The towers of Lavender Peak

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The towers of Lavender Peak

A climb only for proven scramblers
Dave and Jodie Peterson start the downclimb from the east tower of Lavender Peak.
Two hikers walk along the precipitous cliff between Mount Moss and Lavender Peak. Hesperus Mountain is left of the towers of Lavender. Make the traverse to Lavender only if you are accomplished at Class 3-plus scrambling and comfortable with exposure.
Debra Van Winegarden, Sandy Hoagland and Thomas Ward celebrate on the west tower of Lavender Peak, perched on the edge of the vast reaches of the Colorado Plateau.
From the trailhead at elevation 9,880 feet, walk westerly up Forest Service Road 798 for almost two miles. Leave the road and ascend west off-trail into upper Tomahawk Basin. Climb steeply to gain the south ridge of Mount Moss. Scale north to the summit and then follow the ridge northwest to Lavender Peak. Contour below Mount Moss on your return to the south ridge.

The towers of Lavender Peak

Dave and Jodie Peterson start the downclimb from the east tower of Lavender Peak.
Two hikers walk along the precipitous cliff between Mount Moss and Lavender Peak. Hesperus Mountain is left of the towers of Lavender. Make the traverse to Lavender only if you are accomplished at Class 3-plus scrambling and comfortable with exposure.
Debra Van Winegarden, Sandy Hoagland and Thomas Ward celebrate on the west tower of Lavender Peak, perched on the edge of the vast reaches of the Colorado Plateau.
From the trailhead at elevation 9,880 feet, walk westerly up Forest Service Road 798 for almost two miles. Leave the road and ascend west off-trail into upper Tomahawk Basin. Climb steeply to gain the south ridge of Mount Moss. Scale north to the summit and then follow the ridge northwest to Lavender Peak. Contour below Mount Moss on your return to the south ridge.
Travel basics

Travel: From the U.S. Highway 160/550 intersection in Durango, travel 11.0 miles west on U.S. 160 to Hesperus. Turn right/north on La Plata Canyon Road, County Road 124. Zero-out your trip meter. After passing the hamlet of Mayday, the road turns to smooth dirt at 4.6 miles. In 8.5 miles the roadbed deteriorates with sharp, sizable rocks. Park at 10.6 miles, 9,880 feet. A two-wheel drive vehicle with good tires and moderate clearance should reach the trailhead. The hike goes west up Forest Service Road 798. With high clearance, four-wheel-drive lo, and considerable moxie and skill, it is possible to drive up the steep and rocky two-track 1.9 miles to 10,950 feet.


Distance and Elevation Gain: 8 miles and 3,800 feet of vertical from La Plata Canyon Road


Time: 6½ to 8 hours.


Difficulty: Four-wheel drive road, off-trail, steep slopes; navigation challenging; Class 3-plus scrambling; considerable exposure on the Lavender Peak towers


Map: La Plata, Colorado 7.5 Quad

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