I got the idea for this hike from Gerry Roach's "Colorado's Fourteeners" book. I do like this website but if you enjoy hiking 14ers it would definitely be worth the 20 bucks to get this book. There are a lot more routes/alt routes and good insight from the author. Anyways, my cousin and my roommate set out for Buena Vista not quite sure about what peak we would be attempting. My roommate and I had just done the Belford/Oxford combo a couple days prior so I had no desire to spend more time in the Missouri Gulch any time soon. We left the Springs around 0500 and once at the 7-Eleven in Buena Vista we decided to go for the tour of Huron Peak. We got to the lower TH at 0730. At 0745 we set out for our adventure on and around Huron. Roach's book says that the turnoff for the alt route is 0.7 miles up from the start of the 2WD TH but it felt a little less than that, but I am not sure. The 4WD road splits with the left trail leading to the North Ridge and road straight ahead leads to the Northwest Slopes. We took a left here and started gaining altitude almost immediately.
took a left here
The trail is more like a worn down 4WD road. It switchbacks up for a little more than a mile then splits again. Again we took the left trail. We followed this very wide and obvious trail until it starting to switch back up the far left point on the visible ridge. These switchbacks lead up to PT 12,622.
PT 12,622 is to the far left
PT 12,622 in the picture above provide really nice views and you can also see the 2WD parking area from this point. We took a quick break here while my cousin and I waited for my roommate who had decided to try and climb his way up a big section of big loose rocks instead of taking the more efficient switchbacks. After about 10 minutes he came jogging over the ridge to join us. It took us 2 hours from the TH to reach PT 12,622. From this point we followed the top of the ridge line to Middle Mountain.
hiking up to Middle Mountain
Huron from Middle Mtn.
We gained the summit of Middle Mountain in about 20 minutes and decided not to go down and bag a smaller summit named Cross Mountain (12,889') and instead headed towards PT 13,462. Again it took 20-30 minutes to gain the summit. From PT 13,462 we took the ridge down to Brown's Peak.
Huron from Brown's Peak
From Brown's Peak the summit took us about an hour to reach. Both Brown's and PT 13,462 have really nice summit register's which are nicer than most of the 14er summit registers. This was a little surprising but cool nonetheless. After descending Brown's we went on to do a little scrambling in order to top PT 13,518. At this point in the day the last peak on the list was the 14er Huron Peak.
Huron from PT 13,518
Shortly after PT 13,518 the north ridge trail meets up with the standard trail and continues on to the summit. This was my cousin's first 14er, so I felt kinda bad roughin him up like this on his first time but he survived. Once we reached the northwest slope trail we made our final push and reached the summit after about 4.5 hours of hiking. After having done 4 other peaks that day this was a great way to finish.
Being able to share this time with family was really cool. Even after my 18th summit, these trips never get old, and seeing my cousin get his first 14er summit made it ever better. The trip down was nothing extraordinary. About halfway down my roommate Justin, aka "TopShelf" decided to do the rest of the hike down barefoot. This did not speed up the process by any means so we finished the route in about 8.0 hours. We all decided that we were glad to have done the north ridge because the northwest slope route did not seem to have the same great views that we had taken in all day. The picture below is a look back along the ridge line that we took to get to the summit of Huron.
The north ridge route is a pretty easy way to gain the ridge line and get a few 13ers in along the way. This hike was a lot of fun and I definitely suggest doing this route instead of the standard one. Thanks for reading!