"Huerfano Peak"
South Slopes
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Trailhead:Huerfano/Lily Lake
Start:10,700 feet
Summit:13,828 feet
Total Gain:3,726 feet
RT Length:8.1 miles
Author:Danger_D
Updated:6/2020
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:28 reports
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? (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter.

Trailhead


  • Drive to the town of Gardner, northwest of Walsenburg on Colorado 69.
  • From Gardner, head west for about 1/2 mile on CO 69 and turn west on the road to Mosca Pass.
  • Just after the start of this road, a Forest Service sign states "Upper Huerfano - 21.5" and "Lily Lake Trhd - 22.5".
  • After 7.0 miles the road turns to dirt.
  • Continue 4.8 miles to a junction and stay left on Forest Road 580.
  • Drive 3.4 miles and enter private property where a "Forest Access" sign reads "Upper Huerfano - 5.3 mi."
  • Continue 0.5 mile and stay left at the entrance to the Singing River ranch. The road becomes narrow, but still 2WD.
  • Continue 0.9 mile and pass the entrance to the Aspen River ranch.
  • Drive 3.2 miles to reach the the west side of large, landslide area where the road was re-routed in 2016. If you have 2WD and/or low-clearance, park here and walk the last 2 miles to the trailhead.
  • Now on a narrow and rugged road, continue 2 miles to reach the end of the road, at the Lily Lake TH. There are many dispersed camping spots along the way, including some at the parking area.

Route

Huerfano is a Centennial Peak which can be done on its own, or added on to a trip up Mt. Lindsey. If done in combination with Lindsey, the trail to Huerfano adds 1.5 miles and 700 feet of elevation. The Iron Nipple can be easily added into this route adding in a few hundred feet of Class 2 vertical.

The trail up to the Lindsey/Iron Nipple saddle is very well defined, but after the saddle it doesn't have a defined trail or cairns, though it is easy to follow. You may find scattered light trail sections, but don't expect them for long.

From the trail-head follow Bill Middlebrook's excellent route description for Mt. Lindsey's Northwest Gully until the Mt. Lindsey/Iron Nipple saddle at 13,150'

1 Shows the route from just near the Lindsey/Iron Nipple saddle. From the saddle, turn north (away from Lindsey) and hike toward the Iron Nipple. Once the terrain starts to raise look for a large V-notch with flat sides. The easiest way up to the notch is on the left side, as seen in 2. After the V-notch you will reach a small saddle where you will turn slightly right and descend about 50 feet following the large cliffs of the Iron Nipple 3.

Hug the large cliffs and you will see a talus field in front of you 4. There is no set trail up the talus, but do a rising traverse aiming for where the talus ends near the grassy ridge. From here point uphill and pick your line up the ridge to the summit. Follow the line of least resistance which doesn't necessarily follow the official ridge. The summit is obvious and provides amazing views.

Notes

None
#1 #2 #3 #4
Topo

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