Lulu Gulch 13er Loop
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Trailhead:Clear Crk./S.Winfield
Start:10,300 feet
Summit:13,523 feet
Total Gain:4,100 feet
RT Length:8.5 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:11/2017
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:4 reports
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Trailhead

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road.
From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road.
On the 390 road (dirt), drive 11.8 miles to Winfield. Turn left and measure from here. Drive 0.1 mile to reach the lower, 2WD trailhead on the left. After 0.4 mile, the road gets rugged and narrow (4WD required). After 0.7 mile, stay right at a junction. After 1.7 miles, the Banker Mine road is to the left - stay straight on the main road and continue to the end, at 2.1 miles. The trail starts past the parking area.

Route

The round-trip mileage indicated on this route is based on a start at the parking spots near 10,300', just below where the 390 road turns to 4WD'. Do not park at the junction of the 390 and Lulu Gulch 4WD roads because there are no pull-offs. Depending on where you parked, walk up the 390 road between 0.3 and 0.7 miles to reach the Lulu Gulch road junction - 1. Turn left and zig zag up the rough road ( 2) for nearly 1.5 miles and 1,000' of elevation to reach a point where the road swings east into Lulu Gulch - 3. Near 11,600', you'll break out of the trees and get a good look at your loop route - 4. Follow the road left across the creek, through some trees and to a switchback, near 11,900' - 5 and 6. Take a good look at the area to the southeast because this switchback is a good location to aim for on your descent, if you take the descent shortcut described later in the route. Walk north up the road - 7. As you go higher, you'll notice the road becomes more faint due to years of erosion. Continue to 12,600' to reach the ridge crest and the end of the road - 8 and 9.

Turn southwest and follow a faint trail up Middle Mountain's northwest ridge - 10. Bypass the top of a false summit on the right before regaining the ridge and walking over to the summit of Middle - 11. That was easy. Now you can can see the remaining route to the south - 12. Walk south off of Middle Mountain and follow the ridge toward ranked, Unnamed 13,462'. Drop to a saddle and gain approximately 400' before passing a false summit - 13. Continue past another, smaller false summit ( 14) to reach to top of Unnamed 13,462' - 15. For the third and final 13er, Browns Peak, walk southwest from Unnamed 13,462' and follow the ridge toward Browns - 16 and 17. From the ~13,200-foot saddle between the two peaks, walk nearly 400' up Browns' east ridge to reach the summit - 18 and 19.

From Browns, you could continue over to 14er Huron Peak and descend Huron's standard route but this route assumes you're only after the 13ers. Return to the Browns-Unnamed 13,462' saddle and drop left (north) into a hanging basin, above Lulu Gulch - 20 and 21. To avoid and ugly descent into the southwest end of Lulu Gulch, walk north across the flats to reach a more-stable gully, on the west side of Middle Mountain - 22. Descend the gully ( 23) and return to that 11,900-foot switch back on the road - 6.

Notes

None
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Topo

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