Cinnamon Mountain, prior to the application of LIDAR technology, was considered a ranked summit with a previous elevation of 13,328 ft., but has now been demoted to unranked status with a prominence of 293 ft. and elevation of 13,336 ft. Can be paired up with UN 13,549.
A short and simple, barely Class 2 summit off Cinnamon Pass on mostly easy terrain.
Cinnamon Mtn East Ridge Route
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Cinnamon Pass:
From Lake City, proceed south on HWY 149 and take the turnoff to the right for Lake San Cristobal. Continue south around the lake and follow CR3 (BLM 3306) past the Williams Creek and Mill Creek campgrounds to the intersection at Sherman. (On Trails Illustrated, this is CR30) Road to here is drivable for standard passenger cars. Take the right fork and begin a steeper ascent into the upper valley. Higher clearance vehicles now advisable. It's a little over 3 miles to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trail heads used for accessing Sunshine, Redcloud and Handies. Continue just about one more mile to the trailhead for Cooper Creek. If you're doing the series of 13ers that run NE from Wood Mtn. to Cooper Lake, there is some parking on the west side just after crossing the creek or continue a little further to these coordinates (N 37° 56' 37.57" W 107° 28' 18.36") for another parking spot and the beginning of an old roadbed that leads north, then east to gain a bench above Cooper Creek. Drop one vehicle here if you're able to do a two-vehicle setup, then continue driving on to the summit of Cinnamon Pass. After the turnoff for American Basin, the road begins to climb more steeply and becomes rougher. Park at the summit of the pass or in some other nearby turnouts.
If coming from the Town of Silverton, drive east to where the paved road splits one block past the courthouse and veer right onto blue-signed County Road 2 (set odometer here) for 4.2 miles of nicely graded dirt road to Howardsville. (On Trails Illustrated map #141, this road is labeled #110. Pavement ends after 2 miles.) From the Howardsville intersection, continue north another 4.3 miles to the old site of Eureka. The road will cross to the west side of the Animas River and continue up a steeper shelf section. From Eureka, continue another 3.5 miles to the turnoff for Burns and Grouse Gulch and then a final 1.1 mile farther north to the signed Cinnamon Pass turnoff on the right. Just before this intersection, be careful not to veer off to the left onto the more inviting road up California Gulch. To get to the Cinnamon Pass turnoff, you must continue on the road that would take you to Engineer Pass.
On the Lake City side, there are designated, forest service campgrounds at Williams Creek and Mill Creek CG. There's also some primitive sites around Sherman. Once above Sherman, additional primitive sites may be found at the TH for Sunshine, Redcloud and Handies and again near the TH for Cooper Creek. You may even be able to find some other primitive sites or just road pull-outs further up the road past Cooper Creek and up into American Basin, but be aware of some private property issues.
On the Silverton side, there are at-large spots heading up the Animas out of Silverton, including some large areas taken over by RV's. Be careful about private property which is all through this area. Up the Cinnamon Pass road , there's really not any good camping, though you could probably vehicle or small tent camp at the pass itself. There are no trees along the drive up from the turnoff.
Route Info Cinnamon Mtn East Ridge
Year Climbed: 1996
If doing Cinnamon Mountain alone from the pass, total roundtrip distance will be no more than 1.5 and elevation gain will amount to only 700 feet. If you include UN13,549, total mileage will increase to 4.5 total and 1,450 total elevation gain.
From Cinnamon Pass, walk south across tundra following a well-used trail that passes by some old, collapsed mining structures. This trail will then veer west as it climbs up to the saddle east of the summit of Cinnamon Mtn. As it heads for that saddle, it cuts across a very rocky slope and you may encounter just a little talus scrambling just before gaining the saddle. Once on the ridge, head west for an easy walk-up on rock, soil and tundra to the summit. Return by the same route or continue over to UN13,549 by following the ridge back east to intersect the ridgeline that generally heads south to UN13,549. Total roundtrip time for Cinnamon alone 1.5 hours. If you include UN13,549, 2.5 to 3 hours.
Bonus points: For those wishing to make this peak a more "sporting" climb, try starting down around Animas Forks and hike up the west side of this mountain on mostly steeper, tundra slopes for a 2,500 foot gain.
"Adventure and excitement are two things missing from civilization. Danger keeps you on your toes." Jim Bridwell