Idaho, United States, North America
10545 ft / 3214 m
Created On: Jun 2, 2010
Last Edited On: Jun 3, 2016
Scorpion Peak is part of a massive cirque in Idaho’s Pioneer range that also includes Antares Peak and Peak 10650.
From the Snodome
As the crow flies, Scorpion 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. Scorpion is centrally located in this Muldoon 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 Scorpion is very popular with hunters, so seasonal precautions are advised.
The nearest town is Carey, Idaho. Let’s start by getting there.
From the access road
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.
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.
Looking down the south ridge
Partly because the road to the Garfield Guard Station had washed out, we climbed the south ridge of Scorpion. For the most part this is a straightforward Class II. However, we climbed it in snow so some hazards might be buried. We did find one short section of Class IV knife-edge ridge, but it’s possible that it can be circumvented in dry conditions.
7 miles round trip, 4500' gain (300' on return)
If the term can be applied to such a seldom-climbed peak, the “standard” route (as listed in the guidebook, Idaho, A Climbing Guide
) is to follow the mine road to the first switchback, then head up a spur to the ridge between Scorpion and Peak 0650. Then walk the ridge to the summit.
No red tape.
This is snow country, so take appropriate precautions.
There is formal camping at Little Wood River Reservoir.
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
South ridge route