From the junction of Highway 40 and 13 in Craig, turn north on Highway 13. Drive north for about 13 miles to north of mile marker 102 until you see a sign posted for County Road 27. The road is posted for “Forest Service Access” and “Black Mountain”. Drive County Road 27 through private lands for 10 miles which is where you reach the Routt National Forest boundary. The road becomes FR 110. From the Forest Boundary, follow FR 110 for 9.7 miles to FR 116. Turn right on FR 116 and drive 2.5 miles to FR 1161. Turn right and follow FR 1161 and take two lefts on FR 1161C. Park at a logged over area where Bears Ears-NW Peak is clearly visible to the south. The road is rough in places, but should be passable to a car if you drive slowly.
The Northwest Ear is highly visible from the trailhead, assuming you are at the right place. Head north towards the peak and cross the logged-over area before climbing up a short and steep hill. Here is where the bushwhacking begins (luckily the brush isn’t too thick). Continue north utilizing game paths and towards the peak. There are many logs to climb over, and some brush to skirt. After a ways, notice the prominent rockslide on the north side of the peak. Climb up to the rockslide/boulderfield and locate a faint "trail-of-sorts” on the west (right) side of the rockslide/boulderfield. The route steepens, and make sure to stay to the right of the rockslide, except for a few short sections where you must cross onto the boulders. The faint path helps, but this is perhaps the steepest path I’ve seen in Colorado. Continue north to the summit. There is no exposure, or difficult scrambling, but the steep slopes are tedious and slippery and must be ascended and descended with caution. The last part of the route gains 800 feet elevation in about 0.3 miles. A log/pole and summit register mark the summit. Enjoy the spectacular views from the summit.
A good pair of boots is needed.
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