Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Huron Peak's Northwest Slopes route is considered the standard choice to summit this lovely 14er tucked back into the Sawatch Range.
Starting at the South Winfield 4x4 trailhead, the hike is about 6.5 miles, roundtrip.
Sans a capable high-clearance vehicle, add 2 miles to each end for a 10.75 mile roundtrip excursion. The majority of this superb 14er hike travels an easy-to-follow Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) built trail.
CFI trails are designed and built to be solid and erosion resistant in order to withstand the many footsteps of eager 14er hikers.
Think rock-steps on steep segments, rather than rutted, loose scree. As the route switchbacks up a half-mile through the woods, stop to enjoy views as they appear.
Once the trail breaks out of the trees, it will emerge in a gorgeous alpine basin.
This is a great place to rest for a few minutes, enjoy a snack, and soak in the scenery before the ascent up Huron's northwest slope.
Listen for the whistling call of pika and marmots; there are many in the basin. After climbing the slope, at the obvious high point, the well-built and obvious trail peters out and some rocky pitches appear.
Take care to locate the best way around the rocky area.
At about 13,700' the remainder of the route is fairly steep and is comprised of loose scree, but the trail isn't too difficult to find.
Trekking poles are super-helpful on this stretch, particularly on the descent. Upon gaining Huron Peak's 14,003' summit, views of Taylor Reservoir, Lake Ann and the always-stunning Three Apostles burst into view.
If the weather is good, be sure to take plenty of time to appreciate the 360 degrees of sheer beauty before beginning the 3,500' descent.