July 7, 2016

Mount Sherman – 14,036′

14er rank:

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896' (Mt. Democrat - 8.1 mi N)
Park/Lake County
6.3 mi SE of Leadville
8.7 mi W of Fairplay

Southwest Ridge (Class 2)
South Slope (Class 2)

Google Maps


This is the ninth 14er I've climbed, back in June 2013 with a few friends. Mt. Sherman is one of the easiest 14ers to climb in Colorado, regardless of which route is taken. It is the 45th tallest peak in the state and lowest 14er in the relatively high Mosquito Range. The peak can be seen from parts of South Park to the east and from Leadville to the west, although its rather unremarkable summit can make it difficult to distinguish from other surrounding peaks. From afar, it may appear more like a high ridgeline than a 14er.

We hiked from the standard Fourmile Creek trailhead, parking just before the closure gate at 12,000'. From here it is only ~2,000' up to the summit. Our plan was to hike the Southwest Ridge route, only ~5 miles round-trip. The trail heads west past an old abandoned mine and continues up a dirt road to about 12,900'. You will pass another mine along the way, set up high on the hillside to the left. At 12,900', a route leaves the road and follows a well-marked trail up the eastern slopes of Sherman's southwest ridge. After reaching the 13,150' saddle between Mt. Sherman and Mt. Sheridan, the trail then turns north and follows the ridge up to the summit. 

When we hiked it, some of us left the road early and instead cut north across the basin directly below Sherman's southeast face (which I do not recommend unless you know what you're doing!). This looked like a more interesting way up, although it was steeper and there was no trail to mark the way. Thus, we did a lot of scrambling across large rocks and up loose scree slopes. Eventually, we reached the 13,500' saddle between Mt. Sherman and White Ridge, a 13,684' sub-peak east of Sherman. This connected us with the South Slope route, which is a more direct approach but is typically only recommended when snow cover is abundant. From the saddle, we made the final 1/2 mile trek northwest along a broad slope to the Mt. Sherman summit.  


Trip Reports

Mount Sherman (June 2013)