Hiked up the Bear Creek trail to the drainage south of Cow BM (about 3 miles in) and then up the south ridge of Cow BM. Lush basin with some old mining cabins, then a steep ridge to the summit. Ridge was mostly grassy, but had some loose/hardpan sections. Descended via the southeast ridge to near PT 12835 and descended south facing grass slopes to the Bear Creek trail and back out.
Great hike (trail is superb for trail running), 4.2 miles to Bridge of Heaven, and then ? 3.5-4 more to the Benchmark. Still some snow on the trail, so did "shortcuts" on dry (or muddy) grass. Duchess did great, although getting tough on her - the distance about 15 miles. Met one more trail running guy, otherwise completely empty of humans, not bad for Sunday.
Incredible views in all directions: Ouray, Ridgway, Cimarrons, Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre, towards Sneffels and Potosi, Red Mountains, Engineer Pass.....
Long up and down route from just below Engineer Pass (12,400 ft on east side). More or less followed the Horsethief Trail, tho its not much of a trail a lot of the way. 10+ miles and about 2500 feet of total gain. Neat views down to Ouray and into the Cimarrons.
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