In southwestern Utah, several prominent peaks rise out of an already-elevated plateau, forming the third-highest range in the state. With three summits exceeding 12,000-feet, the Tushars are even taller than the Wasatch. Drivers along I-15 or I-70 can see snowy peaks on the horizon, but few venture off the highways to explore this solitary mountain range.
In fact, many Utah natives have never even heard of the Tushars, despite their size. To the peakbagger, however, these summits beckon. Delano Peak is the tallest in the range at 12,169 feet, and is the highpoint of both Beaver and Piute counties.
The other two 12ers are nearby and clearly visible from Delano's summit. These are Mount Baldy (12,090 feet) and Mount Belknap (12,119 feet), which are formidable talus-covered peaks, but Delano is actually a relatively moderate climb. This remnant volcano has eroded favorably over time into a rounded dome, covered in grass and wildflowers all the way to the top.
There is no established trail up Delano, but there are multiple route options. Detailed below are three that each offer something different in the way of difficulty, distance, and scenery. Choose the best route for you based on your fitness level and what kind of hike you prefer. They all begin from FR 123/Paiute Trail 01. Starting points are noted below in terms of mileage along FR 123 beginning from its southern end at Highway 153.
The easiest and longest route up has the least elevation gain, but it requires the most mileage both hiking and driving. A major bonus, however, is the unparalleled scenery all along this rounded ridge. FR 123 is the highest maintained road in the state, and this route starts from near its crest. Park at a locked gate about 8 miles from UT-153 where you can see the top of the ridge and a weather station. Walk around the gate and continue up the road to the ridge and take it all the way to the top, heading south.
This is the most moderate route. Start from where Griffith Creek crosses the road at mile 4.9. From here, simply bushwack uphill until you gain the grassy slopes. Follow whatever faint trails you can find, keeping an eye out for rock cairns along the way. Just head generally uphill and avoid the steepest slopes. Remember the way you came, because returning to the car requires more careful route finding.
This starts from where Poison Creek crosses the road at mile 5.8. Follow the right fork of the drainage up onto the mountain's steep northwest slopes and pick out the path of least resistance through a short cliffband. Once you have surmounted this obstacle, it's a more gradual gradient to the summit.