Norton Peak
On 29 September 2010, I hiked up Norton Peak in the Smoky Mountains near Ketchum, Idaho.  Kelly Bou and I had made an impromptu stop at nearby East Fork Baker Creek campground the previous night after a long day of driving.  I had spotted Norton Peak on my road map (one of the excellent recreational maps by GTR Mapping), and after consulting Tom Lopez's guidebook, Idaho: A Climbing Guide, I felt that this would be an ideal trip for Kelly and me to do together.  Shortly after starting out however, Kelly was not feeling well and decided to turn around and wait for me at the trailhead.  I continued hiking the well-maintained trail to Lower and Upper Norton Lakes.  Beyond the lakes, the trail makes numerous long switchbacks up the south side of Norton Peak before cresting at a saddle.  From there, I climbed a beaten path up to the south end of the summit ridge and dipsy-doodled the remainder of the way to the true summit at the north end.  I spent over 50 minutes at the summit basking in the warm sun before retracing my steps without incident back to the trailhead.  I found Kelly relaxing in the shade with a book, and she seemed to be feeling better.  We then drove into Ketchum, a surprisingly upscale resort town, and checked into Tamarack Lodge for the night.  We capped off the day with a nice dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.
This was a very warm day. The moon slowly sets behind an unnamed ridge somewhere along the trail to Norton Lakes.
More beautiful than I expected! An unnamed ridge is reflected in Lower Norton Lake.
I was very tempted to jump in and cool off. There are some remarkable colours in Lower Norton Lake.
Too bad I don't have time to lounge about here... Sonny looks across Upper Norton Lake.
I passed an older lady somewhere up here.  I thought she was also heading up Norton Peak, but I didn't see her again. Here is a view of Upper Norton Lake from the switchbacks.
I actually saw mountain bike tracks up here.  That would have been one screamin' downhill ride! At the saddle, Sonny turns up the beaten path.
There are a few annoying dips and obstacles along the way. This is looking north along the summit ridge toward the true summit of Norton Peak.
Too easy. Sonny traverses the summit ridge.
According to the summit register, this peak receives a fair number of visitors. Some sort of wooden surveyor's tower is tethered to the 3148-metre summit of Norton Peak.
I was hoping to climb Castle Peak on this trip, but the logistics of the approach just didn't work out...this time! This is looking north from the summit.  On the horizon just right of centre is Castle Peak (with a bit of white on its right flank).
There are so many unnamed summits here. Wonder if any of them are unclimbed... A small unnamed tarn lies in the bowl to the east.  The 3100-metre peak across the bowl at right is unnamed.  On the horizon are the Pioneer Mountains.
Look at all them peaks!  More scrambles than you can shake a stick at!! Miner Lake draws the most attention to the west.
Maybe I'll come back next year to do this one... Here is a zoomed-in shot of Castle Peak to the north.
See you in a couple of days, Hyndman Peak! Here is a closer look at the 'heart' of the Pioneer Mountains--(L to R) Hyndman Peak, Old Hyndman, and Cobb Peak.
If you have extra time and energy, you could conceivably wander along some of the nearby ridges. This is the route as viewed in Google Earth.
I'm not sure why I even bothered uploading my GPS data 'cause you won't need it to do this one! Total Distance:  12.9 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  5 hours 30 minutes
Total Elevation Gain:  881 metres

GPX Data