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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

Huron Peak | The Route Less Traveled

Updated: May 12, 2023

July 27, 2021

Brown's Peak (13,523 feet), UN13518 (13,518 feet) and Huron Peak (14,003 feet)

8.2 miles; 3875 feet elevation gain

Total time: 5 hours 45 minutes

I will start by saying, this is the alternate route for climbing Huron Peak. The standard trail via the Northwest Slopes is the standard route. This route is much more off the beaten path, much less travelled but also steeper and more technical. It also gives you the option to do up to 4 13ers on the way to the summit of Huron (we did 2/4). This route is absolutely stunning and seemingly unknown based on the lack of humans we saw the entire day; however it is a very steep route with no designated trail for many miles. It also has more exposure and scrambling than the standard route. I wouldn't recommend this route unless you're an experienced and confident hiker, and very confident in your dog's abilities. Had I known what the entire route looked like, I probably would've played it safe and brought Kane, my mountain goat.

That being said, we left home at 4:30pm on Monday evening and arrived at the trailhead at 7pm to set up camp. I had Nyx with me and Brittany had Gryff. We got extremely lucky and got the campsite right at the start of our route. If you choose to do this route make sure you read very carefully for details and options about the route. We closely followed the .gpx file from the route. We relaxed for a little before getting an early night in the rooftop tent. After one of the better night's sleep I've had before camping we woke up at 4:30am. By 5:04am we were hiking with our headlamps and the dogs leading the way.

The first 2.5 miles are on a very rough and rocky OHV road but are very straightforward and moderate in terms of incline. We were walking at around 30 minute mile pace. At the 2.5 mile mark you have two options depending on how long of a route you want to take/how many 13ers you want to do on the way. We cut off the road/switchbacks at this point and into the tundra. There was no trail from this point until close to the summit. We walked across and up tundra until we reached the gully just to the left of Brown's Peak (if you're looking up at Brown's). Here, we climbed the very steep gully at a very very slow pace. It was steep and loose rock mixed with grass. We can climbed the last bit of tundra to the top of Brown's Peak. This mile took about 1 hour. From Brown's Peak there is a rocky/talus ridge to the connection point of the main Huron Peak trail. We traversed this ridge, slightly off the top line because of the exposure on the other side. We hopped up slightly to tag the summit of UN13518 since it is part the ridge. The ridge was large talus that required a lot of scrambling and was exhausting. Both dogs thankfully handled it with no issues at all. Just after this you connect with the main trail of Huron Peak which you join to reach the summit. The last climb is steep and felt very long. It also got fairly busy at this point with everyone doing the standard route. We spent about 15 minutes on the summit before heading back down. The rocky traverse back to Brown's Peak was absolutely exhausting on the way back and felt never-ending. From this point it's a steep but easy descent back to the road. The descent felt very long and took longer than we expected.

Overall, I absolutely loved this mountain. It was stunningly beautiful and a fun challenge, but it was also probably the hardest hike I've ever done. I love this whole area and I will definitely be back to grab some more 13ers & 14ers!

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