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 Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
 Post Date:  11/10/2013 Modified: 11/19/2013
 Date Climbed:   11/10/2013
 Posted By:  Dobbs77

 Beautiful Fall Day On Huron Peak's North Ridge     

I decided over the recent Veteran's Day holiday to take advantage of the good weather forecast and hike up probably the easiest 14er in the Sawatch Range, the 14,003 foot Huron Peak. I figure that such great weather is going to be a rare occurrence over the next few months as winter sets in, so I best take advantage of it while I had time available. There are a few ways up Huron Peak, but I decided to take the standard trail from the Clear Creek trailhead that travels up the mountain's North Ridge. Here is a Topo map I made of my hike up the mountain using my Garmin Fenix GPS:



Here is an elevation map for Huron Peak:



I wanted to get an early start on the mountain so I could get back to Colorado Springs in time to watch the Broncos game that afternoon. So I left my home in Springs at 2AM and arrived at the two-wheel drive trailhead by 5AM. The two-wheel drive trailhead is located at the ghost town of Winfield. From Winfield the road continues up Clear Creek Gulch to the actual trailhead for Huron Peak. However, just a short distance up the road from Winfield it is covered in a huge ice sheet which I was not going to risk damaging my vehicle on to save a few miles on this hike. So I parked at the campground adjacent to Winfield and hiked up the road from there. The below picture was taken later in the day and gives an idea of how icy the road was:



It was pitch black as I hiked the 2 miles up the valley on the icy road to the trailhead. There is a big bulletinboard that designates the trailhead for Huron Peak that is impossible to miss. From the trailhead the trail switchbacks through the treeline and was snowpacked the entire way. The below picture also taken later in the day shows the trail conditions within treeline:



As the sun began to rise in the sky I had my first views of the surrounding mountains. The early morning views were incredible with this peak which I believe is the 13,281 foot Grizzly Peak being the most prominent mountain I could initially see from the trail:



Eventually I ascended high enough up the mountain that I began to have my first views of the impressive Three Apostles that are three rugged 13ers that rise near Huron Peak:



As I hiked above treeline I then had my first views of Huron Peak as well:



Below the final approach to Huron Peak I had to cross a large basin that had some areas of deep snow. Compared to the postholing I had to do back in September during my hike up Redcloud Peak this was nothing. Here is the view of the basin from the ridgeline up above:



Gaiters were definitely useful here as the snow in some areas reached my knees. Once across the basin the trail then switchbacked towards the connecting ridgeline that led to the summit of the mountain:



The final hike to the summit was steeper and slicker than I expected so I was glad I had my spikes on. However, I made it to the summit of Huron Peak without too much difficulty around 9:00 AM:



I have read before that the summit of Huron Peak had one of the best views of the Sawatch Range and I agree. It reminded me some what of the view from Handies Peak which has a 360 degree view of mountains. Huron Peak also has a 360 degree view of mountains, but the Sawatch Range just does not have the rugged scenic beauty of the San Juans. Here are panoramas I took from the summit using my iPhone:





It was definitely a beautiful view and worth the effort to get to the summit. I spent about 10-15 minutes on the summit when my toes started to go numb. This was my cue that I needed to get moving to raise my body temperature again. This was unfortunate because the summit of Huron is definitely one of those peaks worth lounging around on for a while to eat lunch and enjoy the views. I will definitely come back here sometime and hike this peak during the summer months. From the summit I made good time back down to the trailhead. From there I just had to make the two mile walk back to my truck. It was nice to see Clear Creek Gulch in the sunlight during the walk back because the valley was really stunning:



I made it back to my truck by noon which means I completed this 11 mile round-trip hike from the two-wheel drive trailhead in just under 7 hours. Something that surprised me during this hike was that I saw no one on the trail the entire day. I literally had the mountain all to myself. I have now hiked 16 different 14ers this year and this is the first one I hiked where I saw absolutely no one else on the trail. I literally had the mountain to myself the entire day. I guess a lot of hikers stay home on Sundays to watch the Broncos play instead of doing what I did and just get an early start to get back in time to watch the game. Kick off for the Broncos games was at 2:25 PM so I knew I was going to be a bit late to watch the game, but I have satellite radio in my truck to listen to the game until I got home. As it turned out I was home in time to see the 2nd Quarter. All in all it was a good day where I completed another 14er, got some good exercise, enjoyed some great views, and even got back in time to watch the Broncos put a beat down on the Chargers. I think there are few ways to have more fun than I had on a Autumn Sunday in Colorado.

Note: For those interested you can see more pictures from my hike up Huron Peak over on my blog. Thanks for reading!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
Jay521


Nice...     2013-11-20 12:50:09
Nice first TR - hope to see more from you!


flatlander51

What a difference     2013-12-10 19:46:16
I really enjoyed the pictures of your trip report. What a difference from when I did it in early September sans snow! I have to agree with you though, the views from the summit are incredible.



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