This summit is part of a two-vehicle shuttle description that includes UN13,427; UN13,540 B and Gudy Peak. Mileage from Cinnamon Pass to UN13,312 is about 4.75 with 2,350 feet of elevation gain. This route description will first take you over the summit of UN13,427 following a high ridge that leads over to UN13,540 B. If completing the entire circuit, total mileage will be 8.5 and total elevation gained will be 3,050 ft.
From the parking area near the top of Cinnamon Pass, stroll across tundra NNE toward Pt.13,112. Contour around the point a little below the 13,000 foot level, then contour across the head of Cleveland Gulch. You will encounter some rocky gullies soon after rounding below the point. It is best to stay high and above the head of these gullies. Passing both through rubble, talus and tundra, skirt below the summit of UN13,250 on the south slopes and you should be able to pick up an old mining road that will lead up to the saddle between UN13,250 and UN13,427. Continue east on mostly tundra to the summit of UN13,427. One summit down.
From this first summit, head down to the east following the ridge crest, descending on steep tundra to the next saddle, which comes quickly. Then proceed east and NE to the summit of UN13,540 B. If staying on the ridge crest, you'll have to walk over at least three minor summits before one final saddle and the last nearly 200 foot gain to the true summit. Along the way, the tundra will give way to much more rocky conditions along the summit ridge. Watch your step. From the summit, enjoy the expansive views of the San Juan Mountains stretching out all around you and gaze down into the Lake Fork of the Gunnison far below. Then decide if you want to turn around here or continue to UN13,312.
For UN13,312, head down the east ridge of UN13,540 B. This will be the most difficult part of the circuit hike. Not too far down, you'll encounter some very step, loose rock amid rock outcrops. The angle will be just steep enough to advise caution. Small, loose scree will encourage feet to slip out from under you. this continues for several hundred feet of descending. If you get through there safely, then contour around the south side of Pt.12,896 on large rubble and then gratefully emerge onto a large tundra plateau. Hike across welcome tundra ENE, aiming somewhat for the summit of UN13,312. Intersect the SW ridge of the peak at whatever point you choose and complete the ascent following any number of animal trails over easy tundra and rock. Three down - one to go. From this summit you'll enjoy a great view of Sunshine and Redcloud to the east. Savor the fact that while hordes of 14er-baggers trudge their way up over there, you are probably all alone here.