or 2+. The uphill section was steep but not too bad except for the footing. I ran parts of the last 5 miles back to my truck and probably would have ran back the whole way without a bum foot. On my way back I passed by a half dozen OHVs and one jeep.
The Sugar Loaf is one of the more rugged summits in the Owyhees. I will definitely do this on again despite the steep uphill climb back to the road. It may be possible to avoid the significant uphill section if going following the creek but sidehilling to avoid private property from where I parked but following the road is probably faster.
|Terrain just south of the summit|
|Silver City Road at 5800'|