Tomahawk Basin

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
class 3; 6 miles/3300' gain round-trip

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Tomahawk Basin
Created On: Jul 23, 2005
Last Edited On: Sep 21, 2005


Start the hike at the Tomahawk Basin trailhead on CR 124. See main page of Lavender Peak for directions.

Route Description

Topo by John Kirk

This route heads west up Tomahawk Basin to attain the Babcock-Moss saddle, then contours west of Mt Moss to Lavender Peak.

From the Tomahawk Basin trailhead on CR 124(approx 9900’), proceed up the 4WD Tomahawk Mine road. At 10800’, the road splits, and either branch can be used. For a more direct route, take the left branch to its end, then follow a faint trail west until it rejoins the right branch. Alternatively, follow the right branch as it switchbacks up the basin.

At a sharp switchback at 11100’, leave the road and follow a loose trail west up a steep slope. (The road continues switchbacking up to the north.)A large rusty pipeline may be found here. Continue west as the trail disappears and note a waterfall at 11500’. Bypass the waterfall on its right and continue west into upper Tomahawk Basin. The jagged Babcock-Moss ridge(12800’) now comes into view. Resist any temptation to head up the scree slopes to the north. These slopes lead to Moss’ east ridge, which is not easily climbed.

The Babcock-Moss ridge may be reached at any of several notches. Grassy slopes provide easy access to the southernmost notches. The northernmost notch is closest to the summit of Lavender, but requires a slog up loose talus. Once at the ridge, head north, bypassing the southern buttress of Mt Moss on its west side.

Mt Moss, 13192’, may be bypassed on its west side to reach the Moss-Lavender saddle. Contouring around Moss requires negotiating a loose slope of talus. Use caution – rolling stones have gathered on Moss! For a more stable hike, ascend Moss’ summit and then descend northwest to the Moss-Lavender saddle. This bonus summit adds only 200’ gain and yields excellent views.

From the saddle, aim for the notch below Lavender’s twin summits. The route is class 2 to this point, but a short scramble is required to reach the notch. From the notch, easy scrambling gains the twin summits.

Essential Gear

When the mountain is free of snow, no special gear is necessary. During snow conditions, ice axe, crampons, snowshoes and rope may be needed to reach the summit. Avalanche awareness is needed to ascend Tomahawk Basin during winter conditions.

Miscellaneous Info

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