Malorey Peak - 10589' and Murdock Peak - 10564'
Panoramic shot of the Boulders from the Malorey/Murdock saddle.
Distance: 11 miles
Elevation gain: 3100' (cumulative)
Class (difficulty): 3
Time: Unknown (approx. 8 or 9 hours)
I had the 4th of July weekend off from work and from coaching the softball team, so I decide to see if my brother-in-law wanted to go climb a mountain with me. He wanted to and was able to. I also let Zach know and he was interested as well. I chose to do Malorey and Murdock peaks near Trail Creek summit. I chose them because I had been in the area before and it was impressive! Since Zach was thinking about doing other peaks in the area, we drove up seperately to the trailhead.
We left the Trail Creek Loop trailhead and immediately had a large creek to cross. Rather than hiking in wet boots all day, we took off our boots and crossed. We then continued on the old road/trail for about a mile before getting to an area where we would find the trail and lose it off and on. Since we weren't following the loop or heading for the upper basin anyway, we crossed the creek and made our way toward Point 9982. Once at the base of the point, we followed a drainage to a small basin between the point and 10589 (Malorey Peak). We were making good time, but the weather was a bit overcast and we were kind of wondering how the day would go. We sat looking at the basin, Murdock's impressive face, and Devils Bedstead East for several minutes. We found it amazing that the melt water off of such a small snowfield was becoming a large creek immediately. After taking in the views, we selected a nice line up to the saddle between Murdock and Malorey and went for it. The climbing was class 3, but I think you could keep it class 2 if you settled for looser rock. At the saddle, Malorey Peak is a bit intimidating because of the steepness. After a short break, we continued on to the summit. The rock was a bit loose, but generally sticking to the ridge provided stable footing. The summit had great views of the Pioneers, Boulders, and even the Lost River range. We hung out quite a while.
We then traversed back down to the saddle and started heading up Murdock Peak. This peak was less steep and had a decent goat trail that we could follow. On top, we laid around for a while. The skies were clearing and the day was becoming spectacular. The view of waterfalls and swollen creeks coming off of Kent Peak were incredible. We then just dropped straight off of Murdock Peak into the basin, traversing snow fields around the opposite flanks of Point 9982 and out the drainage. This time we were able to find the trail sooner and stick with it all of the way to the trailhead. It was a long day, but the views and company made it well worth it.
To reach the trailhead, head to Trail Creek Summit. .9 miles from the summit, turn left onto Park Creek Road. This road is in good condition and leads to the trailhead in about 3.5 miles.
Follow the trail up the West Fork of Trail Creek. At around 9000', we left the creek and headed west through basins until we were looking at the dramatic north face of Malorey Peak. Here we hiked to the saddle between Malorey and Murdock. From the saddle, we followed the ridge to Malorey and then retraced our steps to the saddle and then up the ridge to Murdock.