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The Nat Geo Buena Vista map covers the Gunnison and San Isabel national forests, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt Oxford, Columbia, Belford, Harvard, Yale, Missouri Mountain and Huron Peak.

Gary Roach colorados fourteeners
Colorado's Fourteeners, by Gary Roach, is considered by many to be the bible for Colorado's 14ers. Besides the often-climbed standard routes, the guide describes many alternative and technical routes, making it the best book for climbers and hikers of all skill levels.

Huron Peak

Trail Features: Outstanding views Huron Peak view of Three Apostles
Trail Location: Clear Creek / South Winfield Trailhead
Roundtrip Length: 11.0 Miles
Trailhead Elevation: 10,560 Feet
Total Elevation Gain: 3800 Feet
Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 691 Feet
Highest Elevation: 14,003 Feet
Trail Difficulty Rating: 18.60 (strenuous)
Parking Lot Latitude 38.983097
Parking Lot Longitude -106.441124

Trail Description:

The main route to the summit of Huron Peak begins from the Clear Creek / South Winfield Trailhead. To reach the trailhead, drive westbound on Chaffee County 390 off U.S. Highway 24. This junction is roughly 20 miles south of Leadville, and 14.5 miles north of Buena Vista. Once on Chaffee County 390, a 2WD dirt road, drive 11.8 miles to the Winfield Ghost Town. After making a left turn, just past the old mining town, the parking area for 2WD vehicles is roughly 0.1 miles away. From here the road gets progressively worse, and will require a 4WD vehicle to proceed further. The trailhead is located just past the main parking area, roughly 2.1 miles from Winfield.

view-huron-peakThe mileage listed above assumes you'll be parking in the 2WD lot. If you have a vehicle that can make it all the way to the trailhead the roundtrip hike is only 6.75 miles, with a climb of roughly 3500 feet.

Located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area of the San Isabel National Forest, Huron Peak lies along the western edge of the Sawatch Range. Topping out at an elevation of "only" 14,003 feet, Huron Peak is ranked 52nd in height among all 53 fourteeners in Colorado. The only other 14,000-foot peak with a lower elevation is Sunshine Peak in the San Juan Mountains.

The mountain didn't receive its official name from the U.S. Geological Survey until 1956. There's some dispute, however, about the origins of that name. It was either named for a mine that may have been in the area at one point, or possibly for the Huron Indian Tribe.

The trek to the summit of Huron Peak is pretty much a steady climb all the way to the top. The only respite from the climbing comes near the half-way point, along the basin just below the summit. While passing through the basin, at an elevation of roughly 12,250 feet, you'll have commanding views of 13,523-foot Browns Peak off to your left. Huron Peak will be directly in front of you. Your route to the summit will follow the ridge line on the left side of the mountain from this vantage point.

The last section to the summit is a little rugged in places, but nothing too daunting. There is some mild exposure along some sections above the basin area, but nothing that would be considered exceedingly dangerous. As with any steep hiking in the Rocky Mountains, I would highly recommend bringing trekking poles to help with balance while crossing rocky terrain, especially during windy conditions.

view from huron peak

The views from the summit are quite stunning, to say the least. Most prominently are the commanding views of the Three Apostles towards the south. Looking from left to right, the three thirteen-thousand foot peaks are; North Apostle, Ice Mountain and West Apostle:

the three apostles

Hikers should always be aware of lightning risk while hiking in the Rocky Mountains, especially at higher elevations. As a general rule of thumb you should plan to be off the summit before noon in order to avoid the notorious afternoon thunderstorms that frequent the mountains during the summer months. Hikers should also be prepared for a variety of weather conditions while on the trail. Make sure you have the proper gear with you, and know what safety precautions you should consider beforehand.

Additional information:

* San Isabel National Forest