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Vallecito Trail Update

We have recently visited the Vallecito Trail in the Weminuche Wilderness from the trailhead near Kite Lake, across Hunchback Pass, down to where Sunlight Creek comes in, then up the Sunlight drainage. New and/or revised information has been posted for the Kite Lake/Hunchback trailhead and the associated approach segments including field-verified GPS waypoints for key campsites and the stream crossings to reach the upper basin of Sunlight Creek and Sunlight Lake. 

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LoJ: #382 (G & M: #379) UN 13312 C.T. Peak/UN 13312 A

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Redcloud Peak
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 57' 59.78", W 107° 28' 13.15" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

With a two-vehicle setup, UN13,312 can be part of a 4-summit day on generally easy, above timberline terrain with mostly Class 2 or 2+ hiking with one short stretch of 3rd class, if continuing east beyond the summit of UN13,540 B. This summit can also be part of a 3-summit day if using only one vehicle. For more details, see "Gudy Peak" (UN13,566).

UN13,312 SW Ridge Route

Class 3
X-Long Day // Dinner Will Be Late!
RT From Cinnamon Pass: 9.5 mi / 2,350'
  • Trailhead
    • Cinnamon Pass Trailhead

      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. 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, 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 just on the west side of the pass.


      Camping

      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.

    Peak Icon Route Map

    Route Info UN13,312 SW Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1996

    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.

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