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Southwest Ridge

Southwest Ridge

Southwest Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Object Title: Southwest Ridge

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: 2+

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Midlife Mountaineer

Created/Edited: Sep 29, 2009 / Sep 30, 2009

Object ID: 558351

Hits: 888 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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Getting There

From Ouray:
Drive south out of town on US 550 for about ½ mile. Turn right after the first switchback on to CR361. Follow this dirt road for 4.2 miles to Camp Bird. If you are driving a passenger car, you shouldn’t have any trouble reaching this point. Continue driving as far as you are able; you will be limited by the ground clearance of your vehicle. The road gets progressively rougher after this point as you climb into the basin to ~11,700 feet. You may find it necessary to U-turn and park at one of the turn outs on the south side of the road. If you are driving a high clearance vehicle, you should be able to make it into the basin where you will find ample parking.

Route Description

Turn left just after the sign in log on to the trail heading south (I recommend that you indicate in the log your intention to climb Stony Mountain. The ridge and the peak contain an abundance of loose rocks and big drop offs). Follow the trail to the Sneffels Creek crossing.

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This crossing was very easy but I’m not sure what It’s like in the spring when the snow is melting. Continue following the not so well worn trail across the tundra toward the Stony Mountain/Mt. Emma ridge. After reaching the ridge ~12,300 feet, head northeast toward the summit. You’ll find it easier to climb up and over the rock formation rather than battle the scree on the south side.

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click to enlarge

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Climb to the small summit ridge. From here cross the first gully, climb into the second gully, and scramble to the summit.
Stony Mountain
Scramble to the Summit

Essential Gear

This route can easily be completed with standard hiking shoes. Be prepared for a wide variety of weather while on this hike. I highly recommend a helmet for the upper portions of this hike.


Stony MountainPotosi Peak from Sneffels Creek crossingStony MountainGilpin PeakMount EmmaStony MountainStony Mountain
Stony MountainStony Mountain