Delta County Highpoint Trip Report

Mount Lamborn (11,396 ft)

Date: September 11, 2005
Author: Adam Helman

Note: All NAD27 UTM coordinates are in zone 13S.

This effort was part of a larger journey collecting Colorado county highpoints in early September 2005.


I employed the southern approach as described in Dave Covill and John Mitchler's guidebook to the Colorado county highpoints. Upon entering National Forest lands I found the first 0.5 mile of road to be passenger car accessible, leading to a broad flat area at the base of a prominent ridge.

The remaining 1.3 miles to the trailhead are not suitable for a passenger vehicle.

These 1.3 miles have several rocky portions, as well as sections with perennial wetness that require high clearance and/or gunning the engine to safely traverse. With my Toyota Tacoma I at times drove at just 2-3 m.p.h. over the rockiest sections to lower the tire puncture probability.


This is certainly a "classic" hike. Unfortunately I got lost, twice - once on ascent and once on descent ... remarkably, at the same point along FT890.

How could this be along a trail? Because it is not maintained and becomes quite narrow and indistinct at times. Evidently I mistook a side trail, heading east, for the correct trail about two miles into the climb and well before reaching Inter-Ocean Pass.

I realized my error on ascent by noting GPS-derived coordinates fully 400 meters east of where I ought to be. I bushwhacked north to the pass, having lost fifteen to thirty minutes and a lot of energy.

The summit rock outcrop was fun to surmount, having left my large daypack at its base.

On descent I suddenly found myself at what unfortunately appeared to be the same familar terrain I had come to, mistakenly, on the ascent. A GPS reading indicated I was all of twelve feet from that morning's errant waypoint 400 meters from nowhere proper. Yikes!

Logic dictated that I retrace my route until what I recognized as "afternoon features" changed over to "morning features" - at which point the wrong turn would be identified. Unfortunately this plan failed miserably since the terrain was a mess of soon forgotten, unremarkable meadow, brush, and aspen/poplar groves.

I took another GPS reading and noted that the correct path, as part of FT890, lay some 200 meters southwest according to my topo chart. I boldly marched headlong into the thickets, and nearly had my daypack ripped from the shoulders by the thickest brush. Upon exiting I immediately spotted the trail, or at least A trail, right in front of me. I took it south and all was then well with the day.


If you use the southern approach to Mount Lamborn be prepared for an additional 2.6 miles of thankless dirt road hiking, with much up-and-down repetitive motion, unless you have a capable vehicle and are willing to use that capability.

Ascent time was 3 hours 33 minutes. Elapsed time car-to-car was 7 hours 5 minutes - including getting lost twice; summit lunch; and all breaks.