Previously UN 13540 B
With a two-vehicle setup, UN13,544 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 this summit. This summit can also be part of a 3-summit day if using only one vehicle. For more details, see "Gudy Peak" (UN13,572).
UN13,540 B SW & East Ridges Route
Short Day // A Wee Little Climb
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.
Year Climbed: 1996
This summit is part of a two-vehicle shuttle description that includes UN13,427; UN13,312 and Gudy Peak. Mileage from Cinnamon Pass to UN13,540 B is about 3.4 with 1,650 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.
"A lot of people would learn from their mistakes, if they were not so busy denying them." Unknown