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Thatcher Hill, Idaho | September 2022

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Thatcher Hill is located in the Portneuf Mountain Range just south of Lava Hot Springs.  Access is off Hwy 34 south of Thatcher, Idaho. The road to access the summit is extremely difficult.  There were deep mud puddles, exposed watermelon sized rocks to negotiate and rock gardens suitable for only 4wd high clearance vehicles. I was mentally exhausted from driving on the road and decided to park the Jeep (42.39139, -111.84305) and hike along the road. Just 50 yards further and the terrain leveled out into a beautiful meadow that lasted for approximately 1 mile. If I had known this, I would have braved that little bit of difficulty and driven further up the road.  As it turned out, the hike from the Jeep was only 2.41 miles to the summit, with the last ¾-mile being a reasonable bushwack ascent. As you can see from the GPS track (purple track), I opted to walk a bit out of my way to make the ascent along the easiest slope. The bushwack is through think forested terrain, with pine trees and quaking aspen.  There was a lot of deadfall and blowdown to navigate through, but not too bad. Lots of elk droppings and bear scat, though I didn’t encounter either.  I took a more direct route down (red track). Due to the road conditions, I will NOT be returning to this peak.

Directions: Turn West onto 13400 North off of Hwy 34 (42.33955, -111.72427). 13400 North becomes Hansen Road after .79 miles (42.33948, -111.73934). Note: Hansen Road and 13400 North are labeled the same on my mapping software.  Continue right “back” onto 13400 North after 1.13 miles (42.34095, -111.75802). Continue for 1.80 miles. Maps indicate this waypoint as a left turn, though the road just sweeps left and becomes un-labeled/un-marked (42.35547, -111.78229).  Continue for 4.17 miles to the BLM boundary (42.38285, -111.83625), pass through the cattle guard. Continue for ¾-mile, or further, depending on your vehicle and mental state.