Huron Peak - Northwest Slopes
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
(WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Even the "easy" 14ers (Quandary, Sherman, Grays & Torreys) can be deadly in winter.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
|Total Gain:||3,500 feet|
3,800 feet if you hike the road from Winfield
|RT Length:||6.5 miles|
10.75 miles if you hike the road from Winfield
|County Sheriff:||Chaffee: 719-539-2596
|National Forest:||San Isabel|
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.
From the trailhead (Photo #1), hike up through the forest for nearly 1/2 mile. Cross a small stream and ascend a bunch of switchbacks on a steep hillside. Near 11,700, there's an excellent view of The Three Apostles which includes Ice Mountain (13,951') - Photo #2. Near 11,900', the trail swings east as you approach a high basin, northwest of Huron - Photo #3. Exit the trees to reach the west side of the basin ( 38.95235° N, -106.44705° W) and continue east to its center, near 12,300' - Photo #4 and Photo #5.
Hike out of the basin (Photo #6) and onto Huron's upper slopes - Photo #7 and Photo #8. Continue to the crest of the north ridge ( 38.9484° N, -106.43788° W) (13,450'), 1/4 mile and 550' of elevation gain from the summit - Photo #9. Follow the trail west onto Huron's northwest face and ascend a steep, rocky pitch before returning (left) to the crest of the north ridge - Photo #10 and Photo #11. This steep section between 13,700' and 13,900' is the crux of the route and you may encounter trail erosion and multiple trail segments. Once you're back on the north ridge, walk up to the summit ( 38.945423° N, -106.438126° W) - Photo #12, Photo #13 and Photo #14.
The 2 mile drive up the road isn't too bad as long as your 4WD vehicle has good clearance and you take your time.
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