This 3-day trek passes right through the heart of a wilderness area that scratches the ozone with eight 14,000-foot peaks–more than any other wilderness in the Lower 48. From the trailhead, take the Timberline Trail to Prospector Gulch. Cut west at mile 7.1 to camp by Illinois Creek. Day two is a climb to 12,600-foot Lake Ann Pass and a drop to trout-filled Clear Creek for a six-mile day. Sleep tight: Day three is a big one. You’ll reach your shuttle car in .5 miles; downsize to a summit pack and hit the spur trail to Huron Peak, the highest spot on this route and the farthest 14er from a paved road in the Sawatch Range.
-Mapped by Dick Vogel
TO TRAILHEAD: Starting point: From Buena Vista, drive 26 miles on CR 209, crossing over Cottonwood Pass, to the Timberline Trail trailhead.
Ending point: From Leadville take US 24 S for 20 mi. Turn R onto CR 390/Clear Creek Canyon Rd. Go 11.8 mi. to Winfield and bear L @ T. In 800 ft., turn R @ T. Go .3 mi. and park @ trailhead. Or, continue 1.8 miles to the Huron Peak trailhead (marked as point TTH010 on the map) with a high-clearance vehicle.