Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
Date Posted:  06/13/2009
Modified:  10/29/2011
Date Climbed:   06/12/2009
Author:  unclegar
 Huron Hermit  

Huron Peak – North Ridge from Clear Creek – June 12, 2009 – unclegar

My wife and I had planned on staying with relatives in Bailey and my wife was going to visit while I hiked the following day. I was thinking of climbing Yale but after looking at trip reports, etc. decided not to do it alone. I thought that was the end of climbing this week, but then my brother-in-law suggested Huron. I checked into it and it looked pretty good so off to Bailey it was.

The next morning I headed for Winfield. I have done Missouri, Oxford and Belford and have always heard of Winfield but really wasn't sure what it was. As it turns out, it looked like a small village of what must be historic buildings.


Next was the 4-wheel drive trail. I was in a CRV so it has AWD but not great clearance.

4-wheel drive road to Huron TH from Winfield

How bad could it be? I'll just say I went beyond my comfort zone over and over by crossing the small streams and passing over large rocks in the road that tested the clearance of the CRV and finally decided to stop before some large mud pits in the road. I had visions of the CRV planted in the mud with no cell phone coverage and no way to get it out. I backed up, parked under a tree, and hiked the rest of the road, which I believe was about .7 mi. to the TH. I parked the car at 7:40 and arrived at the sign-in box just past the beginning of the trail at 8:20.


The trail began with switchbacks that were completely clear of snow.


I reached the log bridge but opted to hop across the rocks in the stream since the log was covered in a sheet of ice.


It was a beautiful day with nice views everywhere.

View from lower switchbacks

Snow began completely overtaking the trail in a few spots around 11550'. Most of the trail was just dusted though and the snow was easily skirted. I also began noticing tracks in the snow. Up to this point I had assumed I was the sole Huron hermit hiker of the day since there were no vehicles at the TH. Soon after I noticed the tracks, I met a hiker and his dog coming down from an early start.

Trail at around 11550'

The Apostles looked pretty majestic around 11700'.

Apostles and Ice Mtn

The trail was covered with shallow snow through the upper portion of the woods, but still no problem with just boots.

Trail in upper woods

Just after leaving the woods around 11950' the trail was back to dirt for a short time.

Trail after leaving woods

Back to shallow snow on the trail, Huron came into view.

Three Apostles again

The trail straightened out as it went up a hill just before the basin. This is where I met another hiker on his way down.

Just before the basin with Browns Peak ahead

At the top of the hill (about 12300') I stopped and put on gaiters to prepare for the basin.

The basin with tracks (and some posthole tracks)

I was able to make it across the basin with minimal postholing by treading lightly. I followed the tracks to stairs and switchbacks on the other side. Just above the stairs I met the third and final hiker I would see descending on this day. Now I truly was the Huron hermit.

Trail on far side of basin

After following the trail until it turned toward Huron, it disappeared into the snow. Now footprints in the snow were the only trail to follow. Some traction devices might be helpful here, but I never used any.

Footprints in the snow

This is looking back down the trail toward a large cairn. On the way down I had great fun glissading this area using an ice ax for speed control. I had never done this before.

I continued following the footprints until they disappeared due to the high winds.

Higher on the trail

At this point I should have continued toward the ridge ahead but instead circled toward the right hoping to avoid climbing a false summit. Convinced it wasn't a false summit above since there was no higher peak (or peak at all) over the ridge, I climbed straight up to get to the top of Huron. The snow was pretty deep toward the top and the winds were high and cold.

I arrived at the summit at 11:45. Views from the top were pretty amazing. It was one of those times when I sit and marvel at the awesome Creator of it all.

View from the top

As I started down, I was able to follow tracks down that followed the ridge more closely.

Looking back up at the tracks from the summit.

This was looking back up near the top. Glad I didn't walk over to that area to take pictures!

After again crossing the basin I found once again that I really was not the Huron hermit.

I got back to the trail sign-in box exactly 6 hours after leaving it. A long walk back to the car and another crazy drive on a 4-wheel road meant for real 4-wheel vehicles and I was on my way home. It was a beautiful and satisfying day. Hope this helps to show current trail conditions.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Time off?
06/02/2011 14:57
Congratulations on this climb! I want to get on this one soon. Can't wait to see the views in person. This report should prove very helpful. Wondering about camping out up here around the trail head.

George Kaplan

Excellent Report!
06/14/2009 14:00
Great job documenting the conditions up there. I‘m going to have to give this one a go sometime soon.


Good Job!
06/15/2009 02:50
Sounds like you had good weather. Glad you had such an enjoyable day. Nice pics!


Thanks all
06/15/2009 17:03
Not sure about camping. I believe there are sites along the 4-wheel drive road and some back in Winfield. Since I don‘t usually camp, I‘m sure others could answer that better.


Camping beta, etc
06/16/2009 20:59
Nice report...wish I‘d seen it before we climbed on Sunday! I would definitely recommend traction devices for the last 500 vertical feet or so...with the high winds I didn‘t feel secure at all since the rain the night before had created a slick top layer that was hard to kick steps into. Though, you can stay on rock patches almost all the way to the top and pretty much circumvent the snow climb if you want to. My climbing partners said it was perfect glissade conditions too (I didn‘t partake myself). Snow will definitely be there for a couple more weeks though I would think.

As far as camping, there are tons of good spots, all with fire pits and flat tent spaces, along the 4WD road. We got up it no problem in a stock Off Road edition Xterra. We stayed at one about .4 miles from the trailhead that is up a short little steep drive on the left as you‘re driving in. Perfect spot under some large pines sheltered from wind and rain and overlooking the valley! Enjoy...its gorgeous up there!

George Kaplan

Thanks again!
06/16/2009 22:39
I put your information to good use and summitted myself today. The trail is pretty much snow-free now until you reach the basin, and even the basin is showing grassy patches. Ditto on mountaineer47‘s description on the higher portion. I hiked up without traction devices, but put them on for the descent. I got a couple of glissades in. Summitted about 10:00 AM and managed to get back down without post-holing. SCORE!


glad to hear this helped
11/30/2010 17:28
mountaineer47 - Thanks for the camping update and clarification. It looked like there were good spots but I wasn't sure. I didn't bring any traction devices or I would have used them too. I was able to kick steps when needed though.

George - Thanks for the trail update and glad to hear you made some glissades. I only postholed a few times and then it wasn't too deep, so I feel fortunate considering how late it was. By the way, does it alway hurt your butt to glissade?

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