Horn Peak Climber's Log

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ArtM - Jan 11, 2018 11:31 am Date Climbed: Jan 6, 2018

North Ridge, 6 Jan 2018

Trip Report
Peak(s): Horn Pk - 13,450 feet
Date Posted: 01/07/2018
Date Climbed: 01/06/2018
Author: ArtM
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Horn Peak North Ridge

Took the "shortcut" or spur, from the trailhead to Rainbow Trail, it's supposed to be only 0.25 mi, but is more like 0.5 mi. The 0.75 mi marker to the Horn Peak Trail at the junction of the spur/Rainbow appears to be accurate, however. The trail through the treeline is a long slog, this appears to be similar to other routes in the Sangres. On the positive side, the trail below treeline is generally easily recognized, no need for rock cairns, as the entire lower route was dry. This is much better than the East Ridge of Humboldt, which lacks any defined trail, markers, etc.

I did lose the trail, however, around 11,400 ft or so, and emerged from treeline at maybe around 11,750 ft to the west of the first (lowest) marker stake. It turns out that the three marker stakes are very useful, especially on the way down. If you don't see the lowest marker stake (they're about 4 ft high wooden stakes, around 4" X 4") when you emerge from treeline, you probably went off the trail. From the first marker, you travel somewhat west uphill to the ridge line, and will see a second marker not too much further uphill, maybe about 100 ft in elevation above. The third marker, and last one to the ridge line is somehwhat higher. On the return, if you follow these markers you'll be assured of entering the trail. Note that it was dry, and easy to see the route, but I still had some trouble in the 11,500-11,400 ft range, again.

There arerudimentary routes up the ridge, you can see some wear/paths, but then again, you can just make your own way and try to stay out of the wind. I saw some rock cairns here and there.

At 12,400 ft, or so, I really noticed the wind picking up, had to put on balaclava, while it continued getting stronger as I went higher. I stayed to the east of the ridge, below the ridge line above pt. 12,665. It was howling/gusting in the range of 30+mph by the time I got to pt. 13,037 ft., still below ridge line. Wind nearly knocked me down (which it did on the way back down below 12,600 ft), and I had to hunker down several times. I gave up on attempting to summit at this point, as I didn't like the idea of 30 or maybe 40+ mph gusts on the summit ridge with the exposure there. Also, I didn't want to have 1-2 hrs hiking in the dark on the return like I did on Humboldt in December 2017! I turned around at about 12:35, and it still took me three hrs to get back to the trailhead (I'm not a fast hiker).

Also, I was surprised how "slippery" the trail is on the way down, below treeline, and below the stream crossing. I don't know if it was my boots, my legs that seemed to be made of rubber at that point, or the round pebbly rocks, but I slipped and fell on my butt maybe four times below the stream crossing! I wanted to try to jog on this part of the trail, but it just wasn't safe with all the slipping and sliding on the rocks. Rainbow Trail is easier to jog along, but by this point I was too tired and sore.

Finally, it's too bad I couldn't summit, as it would have turned into the perfect day--I didn't see another person the entire day, at the trailhead, on the trails, or on the slopes! Don't know if I'll attempt again, the approach is such a slog, and it's harder than a number of 14ers I've done! It is a beautiful peak, though, and that's the attraction.


DougHemken - Aug 22, 2017 2:47 pm Date Climbed: Aug 12, 2017

Great Views  Sucess!

w/ Jim


rockymountaindiva - Jul 26, 2014 8:34 pm Date Climbed: Jun 27, 2014

Just Horn Peak  Sucess!

From Horn Creek TH, ascended east ridge via Horn Peak trl, descended almost directly down to Dry Lakes, was not as difficult as it would appear to be based on close contour lines on map.

Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Jun 29, 2014 11:39 pm Date Climbed: Jun 29, 2014

Horn PeakTrail with fluted  Sucess!

Amazing weather today! Hot, but nice. Got attacked by ground squirrels on the summit before marmots ran them off for us. Incredible wild flower show! Nice campsite up Hermit Pass Road. After Fluted, descended Dry Lakes.


astrobassman - Mar 16, 2014 11:23 pm Date Climbed: Mar 15, 2014

Horn Peak Trail  Sucess!

Long day solo in winter. Had to break trail from the TH to treeline, which was grueling. Once on the ridge it was snowing heavily, but it cleared up right before the summit. Amazing day!

milan - Oct 24, 2012 5:12 pm Date Climbed: May 5, 2012

Spring gathering  Sucess!

Awesome, I went to the 14er dot com spring gathering where I met a lot of friends some of who I hiked later that summer. Still some snow in the mountain, I did the loop Horn-Fluted-Little Horn and it was surprisingly difficult class 3 on Little Horn. I descended trhrough a gully to the south to avoid the difficult ridge and got into postholing nightmare.


seano - May 26, 2012 1:30 pm Date Climbed: May 25, 2012

From Dry Creek  Sucess!

From Dry Creek. Pretty straightforward. Trip report.


matthewp - Aug 21, 2011 3:47 pm

Multiple summits.  Sucess!

I've climbed this mountain multiple times, and guided it a few times. Tons of fun. Much harder than most of the 14ers I've done.

Brian Kalet

Brian Kalet - Jul 18, 2011 12:59 pm Date Climbed: Jul 17, 2011

5 Peaks  Sucess!

With Fluted Peak, Little Horn Peak, 7060 & 6980.


pyerger - Nov 9, 2010 1:47 pm Date Climbed: Nov 6, 2010

horn peak  Sucess!

Climbed horn peak, on a VERY windy day. was suprised, at how little snow there was. Awesome view of the Crestones! We rode a snow gully down the east face, for a quick descent.


shknbke - Aug 24, 2009 12:07 am Date Climbed: Aug 22, 2009

Horn Peak Trail  Sucess!

Combined Horn with Fluted and Little Horn on a bluebird summer day. Nice trail which didn't make it feel as steep as it is. Ridge run to Fluted and Little Horn offers some optional scrambling.


chicagotransplant - Jul 20, 2009 9:49 am Date Climbed: Jul 19, 2009

Dry Creek Loop  Sucess!

Third peak of the day after Little Horn and Fluted. The ridge on the Fluted side has some easy scrambling near the summit and was much more interesting than the Horn Peak Trail, which I used for the descent back to the trailhead.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 8, 2009 10:01 pm

1999?  Sucess!

I did climb Horn Peak and carried most of the way my son to the top. Nice mountain.


rjevans95 - Jun 29, 2009 5:22 pm Date Climbed: Jun 23, 2009

Hard Won Victory  Sucess!

My Dad and I climbed Horn Peak on the Horn Peak Trail. The day started out sunny and cloudless, but by the time we reached the treeline there were clouds gathering. This was my third time to climb Horn Peak, and once we got to the summit, we came right back down. On the ridge, a sleet storm came in and the temperature dropped. A few words of advice: bring a warm coat and DO NOT get a cheap rain poncho. If it gets windy, the poncho will be of no use, as I and my dad found out. It was an incredibly hard hike, but the view was very rewarding.


boisedoc - Jun 4, 2008 3:11 am Date Climbed: May 27, 2008

good weather  Sucess!

still plenty of snow to deal with in the trees along the East Ridge trying to follow the Horn Peak Trail. The snow was quite rotten and difficult even in snowshoes at times. No crampons needed. Above treeline, it was free of snow. Great views of the Crestones.


km_donovan - May 12, 2008 12:57 am Date Climbed: May 11, 2008

Horn Peak Trail  Sucess!

The trail was 95% cover with snow 1 mile above the sign in to the tree line. Above Harlequin Creek the trail was buried. Used crampons in the morning and the afternoon was a post-hole-a-thon even with snow shoes. Got a great glissade on the way down.


SarahThompson - Mar 31, 2008 12:31 am Date Climbed: Nov 13, 2005

Horn Peak Trail  Sucess!

This was my first solo hike in winter-like conditions. I'll always remember it.

Westcliffe Willie

Westcliffe Willie - Mar 1, 2008 9:55 am Date Climbed: Jul 8, 2007

My First Thirteener  Sucess!

Beautiful, clear day. Took the standard route from Horn Creek trailhead. My first encounter with marmots. Friendly buggers in the rocks along the final ridge. There are some spots to camp just in the treeline, if you'd cache a little water. Give you the option to continue to Fluted Peak and others.
Views from the peak were spectacular. Fluted Peak at center.

Mt Adams, Kit Carson Mt, (Challenger/Columbia Pts) and the Crestones. Little Horn, front left.


Kane - Jan 12, 2007 8:18 pm

Horn Peak Trail  Sucess!

In my opinion Horns look is better than its standard route. Very ardous indeed. Horn would be a good one for winter.

Ryan Kowalski

Ryan Kowalski - Nov 6, 2006 4:54 am Date Climbed: Nov 4, 2006

Trail breakin' on the NE Ridge  Sucess!

A beautiful November day, but some serious trail breaking from 10,700 and up! Kicked my butt, but it was worth it for the views.

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