Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas

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Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Murdock Mountain (11,212 ft) is located in the High Uintas Wilderness, right off the Mirror Lake Highway. While its neighbor peak, Bald Mountain, see hundreds of hikers each summer, less than 50-75 people will make the Murdock Mountain summit each year. While there is no trail, hiking up the boulder field is fairly easy and only 1 mile to reach the top. The 360 degree views can't be beat, and you're not likely to see people up there either. 

The reason I chose to hit this peak was mainly because I wanted to bag the Wasatch County High Point, the Murdock West Slope (10,845 ft). My route for the afternoon was Murdock Mountain, then down to the Murdock West Slope, then back to my car making a 2.5 mile loop! It was very easy hiking, however I was tired because that morning I had also bagged Reids Peak and Bald Mountain. I parked my car at the Bald Mtn TH for those peaks, and decided to just hike over to Murdock from there. You could shave off some mileage by parking off the Mirror Lake Highway at mile post 28.5, but I didn't want to find another parking spot when it was already really crowded up there on a Saturday.

Charlie accompanied me and we had a great day! We hiked a total of 8 miles and close to 2,500 ft elevation gain!

From Kamas, Utah drive up the Mirror Lake Highway for 29 miles, and turn left into the Bald Mountain TH/Picnic area.

Here's a driving map.

Distance: 2.5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 500 ft
Time: 1-2 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, if they're comfortable with small boulders
Fees/Permits? The Mirror Lake Highway charges a $6 fee for a 3 day pass. It's free if you have an annual Mirror Lake Hwy or American Fork Canyon pass, or free if you have an annual National Park Pass. No permit is required.

Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
As mentioned, I decided to start from the Bald Mtn TH, then walk over to the summit from there.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
I walked along the road until I reached the Duchesne County sign, and started to hike right behind it. The Duchesne County high point is Kings Peak, so I had already done that one back in 2014.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
You'll hike through a forested section, but it's really easy to cut through to reach the ridge.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
From here, simply hike up in a straight line towards the ridge. The rocks are all small, so they're easier to step over. 
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
I was surprised to see several large cairns leading the way up.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
On the summit! Great views all around.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Summit selfie!
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
After Murdock Mountain, we aimed south in search of the West Slope/County high point.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Wow, what a view! The CoHP was tucked into some trees so it wasn't completely visible from here.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Charlie takes a break in the snow.
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
After wandering around, keeping an eye on my GPS, we found it! Not the coolest looking "summit" but we marked it off our list!
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Another thing I was surprised about this hike - there was SO. MUCH. TRASH! I picked up four items of trash on Murdock Mountain, then as I was walking back to the car I passed a campfire ring (close to the road of course) and there was literally a whole 12 pack of beer cans in the pit. WTF? Either way, I packed it all out! 




 

Hiking to Reids Peak, High Uintas
Hiking to Reids Peak, High Uintas
Bag this peak, save me on Pinterest!
Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging