Hiking Molly’s Nipple

The Trail to Our Destination

It has been far too long since I have told a story about my adventures. This is not to say I haven’t had adventures, because to me every day holds something new and exciting. Today I want to share my most recent experience. It started a couple of years ago. You see, just outside my front door you can witness a spectacular view of Musinia Peak. It is known as Molly’s Nipple or Mary’s Nipple around these parts though. The elevation of the peak is 10,986 feet and it looks like a white, bald, rocky point jutting above a mountain of aspens and evergreens.

Hiking the Steep Trail

Twenty three years ago my husband climbed that rocky mountain with the scouts and broke his leg. The scouts were able to utilize their first aid skills and pack him down the mountain on a stretcher made of branches and coats. He had not been back since and even the thought of hiking that rocky mountain gave him a queasy stomach because of his injury. However, our daughter told us two years ago that it was her dream to hike to the top. Her bucket list would not be complete without this journey. She has been to Europe, Russia, China, Brazil but this was the one adventure she really wanted to tackle. So this Labor Day weekend we told her we were hiking Molly’s Nipple with or without her. She made the drive home and we started our journey. From our house it took us an hour and a half to drive to the trailhead for the hike. The trailhead is not clearly marked but luckily we found it after a only a couple of wrong turns.

White Rocks on the Trail to Musinia

At the beginning of the hike we packed lots of water, a light lunch, a few snacks and a couple of cameras in our backpacks. We were on our way. The sky was overcast but we felt we could make it before the storm hit. We hiked about half a mile and already I needed a rest. So far the trails were steep and I could see that would be the case for the entire journey.

What a View

While we were resting a family came down with some smaller children and said, “Well if this little guy can do it, you can.” The all passed with happy faces and no signs of distress. As we started back on the hike I told Kirk that little kids are much more resilient  and have much more energy than forty-something year olds. There is no comparison at all! But we were encouraged to continue our trip…. with lots of resting stops.

Trail Between Rocks

My view of the trail was filled with lots of beautiful scenery. There were trees, flowers, rocks, ponds and cows. I saw signs of coyotes and deer but not any actual wildlife. I was always pulling up the rear though. By the time I caught up to the resting point everyone else was rested and ready to go again. It was a good thing we brought all that water!

Throughout the hike I would look ahead and find a tree or a rock and say to myself, “I only have to make it that tree or bush or rock.” Little steps made the journey a lot easier.  Sometimes it is like that in life too. You just take little steps to accomplish the big goals.

TeAnna At the Top of Musinia Peak

As we neared the top of the mountain we were greeted with a straight up vertical climb on cliffs of broken, crumbling white rocks. At this point I said that I had gone far enough. I was too afraid to climb in such difficult conditions. I was happy with my progress and I couldn’t go any further. Kirk felt the same way. He felt that if he went any further he would break his leg again. So we sat on the edge of that mountain cliff watching TeAnna climb to the top. I was discouraged and disappointed in myself that I had given up after such a long trek. Right then I decided to push myself just a little bit more and I started crawling on my hands and knees to get to the top of this mountain.

Boxes Containing Notepad to Sign

When I reached the top there was a cluster of pine trees. I walked through those trees and I was greeted by TeAnna who was already writing our names in the notebook reserved for all who made the climb. I did it!  As I sat with her reading through the names of the other people that had made the journey, Kirk came walking through the trees as well. We all had made it to the top! We took some time to look around and take some pictures. The views from the top of that mountain are spectacular. The sense of accomplishment that we were there was even more wonderful.

Climbing Down Through the Rocks

We started down off the mountain top and realized that our journey off that slippery rock was going to be just as difficult as the climb to the top. I again took the low to the ground approach and slid down on my backside. When I finally reached the dirt I found that I had ripped out the seat of my jeans in several places. They were in shreds. Luckily there were not a lot of people on the trail.

Just as we were about a quarter of a mile from our car it started to lightly rain. The day was good to us letting us accomplish one of our goals and holding out on rain until we were finished. We went home a little sore and tired but with so much happiness that we had climbed that mountain that had been looming over us for so many years.

We Made It!

View From the Top


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