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Huron Peak Summit Trail
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mini location map2021-09-20
15 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
photographer avatar
 
Huron Peak Summit TrailNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2021
LindaAnn
Hiking6.38 Miles 3,133 AEG
Hiking6.38 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.23 mph
3,133 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Left the hotel in Buena Vista with nice temps, but there were heavy clouds to the west and it was very windy. It started raining within a mile of getting on the highway, got progressively colder, and the rain turned to sleet. Once on the dirt road, the rain/sleet continued off and on. The road is well graded at first, but gets rough after a few miles, slow going. The last few miles to the trailhead are recommended high clearance 4wd, and since it was wet, the 4wd was needed.

Started hiking just before sunrise. Temp at the start was about 35. This trail is almost like two different hikes. The first half is in the trees and is just a trail switchbacking steeply uphill. Easy to follow, with good footing, some tree roots. You don't actually get a glimpse of Huron until almost a mile and a half into the hike. The trees shielded most of the wind, but it kept getting colder.

Once above the treeline, the next half of the hike has some great views. The trail gets rockier, and steeper after a short, somewhat level section. This is where the snow on the ground started, at first just a dusting, then coating the trail above 12500', continually getting deeper. The winds were very strong, enough to where the gusts would knock you off balance. The clouds added some nice drama, but views were limited at times, still very pretty though. As the trail headed steeply up the north side of the peak, it was fairly easy hiking through the snow, but as the trail shifted around more to the west side of the peak, the wind became awful. At this point, the snow was a good 4-5" deep and was coating the trail, which was quite steep and rocky at this point, and it was difficult to tell which rocks were loose and which were solid. The sustained wind was enough to prevent most from standing upright without losing balance. I don't mind snow, and I don't mind wind, but both together with probably a single digit wind chill was a bit much. Everything in my pack--water, sunblock, eye drops, food, etc. was freezing. The wind was constantly drying my contacts, but I couldn't put drops in to re-wet them, so that was annoying. Just above 13,700' and about 1/4 mile from the summit, I decided I had gotten good enough pictures for the day and decided to turn around.

Once below the worst of the snow, the hike back down was easy and went by quickly. I know one guy made it to the summit ahead of me, but I passed several people on the way down who had already turned around. I think a couple more groups I chatted with likely summited, but it seemed like most were discouraged by the wind. It was starting to get sunny by the time I finished, but the wind was still strong.

Definitely a pretty hike, and not a particularly difficult 14er, just steep. In good weather, I think my kids would like this one, we may try it in a year or two.
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