PT 12596 along with 12652 and McMillan Peak,
form the wall of 12,000 plus peaks that surround US Basin near Red Mountain pass. PT 12596 is an easy hike that can offer rewarding views along with the thrill of being on a summit. Due to it's lower elevation it is a good late season hike. PT 12596 offers excellent San Juan mountain views.
From Silverton, drive 12 miles north (or 11 miles south from Ouray) on Route 550 to the Red Mountain Pass (11018 ft). A few hundred feet south of the pass, you will find a four wheel drive road on the east side of the highway (this road will require 4WD but it is easy to drive). Turn onto this road and then make an almost immediate right turn. Follow the road through a Pine forest until you see a gated private road on the left (that goes to the summit of Red Mountain #3).
Continue on the main road until you are on the south side of US Basin. Alternatively you could park earlier and hike up the road. Since all the peaks surrounding US Basin are relatively easy it is possible to hike the others in the area on the same trip.
When To Climb
PT 12596 is easiest in summer but can still be snow free into October depending on conditions
Lodging is available in Ouray or Silverton. Camping is available at many local forest service campgrounds