Echo Lake, Murdock Basin
Uinta Mountains
August 2010 - 70 photos

On the 20th of August, 2010, Judy, Bill, and I, did another hike in the Uinta Mountains. This time in the Murdock Basin area, southeast of Bald Mountain. In 2009 Bill and I hiked down into Murdock Basin along the Fehr Lake trail to 4 lakes in the valley. These lakes were some of the best we had ever visited. Between Hoover and Marshall lakes, we found a dirt road, which we later found on the map. We saw that this road came up from highway 150 into Murdock Basin, running about 7 miles. We also noticed that there were 6 more lakes in the region, so decided some day to drive up in there and check them out.

The main lake we were headed for this time was Echo Lake, with 5 more lakes close by. We took off along this Murdock Basin dirt road and the ride was something else, it wasn't dirt very far before truning to all rocks. Much of the road was like a dry riverbed of bolders. It took over an hour to drive that 7 miles. Still, as bad as that road was, we saw a lot of people up in that country camping.

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Echo Lake, our first lake on the hike, see the cliffs we had to climb to reach Joan Lake?

We visited Echo Lake first, a short distance from where we parked. We didn't see any signs of trails, and most of the lakes we planned on hiking to were above a cliff on the west side of Echo Lake. The only place we could see that looked like we could get up and over that cliff was through a steep slot in the cliff. It was quite steep and overgrown with brush and trees, but somehow we managed it. (Later in the day I discovered there was a trail). After quite a climb we found our next lake, Joan Lake, and we all thought it was worth the climb.

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Joan Lake was the second we visited. Located about 300 feet higher than Echo Lake.

We knew that there were at least two more lakes on this same level, but a closer lake, Blizzard Lake was right above Joan Lake, though up over another cliff. This time about 500 feet high, so it took more climbing. Once again we climbed up through a slot were a rock slide had come down. This climb was much longer, but the top half wasn't as steep. When we got up to the next level, we were really surprised at how high we were above Joan Lake.

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Joan Lake from above, we found ourselves much higher than we expected.

We had lunch at Blizzard Lake, then headed north looking for more lakes that showed up on the map, but found mostly dry ponds. Bill and Judy went a different way along the north bound ledges, I was on a ledge 50 feet below them, and later when I tried to find them I couldn't. Seems they had decided to go back down. Not knowing that, I headed on to Gem Lake thinking that was where they would go, but they thought Lily Pad Lake below them was Gem Lake, so we didn't get back together for awhile. We crossed each others trail twice, probably missing each other by a only a few minutes. In the future we should take two way radios with us. After I visited Gem Lake, I went back by Lily Pad Lake to Joan Lake, finding a trail down that lower cliff to Echo Lake where I found them. It was late in the day by then, so we drove over to Pyramid lake rather than walking. We still ended up walking about a quarter mile to see it. It was after 5:00 PM when we finished, and the ride home was 3 more hours. We got home much later than we had planned.

Was it worth it? I am glad we went. We saw some beautiful country, but I have no desire to ever do that one again. Didn't like the road, didn't like the rough hiking area. Bill and Judy had it rougher than me, as they came down some steep cliffs. For me, coming back down that cliff from Joan Lake back to Echo Lake was much eaiser, as I found a good trail that we didn't know existed. At the bottom some campers told me they had hiked it before and could have told us about it... This trail is about 300 feet south of Echo Lake. According to my GPS the walk was 5.1 miles, climbing 810 feet for the day. I don't know how far the others walked.

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Pyramid Lake, this one was a little farther from the others, so at the end of the day we drove over to it.

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Murdock Basin Road can be found on the east side of SR 150, about 21 miles north of Kamas Utah. If you want to drive it, be warned, it's not the best road. Even so, I was surprised that some people took cars into the area, and others pulled large camping trailers along this rocky road. I'll let you decide if you want to drive it, after looking at our pictures.

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Related Photos

We also did a hike to other lakes in Murdock Basin
Fehr Lake, 2009
 Fehr Lake, 2009

More Uinta Hikes
 More Uinta Hikes

My photos were taken with a small Canon Powershot, SX210, 14 Megapixel Camera which has Image Stabilazation and optical lens from wide angle to 14x zoom. Some of these photos were taken by Bill Joy with his Olympus E620 SLR and lens assortment. Also Judy took some of the photos with her Canon Digital Reble Xti SLR, and assortment of lenses.

These photos are set to lower resolution and compressed 10:1 for faster loading. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.

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