Since Sprocket and I had driven all the way up to Paonia, I decided it was time to tackle the Delta County Highpoint, Mt. Lamborn. Mt. Lamborn, 11,396′, towers over the Gunnison Valley as you drive west from Delta towards Paonia. I was really excited about the hike since the mountain sits at the very edge of the West Elk Mountains and promised a great view in all directions. It definitely wasn’t a disappointment!
Parting ways with friends at the end of our float, I stopped for a delicious dinner at the Flying Fork Cafe in Paonia and then continued out to the Bell Canyon Trailhead for the Lamborn Trail. When I read the description on SummitPost I must have glossed over the part that read a “very rough four wheel drive road leads to the base of the canyon” but for once it wasn’t overblown hiker talk the road was pretty rough. (Not technical or hard to drive: just rocky, rough, and in some places rutted. It’s the kind of place where you use low gear not for obstacles but to go slow.)
We camped right at the trailhead and got a nice early start which was great for SP. He doesn’t like hiking in warm temperatures but loves to join me on my hikes. We started making our way up the canyon enjoying ourselves but moving quickly in the morning coolness.
Apparently humans and pups aren’t the only users of this trail. Sprocket’s paw looks so little compared to this ursine print:
As we approached the summit, the views of the Elks were incredible!
West towards the Uncompahgre Plateau:
Looking west towards Delta. The very edge of Grand Mesa can be seen on the right:
On the way back to the car, my pup lead me the whole way. We had an awesome time on this county highpoint. It was gorgeous and a great workout!
Mileage: about 10.3
Elevation gain: 4200′