Huron Peak

elevation: 4,268 m. height gain: 1,070 m.
area: Buena Vista, Colorado, USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Winfield, CO
         38106H4
2016-Sep-08


Ref: 14ers.com
high clearance required


The last 3.5 kilometers to the trailhead require a high clearance vehicle.
THE CLIMB
-North-west slopes class 2

Hike: RT 5.75; 2.75 up. My plan for today was to attempt Mounts Columbia and Harvard but Tim suggested I downscale a little, he figured I'd be too tired to complete the Ellingwood/LaPlata trip we'd been planning since last april; we were to climb it in two days! This was a legitimate concern, I had been going steady since I got here in Colorado and was starting to accumulate some fatigue. Following my arrival on august 30th, I had climbed 17 summits: ten 14ers and seven 13ers. I decided to hike up Huron Peak instead and this turned out to be a good decision, the outing was short and delightful. I drove to the Chaffee County 390 road, which is located roughly between Buena Vista and Leadville and continued towards the trailhead. After the ghost town of Winfield, I drove past the Huron Peak 4 wheel drive sign; I sure was glad to have a 4X4 pickup. The narrow road is rough in places and requires some care but I was mostly worried about meeting other vehicles. As I was heading up in late afternoon, of course I met other vehicles, luckily at convenient spots where I was able to move off to the side. At the trailhead, I prepared my pack for the following day and made my supper; the rest of the evening was spent writing with a glass of wine. This objective wasn't really demanding, I was looking forward to lollygagging my way up and down the mountain but I still left early to beat the crowds. The trail was very easy to follow, pleasant hiking ensued as I witnessed the sun rising on the mountains across the valley. Beyond treeline, the trail skirts a beautiful tarn in the alpine meadows; there was a thin layer of ice on it. I had a nice break there, the objective was in sight and it didn't seem far. A little further, the trail climbs the talus slopes towards the summit; a lot of work was spent building stairs out of rock. I enjoyed a casual ascent and once again, I reached the summit with nobody else in sight; it's been the theme on most of my ascents and I love it!! The view towards The Three Apostles is stunning and steals the show, I could also see numerous 14ers all around. The weather was fabulous, I stayed at the top for over an hour. I felt a bit nostalgic, my journey in CO was coming to an end... After much procrastination, I picked up my stuff and retraced my way down the mountain. I drove out to the historical town of Winfield without mishap and took pictures of the lovely buildings that remain. It was still early in the day, I slowly drove back to Leadville and hung out at the coffee shop. The apex of my trip awaited, Tim and I had been psyching ourselves for LaPlata Peak via the infamous Ellingwood Ridge for a long time; whoowee, couldn't wait!!!!!!!!

at the trailhead

At the trailhead.

sun rise across the valley

The sun rises across the valley as I reach treeline.

huron peak

Huron Peak comes into view.

frozen tarn

A thin layer of ice has formed on the small tarn in the meadows.

the tarn is a gem

The lovely tarn is a gem at the foot of the mountain.

lots of work in the trail

Lots of work has been invested in this trail.

very good trail


The very good trail leads to the summit close by.


finally in the sun


I'm finally in the sun as I near the top.


almost there


Almost there!


south-eastern view


South-eastern view with several 14ers in the far distance.


the apostles


The Three Apostles steal the show to the south, Ice Mountain (13,951') is the name of the tallest apostle in the middle.


south-western view


South-western view towards Taylor Reservoir, barely visible beyond the mountains.


i have the summit to myself


I have the summit all to myself, can't stop gawking at Ice Mountain's north face.


looking down


Looking down at the trailhead below.


more 14ers to the east


More 14ers to the east and a couple of 13ers in yellow!


view north


View north with some of Leadville's famous 14ers in red.


impressive laplata peak


Impressive LaPlata Peak (right), I fell in love with that 14er when I first saw it from Mount Elbert.


heading down


Heading down.


western view


Western view as I retrace my way to the tarn.


looking back


Looking back at Huron Peak from the thawed tarn.


on the drive out


On the drive out, not many places to pull off to the side...


ghost town of winfield


The tiny ghost town of Winfield was founded in 1881, the last ores (copper and silver) were hauled out in 1918.


historical site


This is a maintained historical site.
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