This peak offers one of the best 360 views I've yet seen. An the northern end of the Sangre de Cristo's you get a great view of the Sangre's the S Sawatch, the S. Mosquito's and even Pikes Peak.
5.1 miles, 3100' gain
Conditions: few inches to a foot of snow (not bad at all), the road was quite passable with a good EXCEPT for a few hills where there was a sheet of ice under the snow.
I was originally planning on hiking closer to home, but as the N. half of the state had a very nasty forecast.I headed S. to the Sangres. After skimming trip reports decided to do Hunts Peak.
Driving through S Park on the way there
Way nicer near Antero Junction
Hunts Pk from Poncha Pass
To get there drive 4.75 miles S of Poncha Pass to a turn off on the left over a cattle guard (thanks to DHatfield trip report for this detail). From here follow the sings to Rock Creek. Up to the crossing of S Rock Creek the road wasn't bad at all. But around the creek crossing there was a sheet of ice under the snow.
follow the signs
road in the open
road in the tress
icy spot near the river crossing, basically a controlled slide
Where I have "trailhead" marked on the map is where another road heads up S Rock Creek, the 1st part of the trail actually a pretty rough 4x4 road. I was able to drive up it a little and save me a mile or so round trip (and about 500' in elevation gain). In the summer you could probably get up even further, but there is a large tree in the road (on the map).
Basically follow the road till a tight switch back and head straight up the hill ~1000' vertical (the road actually continues just a little further but doesn't get you much higher). Its a very steep climb to the ridge, but I don't think there's anyway around it.
heading up the hill to the ridge
looking down at the ridge
Once on the ridge the remainder of the route is obvious and Hunts Peak is in view (though over 1000' gain still left).
Hunts Peak from the Ridge
Up to reaching the top of the ridge it was nice enough for me to wear nothing but "fleece" gloves, a soft shell jacket and pants. The ridge itself was quite windy and I needed to add a hard shell jacket and pants and beefer gloves.
The views up top are AMAZING. Pictures are better than I can describe.
Looking N up the Arkansas Valley. Salida
Looking S down the Sangres
Pikes Peak in the distance
Buffalo Peaks (S end of the Mosquito Range)
Shavano and Antero
Driving out I took a different route (to avoid the river crossing), there unfortunately was a bit of ice this way too, and once you are out of the trees there is a lot of social trails to make finding your way out confusing.
My advice driving would be to come in the way I did but stop BEFORE the icy river crossing and leave the way you came. In the summer of course this wouldn't be an issue.