Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains

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Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Delano Peak (12, 169 ft) is the county high point for both Beaver & Paiute Counties, and sits to the east of Beaver, UT in the Tushar Mountains. The Tushars have three peaks over 12K ft - Delano, Mt. Belknap, and Mt. Baldy. The hike to the summit is short and steep, yet very rewarding. The views from the summit can't be beat! The trail is very exposed - no shade or water is available so make sure to bring at least 2 liters of water. 

I had been wanting to do this peak for a few years, but I thought it was only accessible during the Summer months. The past few summers I made backpacking a priority, and just thought I ran out of time to do it each season. This year Utah has been having an extremely dry winter, so I randomly decided to call the ranger to see what conditions were like in this area. The ranger said there was only a dusting of snow.... at the end of December. What?! I knew then that I had to make it happen. I never thought I would end 2017 on the summit of Delano Peak, but that's exactly what happened!

Drive south on I-15 and take exit 112 in Beaver, UT. Turn left, and drive on Main St. for 1.6 miles. Turn left for UT-153, and drive 16.3 miles. Just past mile marker 16, look for the dirt road turning off to the North side of the road and turn here. Reset your odometer. The road is a well-graded, dirt road. 4x4 cars are recommended, but a small, compact car can make it only if the road is totally dry. Call the Beaver Ranger station before heading out to check road conditions & to make sure the winter gate is open, at 435.896.9233.

0.3 miles - stay left at the first road split
0.8 miles - pass the metal gate
2.4 miles - keep left
3.3 miles - Pass the Paiute ATV Trail, and the road curves right, pass Big John Flat, pass the first pit toilet, and cross a cattle guard
4.3 miles - pass a 2nd pit toilet
4.7 miles - pass the Skyline Recreation TH and a yurt
5.0 miles - drive past Griffith Creek (it may be completely dry in Summer/Winter)
5.5 miles - TH will be on the right, with a small brown post/sign. Park here.

Total drive time from SLC is about 3.5-4 hours. Here is a driving map - if you pass Poison Creek, you drove too far.

Distance: 3.5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1,612 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No, due to steep/rocky terrain
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
As soon as you turn off the main road, you'll see the brown sign for Big John Flat.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The TH has parking for 2-3 cars.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The only sign that marks the trail - this brown post with a yellow sticker, and no motorized traffic sign.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Within 5 minutes you'll see a sign for FR224 (as this used to be an old jeep road).
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Continue following the jeep road, along the ridge. Eventually it will turn into a single track trail.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Pretty views to the Northeast.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
I stop to catch my breath and remove a layer, and Lindsay gets ahead of me.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 To the South, you can see Eagle Point Ski Resort, though it hadn't yet opened for the season as of Dec. 30, 2017 (as you can see why, no snow).
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Continue following the trail, and you will pass by several tall, old wooden fence posts (not pictured).
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Only a few cairns mark the way.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Getting higher.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Lindsay stops to take in the view of Mt. Baldy (Utah has over 20 peaks named Baldy!).
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Charlie leads the way, as we now hike by old lava rock.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with DogsWow, I love these views! The tall peak to the right is Mt. Belknap, Mt. Baldy to the left. Though these look much taller, Delano beats them by about 30 feet.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Aim for the false summit, and you notice the trail dies out for a little bit. 
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
You'll reach the saddle, then can clearly see your destination from here.
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Almost there...
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Charlie's face says it all - Whoo hoo!!! On the summit!
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Extreme wind - but we made it!
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Summit pups! For Christmas they all got cute bandanas from Twelve Paws CA!
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Amazing views to the East! Love my Altra Lone Peaks!
Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The wind was SO bad that we had to sit below the summit next to these rocks. We drank our hot tea, had a snack, then made our way down! The pups made sure we stayed warm by sitting on our laps. Lindsay's dogs are Bench-Bred Spring Spaniels so they don't have the typical spots on the white part of their furr. They have the same parents, but are from different litters. They are awesome trail dogs!


Trail map - my GPS went a little off towards the summit.





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Hiking to Delano Peak, Tushar Mountains, Beaver & Piute County High Point, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

6 comments:

  1. This looks like a fun trail. It also looks like it was easy to follow? What a nice way to spend a day!

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  2. Good stuff! Did you see any mountain goats? I was bummed I didn't see them when I was there, but my dog and I did get a glimpse of a grey fox up ahead of us in a high meadow before it disappeared out of sight.

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    1. No, I was so bummed we didn't see any either!!! -Alicia

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  3. I can't believe there is so little snow. That is not good! The west needs a few years of moisture overload to recover from all the drought. That is such an awesome photo of Charlie "cheering" at the peak!

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    1. Yeah, this is really sad for this time of year. Last year we had WAY more snow. I haven't even gone skiing yet! -Alicia

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