Dan and I hiked Huron Peak on September 27, 2016. I really enjoyed this one – fall colors + a relatively easy ascent made for a great half-day hike.
- Round Trip: 6.5 miles
- Start elevation: 10,560 feet
- End elevation: 14,003 feet
- Elevation gain: 3,500 feet
- Difficulty: 2nd class
- Trail head: Clear Creek/South Winfield Trail head (4WD road to this TH – approximately 2.1 miles from Winfield).
We drove in around 6 PM the evening before. Driving on route 390 was incredibly great for me and maybe really annoying for Dan because I got out of the car 24 times to take pictures and he was most likely thinking I’M HUNGRY PLEASE LET’S GO BEFORE DARKNESS BEFALLS US. But he was supportive of my aspiring photographer/fall-color-hungry-ness and waited while I snapped some pictures.
After turning south at Winfield we drove for about 20 more minutes over a pretty rough road. We reached a sweet spot to have a campfire and sleep in our car:
We woke up late for our normal hiking protocol – around 7 AM. And then we were scared of how cold it was (30 degrees? Hah) and didn’t get going until 8:30 AM. But the weather looked spectacular all day and it was a shorter hike so let’s throw caution to the wind!!!
I really liked Huron because it’s short so you “peak bag” (blech, that felt gross) quickly, it’s a relatively gentle gradient through a beautiful forest for the first 1/2 of the hike, and we got FALL COLOR VIEWS. WEE!!
We also saw approximately 8 people the entire time, which was in stark contrast to the 150 people and 150 dogs we saw last time.
We reached our turn-around spot from last time, paid our respects to past-Ashley + Dan + friends getting chased off, and then continued. Onward!
The last section of the hike switch backs up the steep rocky field that is characteristic of these mountains. Nothing special there. But the top! The top is always beautiful but then weave in ribbons of gold and red along the rugged mountains and I feel like everything is right in the world. Or really, that there is nothing else in the world, just Dan + me + the present. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels full, whole when they are in nature and that is what brings them back over and over again.
We chatted with two different groups at the top. Ie, we lingered at the top for about an hour. That almost never happens – usually the cold 50 mph wind or impending thunderstorms chase us off. Not this day. This day we ate our cheese and crackers in a leisurely fashion.
While we enjoyed talking with our newfound West Virginia friends at the top, THEY TOOK A BLURRY SUMMIT PICTURE OF US. DAMMIT. Good thing we took a backup selfie or else we would have to hike it again to get the proper picture for our future “we hiked all the 14ers” collage. I’m not really kidding.
So after taking our sweet ole time we started the hike back down.
That afternoon we drove close to the Missouri Mountain trailhead and camped. Route 390 is the place to go for camping – free, clean, and beautiful. And many of the camp sites are within earshot of the river = excellent sleeping white noise. We shot the bow and arrow, made a delicious dinner, and enjoyed a campfire under a clear sky of bright stars.