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FR538 Oakley - Rogerson Rd s(u)

This long, smoothly surfaced dirt road crosses a high plateau between the Albion Mountains and the Great Falls area. Even though the area is very remote, it has a virtual maze of good bicycle friendly, unpaved roads. This is the highest point on that road, and given the right light conditions this can be a very scenic experience.

The profile does not follow the Oakley Rogerson Rd all the way into Rogerson, but takes a more direct route to this summit via the paved Rock Creek Rd.

1.(00.0m,4600ft)START-END EAST: jct Main St - Bostetter Rd, just west of Oakley
2.(12.0m,7260ft)turnoff on right to various campgrounds
3.(19.1m,7170ft)jct with Trapper Creek Rd on left
4.(20.5m,7650ft)jct with Monument Peak Rd on left
6.(28.0m,6760ft)Magic Mountain Ski Area
7.(41.9m,4400ft)START-END WEST: jct Rock Creek Rd - Fifth Fork Rock Creek


From East.
Oakley must be one of the best hidden towns in Idaho. When heading west on the main drag in town, the road seems to dead end at a ranch. Or does it ? Actually it forks into 3 roads that might be ranch driveways. But two of these are public unpaved roads, that climb into the high plateau on good forest roads.

The cap rocks on this plateau are multiple lava layers. But this is much more apparent on the west side because of all the lava capped cliffs - not so much over here on the east.

But there is another interesting series of views on this side. Directly to the east a chain of gentle mountains rise to between 8 and 9 thousand ft: the Albion Mountains. The profile follows Bostetter Rd and climbs the grassy plateau on a smooth dirt road, giving a constant, unobstructed view across the rolling sage plain.

FR500 / Bostetter Rd levels out onto the rolling plateau at about 7200ft. But the snow covered mountains still seem to form a ring around the sage hills. The ridge that contains the summit appears like a set of regular roofs from here, but these roofs are made of grass and forest.

Before getting there the route crosses a shoulder summit on FR500. It makes the highest point if one approach goes down Trapper Creek Rd. But the option shown here stays right and climbs further on FR500. Nearing the top there are several short stretches through deep forest, where the snow lingers much longer. The top can be a fairly spectacular area, in a desolate kind of way, if the light cooperates. On this high sage meadow the view shed changes away from the Albion Range  to other high ranges to the west.

SLIDESHOW1: Eastern approach from Oakley

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

From West. (also described upwards)  Rather than coming up from Rogerson, the profile takes a more direct option to this point, using the paved Rock Creek Rd, which very roughly bisects the Oakley - Rogerson Rd. This remote and picturesque paved canyon ride follows along below a whole cast of lava cliffs, up to a small, rustic ski area: Magic Mountain. The pavement ends a few miles later and FR538 leads through a whole maze of forest road on this gently rolling plateau. This plateau contains countless shoulder summit possibilities, most of them obscurely located on grassy plains or forest.

FR538 changes width, crosses a few small ravines, and then contours around a grassy mountain with a great unobstructed view onto a gentle mountainscape. After a signed turnoff to Pyramid Mountain, a last stretch through the forest leads to the summit meadow

SLIDESHOW2: Western approach via Rock Creek Rd

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( < Pike Mtn s(u) | Salt Wells Rd s(u) > )

FR538 Oakley - Rogerson Rd s(u) x2 , FR538 via Trapper Lake Rd(sh) , FR500 via TR10 s(u) x2 : FR500 Bostetter Rd about 1.5 miles before entering Sawtooth NF > FR500 west > FR538 via TR10 s(u) > FR00 west > FR538 - FR533 Trapper Lake Rd(sh) > down FR538 << turnaround point ~900ft below last summit >> FR538 - FR533 Trapper Lake Rd(shp) > FR538 west > FR538 Oakley - Rogerson Rd s(u) > FR538 west << turnaround point ~330ft below summit >> FR538 east > FR538 Oakley - Rogerson Rd s(u) > FR500 east > FR500 via TR10 s(u) > FR500 east back to starting point: 47.1miles with 5400ft of climbing in 5:40hrs (garmin etrex30 r5:17.9.24)
Notes: finally a perfectly cold September day with fresh snow on perfectly lit mountains.

the summit