Antares is the 16th brightest star in the Milky Way.[img:626085:alignleft:medium:SE ridge with SnoDome in foreground] [img:755979:alignleft:medium:Eastern Pioneers]
Antares Peak is a beautiful but seldom visited peak in Idaho’s Pioneer range. As the crow flies, it is not far from Idaho’s famous Sun Valley ski area. This area once saw heavy mining interest, so there are mining roads running helter-skelter across ridges and up canyons. However, the road cuts don’t really diminish the beauty of the area, and depending on your chosen route may actually help you access the peak. Antares is the tallest of the peaks in this sub-region, so offers outstanding views.
The Muldoon area was mined for lead and silver starting in the 1880s. Based on an account available from the Idaho Historical Society
, the mines suffered from disadvantages and disasters, and the whole thing shut down about 1912. As a mining area, this was an expensive boondoggle. However, the open valley below the mines turned out to provide excellent cattle grazing, which continues to this day.
The area around Antares is very popular with hunters, so seasonal precautions are advised.
Getting ThereGetting to Carey
The nearest town is Carey, Idaho. Let’s start by getting there.
From Boise, take I-84 east to Mountain Home. After about 41 miles, take the Exit 95 for US-20 and head northeast for Fairfield. This road leads directly to Carey in 100 miles. At the T intersection in Carey, turn left on ID-51 and head toward Arco. As you near the end of town, look for a green sign on the right telling you a left turn will take you to Little Wood River Reservoir.
Road to Muldoon Creek
Follow the road to the reservoir. For the first few miles it is paved, then mostly improved dirt/gravel. Pass the reservoir, and stay on the best-looking road. You will pass a sharp left turn, and about then the valley opens up. At the next major left, take it. As before, you are on the best-looking road.
A couple more miles and you will be approaching a farmhouse. The road veers just as it gets to their fence: go right, continuing on the best road. There aren’t many signs, if any. Soon you will be entering the canyon for Muldoon Creek and your sense of direction should lead you onto a less-improved road. Keep going. After you pass the Garfield guard station, take the next right up the hill. You will hit the unmarked trailhead in about half a mile. Park here.
You can also get to Muldoon Creek from Bellevue. It is about 15 miles to the farmhouse mentioned above on an unimproved dirt road. Judging by the ruts seen this spring, one should probably avoid this route unless you have a high-clearance vehicle and the ground is completely dry.[img:626081:alignright:small:Ridge view]
RoutesSoutheast route over the Snodome
7 miles round trip, 4300' elevation gain (200’ on return). Class III
Follow the ridge that starts to climber's left of the road into the mines.
Mine road to south ridge
The Idaho Climbing Guide recommends following the mine road to the south ridge, then a Class II scramble gains the summit.
No red tape.
There is formal camping at Little Wood River Reservoir. [img:626083:alignright:small:Pioneers main crest]
There is informal camping at a number of campsites along Muldoon Creek.
External LinksTrip report
Sawtooth National Forest
Sawtooth national Forest Avalanche Center
Sun Valley cams (click on the Lookout cam)
Garfield RS weather station
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.[img:626086:alignright:small:Drummond Peak to the north]