Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
Browns Pk  -  13,523 feet
Date Posted:  09/28/2008
Date Climbed:   09/27/2008
Author:  emcee smith

 Tour de Huron  

Huron Trip Report
Browns Peak, Huron Peak
8.1 miles; 3,960 feet elevation gain member Don Eberl and I decided to try to get out at least once more before much snow fell; we decided on Huron. We met in Denver at 4:45am and reached the trailhead at about 7:45 am. As we walked up the dirt road, we were treated with incredible views of the aspens across the valley.

View of the aspens to the north

We decided that we would take the left fork of the 4WD road and attempt both Browns and Huron Peaks. Shortly after turning left, we were passed by a tow truck, apparently there was a car stuck further up the road (right on the 11,400' junction). Note: on the way back, way above us on the west side of the ridge to Browns Peak we saw a vehicle that looked like it slid off the road and was hanging off the side of the mountain.

Once we got into Lulu Gulch, there were a few faint roads/trails that went up into the gulch, but we stayed on the main road. It is fairly easy to see where the road turns sharply to the north and where you need to head up into the valley.

Looking back into Lulu Gulch from farther up on the road. You can see just to the left of the talus where a faint trail cuts off from the main road. Stick to the road.

Looking up into the valley, it is tough to see an obvious route to get up the slope, I think you just choose a gully and go for it.

We elected to ascend this gully, the first one up the gulch from the road. It was steep, but generally good footing.

Don ascending the gulch

Looking back into the gulch from the upper part of the gully

Note in the previous picture, the switchbacks that go up the right side of the photo. Especially from Browns peak, it looks like we could have stayed on the road, up the switchbacks. There were some visible trails on the ridge from Middle Mountain all the way to the saddle of Browns and Point 13,462. Would have added mileage, but looked to have been an easy walk.

Above the gulch is another little basin below the saddle between Browns and Point 13,462. It looks like you could climb directly up the NE slopes of Browns, but we elected to walk up to the saddle and ascend the ridge. From the basin, it looks like the saddle is an indirect route, but from the saddle it reveals to be almost a direct shot.

From the saddle, looking at the formidable east side of Huron.

Looking up the ridge to Browns

Don reaching the top of Browns (10:45am), with Belford and Missouri in the background

Looking back into Lulu gulch from the top of Browns, showing the sharp turn in the road and the switchbacks up toward Middle Mountain. Less visible are the trails along the ridge toward us.

Our first good look at the connecting ridge between Browns and Huron. The route on the upper portion of Huron looks steep from here.

Don about halfway across the connecting ridge

As you can see from the previous photo, Don brought his dog on the hike. The connecting ridge was a little rough for Sadie, but Don only had to help/guide her once on the ridge. Other than that, she did fine. I think that either this route or the standard route is a good dog route, as the trails are mostly dirt (except this connecting ridge)

Near Point 13,518, looking up at Huron and the weather starting to form

Once you get past Point 13,518, you could contour across to rejoin the standard trail, or continue up the ridge a bit to a point where the ridge joins the standard trail, at the bend in the ridge in the right center of the previous photo. Very good trail at this point, so we stayed high.

The last bit of the standard trail seemed tough. Could be that we were both losing our summer fitness, or could be the previous hiking. By 12:00 pm, we reached the summit, and had it to ourselves.

Don reaching the summit of Huron

Looking back along the ridgeline showing the saddle of Browns/Point 13,462 and the Browns/Huron ridge.

We didn't stay on the summit for long, as weather was moving in. We followed the standard route down, so not many photos of that part.

A very well constructed section of the trail that looked very like a staircase. Thanks volunteers!

Looking back at the Apostles, from near tree line

The previous photo also marked the approximate location of our first contact with people since we saw the tow truck on road. This was a very isolated hike. From Browns, we could see about a dozen folks on Huron, but by the time we got to the standard trail, they were all below us.

Don walking back on the trail below tree line

Looking at the Aspens along Clear Creek

Aspens along CR 390

Overall, I thought Huron was a good hike. Taking the alternate route up to Browns peak was fun, the connecting ridge was an enjoyable, easy way to spend the morning. The standard trail is perhaps the easiest, gentlest trail I have been on.

The views from the summit were spectacular, and this was probably the easiest summit that looked like the toughest summit I have been on. In other words, the summit looks tough, but had a very easy trail to it.

Since we didn't ascend the standard route, I couldn't say for sure, but the only negative could be looking up at Huron once you get into the upper basin on the west side of Huron/Browns, as the trail seems very long looking up from that point.

Thanks for reading.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Great TR
11/30/2010 17:20
In fact, the best I've seen on this route. Looks like it was 4:15 to the summit. Did you guys take any significant breaks? I intended to do it in August, but got a late start and opted for the standard. The route up from Browns looked like a steep finish from the summit of Huron. As it turned out, of course, the weather couldn't have held better. Maybe next time.

emcee smith

09/28/2008 18:38
The 4 hours to the summit was mostly due to me being out of shape and 3 weeks off from hiking. We also were stopping to take a lot of pictures, and since it may be one of the last warm days, I don‘t think that we were in any big hurry.

The connecting ridge was very easy. I don‘t recall any real steep parts, but we did bypass some of the points.

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