Getting ThereFrom the south side of Leadville along Highway 24, turn east on Monroe Street. After 0.2 miles, turn south (right) along CR 2 (Toledo Street) and follow it for 3.8 miles to a junction. Turn left and continue up Iowa Gulch to the trailhead.
During summer conditions, one can drive a passenger car to about 12,000 feet along a decent road. In winter conditions the trailhead is lower. Road maintenance stops at the exit to the ASARCO Mine.
The trailhead is unmarked, so look for the trail as it heads for the creek under the power lines.
Route DescriptionThis route starts a bit ambiguously from the upper reaches of Iowa Gulch. The following route description assumes a start from the 0.5 mile stretch of road between the Dyer and Iowa amphitheaters.
Hike Southeast from the road across a gentle meadow for 0.5 miles, heading towards the Sherman and Sheridan ridge saddle. Aim for a stretch of talus and scree that crosses through a section of willows. Pick your way Southeast through this rubble, staying north (left) of the main drainage until a trail starts to develop. From here, the trail leads 0.4 miles Southeast before making a turn towards the NE which eventually deposits one on Sherman's south ridge. Follow the trail for one mile to the large summit area.
In summer, this route is 4.5 miles round trip with 2150 feet elevation gain.
By driving further up Iowa Gulch, to where the decent road becomes rough, it is possible to shorten this route. A trail traverses south beneath the steep west face of Sherman and connects with the route described above. 400' of elevation can be saved with this option.
The stretch of route between upper Iowa Gulch and the Sherman-Sheridan saddle crosses into avalanche territory. Travelers should be capable of assessing the effects of terrain, weather, and snowpack before proceeding.
Essential GearDuring summer conditions no specialized gear is needed. The standard "Ten Essentials" should suffice.
Winter conditions may call for skis or snowshoes along with appropriate avalanche gear, though often this route can be stripped bare of snow by the high winds that buffet the peak.