Peak(s):  Mount Darline (11,306)
Crater Peak (11,327)
Mount Hatten (11,310)
Date Posted:  12/03/2021
Date Climbed:   09/25/2021
Author:  IntrepidXJ
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 Highpoint of the Grand Mesa: Crater Peak   

Goodenough Reservoir Peaks: Mount Darline & Mount Hatten
Friday & Saturday, September 24-25, 2021

After spending a few days on the Green River earlier in the week, I would be leaving for a full week of exploration on the Colorado Plateau this upcoming Friday, so this weekend would be my last opportunity to get into the high country for some peak-bagging to finish off the summer season. I needed this to be a quick trip near home so I could be back by Saturday afternoon to start preparing for the upcoming trip to southern Utah next week, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to hike to the highest point on the Grand Mesa. Although I have already hiked to the old fire lookout on Leon Peak (11,236), which is the highest point in Mesa County and located on the Grand Mesa, Crater Peak (11,327) in Delta County is actually the highest point on the Grand Mesa.

I left after work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner and then headed up onto the Grand Mesa via Delta and then followed the road up along Leroux Creek. The fall colors were on full display during the drive, even if it was a bit smoky out. I then turned right and followed the rough road up to Goodenough Reservoir where I could see all three peaks that I planned to climb on Saturday morning. There was already a hunter’s camp set up near the end of the road, so I drove back down a little way and found a different place to spend the night.

This was my first view of Crater Peak when I made it to Goodenough Reservoir. As you can see, the reservoir is very low.

Goodenough Reservoir & Crater Peak

Dogfish Reservoir below was completely dried up.

Empty Reservoir

Mount Darline (11,306) over Goodenough Reservoir

Mount Darline over Goodenough Reservoir

An eveing view of Mount Hatten (11,310) as I headed back down the road in search of a campsite.

Mount Hatten Evening

I woke up before sunrise on Saturday morning and then drove back up to Goodenough Reservoir at the end of the road. It was about 33 degrees out and the puddles of water in the road had a thin layer of ice on top of them.

The magenta color in the sky was looking nice during the early morning drive.

Hillside Color

Just as the sun was coming up I started hiking around the reservoir on my way to the summit of Mount Darline first. Once I left the edge of the reservoir and started climbing the ridge to the summit the hike was mostly in the trees with a lot of deadfall and no trails to follow, plus there were a couple of boulder fields to cross.

The remains of an old cabin or structure near the reservoir.

Cabin Remains

Mount Hatten at sunrise reflected on the low water of the reservoir.

Mount Hatten Reflection

Dogfish “Reservoir”

Dogfish Reservoir

From the summit of Mount Darline I had a nice view of Crater Peak and Mount Hatten, my next two objectives for the morning.

High Peaks of the Grand Mesa

There was a smoky view of the West Elks in the other direction.

Smoky West Elks

Crater Peak from Mount Darline

Crater Peak from Mount Darline

Mount Lamborn and Landsend Peak were visible to the south.

Lamborn & Landsend

From the summit of Mount Darline I followed the ridge over to Crater Peak. Most of the hike was in the trees again, but it got a little more interesting as I neared the summit.

Rocky Ridge

Looking back down the ridge to Mount Darline.

Mount Darline

The final rocky climb to the summit Crater Peak reminded me a lot of Leon Peak. It was a choose-your-own-adventure up large boulders while trying to avoid the moving ones.

Crater Peak

On the summit of Crater Peak, the highest point on the Grand Mesa.

Crater Peak Summit

Crater Peak Benchmark

Crater Peak Benchmark

The view from Crater Peak to Goodenough and Dogfish Reservoirs below.

Crater Peak View

Looking the other direction to Chalk Mountain and Overland Reservoir, which also looked pretty dry.

Edge of the Crater

Next I followed the ridge from Crater Peak to Mount Hatten, which was mostly in the trees again. At least this time I had an occasional game trail to follow, which made things a little easier.

Ridge To Hatten

I had to be careful on the final climb to the summit since it was pretty steep and loose.

Final Climb

On the summit of Mount Hatten.

On Top of Mount Hatten

The view from the summit over Elk Park.

Mount Hatten Summit

I returned from the summit the same way I had climbed up and then hiked straight down the south face back to Goodenough Reservoir and my Jeep at the trailhead to create a loop.

Leaving Mount Hatten

It was a nice way to spend a brisk fall morning and to end my summer season in the high country!

>> Crater Peak Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.co




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