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#340 UN 13374

Range › Sawatch Range
Quadrangle › Mount Harvard
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 38° 56' 12.29", W 106° 17' 19.05" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon Mount Columbia Peak Icon Mount Harvard

Peak Summary

UN 13,374 is a relatively insignificant tundra bump on a northeast ridge extending off the mighty Mount Harvard. It's an easy Class 2 hike done alone, but can also be easily combined with two ranked 14ers, Columbia and Harvard. A lower trailhead is accessible to passenger vehicles while an upper trailhead, accessible only to higher clearance 4WD, can set hikes up for a nice half-day stroll through a lot of high tundra terrain. 

UN 13,374 South Slopes Route

Class 2
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Frenchman Creek: 9.2 mi / 3,055'
  • Trailhead
    • Frenchman Creek Trailhead

      County Road 386 along US 24 is the access to the Frenchman Creek TH. The turnoff for this road is either 7.8 miles north of Buena Vista measured from the light at the main intersection in town, or 27.1 miles south on US 24 from the main downtown area of Leadville. Coordinates for the intersection are: N 38° 56' 15.33"  W 106° 11' 16.35 at an elevation of 8,385 ft. On our last visit in 2004, CR386 was clearly marked as was getting to the lower and upper trailheads. Just after turning off from US 24, a road heads off to the right. Go straight here. Next, CR386 will make a sharp turn to the south (left). Right after that is another intersection where you must turn right or you'll end up in private property. From the highway, follow CR386 for a total of 1.5 miles to the trailhead parking for 2WD vehicles. There's not much room here. If you have 4WD with good clearance, bear left at the intersection here to remain on the Frenchman Creek access road. The right fork is CR387. Continue on CR386 for an additional 1.6 miles to the upper trailhead. In years past, this road was rumored to be hideously bad, however, we did not find it to be that much of a challenge in our Toyota T-100 in 2004. The single-track road weaves through dense, lodgepole forest. We encountered only one short, moderately rocky, difficult stretch. The remainder of the road was narrow but never problematic. 


      Camping

      We were able to camp at the upper trailhead, though there is not room for a number of campers. It may also be possible to camp or at least, car-camp at the lower TH unless posted for No Camping. Other than that, there are National Forest campgrounds in the Twin Lakes area off US 24 and a few private campgrounds scattered at various places along US 24. 

    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info UN 13,374 South Slopes

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2004

    From the upper, 4WD trailhead, follow the Frenchman Creek Trail # 1457 WSW. In about 15 minutes of walking, the trail crosses to the south side of Frenchman Creek. In another 15 minutes, the trail intercepts the Colorado Trail #1776. Continue west on the Frenchman Creek Trail for another 1.6 miles to the end of the trees and a small pond and a marshy, willow-filled area at 11,940 ft. appx. In this area, both the Trails Illustrated map and the San Isabel Forest map show an older trail that heads out to the north. This is identified as #1458 and is called the South Pine Creek Trail. Hiking to this point will have been on an old roadbed and a well-used trail, since this is a popular access for both 14ers. 

    Hike north from the marsh/willows/pond, crossing the creek to the north side and then gaining about 200 feet in elevation. You should come across the aforementioned trail #1458 by then if unable to locate the start in the valley bottom. The trail is actually an old mining road. It swings west and crosses the NE ridge that connects Harvard with UN 13,374. There's little need to follow this trail to the ridge crossing, however, but staying on the trail will be less steep.  At a point of your own choosing, depart the trail and head directly north to PT. 13,242, a false summit of UN 13,374. Though the hiking is steep, this is grassy, tundra terrain and easy to handle. Once on the flatter terrace surrounding Pt. 13,242, stroll across the tundra, embedded rocks and small rubble to the summit of UN 13,374. The last 200 feet are a rocky hill. Reaching the summit from the upper trailhead took us under 3.5 hours. The summit offers a great view of Columbia and Harvard, plus the more distant 14ers to the north or NW of Missouri, Belford & Oxford. 

    For a descent, return as you came. For the more ambitious, it's fairly easy to climb either or both 14ers from here. For us, we decided to re-climb Columbia. To do so, we hiked SW to the saddle between UN 13,374 and Harvard where the trail crosses into South Pine Creek. We descended from there straight south on some scree & tundra, losing about 600 feet to a flat, upper valley section of Frenchman Creek. Continue south across the head of the basin staying out of rocks as much as possible. Swing east to access a broader, mostly tundra-covered slope that leads south to the NE flank of Columbia, gaining about 500 feet on steeper terrain. There's a flater area at about 13,400 ft. Make the easy stroll across, then head SW to make the final, rocky ascent to the Columbia summit. The rocks are medium boulder size and tedious. This last 600 feet or so requires some scrambling over the boulders and close attention. Progress will be slow. For a descent, head back down through the boulders to the flatter area between 13,400 & 13,600 ft. On the east end of that flatter area is a scree gully  that will make for a fast, easier descent. When it plays out, the terrain changes back to grassy tundra and you can rejoin the trail along Frenchman Creek. 


    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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