East Slope from Cow Creek TH

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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East Slope from Cow Creek TH
Created On: Jan 27, 2008
Last Edited On: Jun 14, 2009


Sheep Mountain from the East Slope  RouteSheep Mountain from the East Slope Route.

This is the easiest route to the summit of Sheep Mountain.

Getting There

Start at Cow Creek Trailhead.

Route Description

Stats: Class 2, 4.1 miles (round trip), 1974 feet of elevation gain.
Saddle between Sheep Mtn and Point 8672 on the North Boundary Trail

From the trailhead, follow the signs to the start of the North Boundary Trail. Take the North Boundary Trail north for 0.7 miles to the saddle between Sheep Mountain to the west and Point 8672 to the east.
East Slope of Sheep Mountain

From the saddle, leave the trail and head uphill to the west into the forest. For the first 0.9 miles or so, the forest is relatively sparse and the grade is relatively gentle. I found walking through this section to be very enjoyable.
Mummy Mountain from Sheep Mountain East Slope

After about 0.6 miles or so, you will reach a small highpoint on Sheep Mountain's east ridge. A view of Mummy Mountain to the northwest is available here. Soak it in; it is one of the only views of other summits that you will get. You can see the round summit of Sheep Mountain to the west from here as well.

At about 9250 feet, the ridge's steepness increases. Also, fallen trees make progress more difficult. It isn't too bad, however, and when you reach 9750 feet you will be on the "summit bulge".
Sheep Mountain Summit

Once on the summit plateau, finding the true summit point is a bit challenging. Use of an altimeter (and/or GPS) is useful. I found a "summit cairn" about 50 feet lower and 0.1 miles east of the true summit. The true summit had a larger summit cairn. The cairn looks kind of funny, sitting on the floor of the forest, imperceptibly higher than the ground around it.

Trail Profile and Map

The trail color represents the class of that portion of the trail.

Green = Class 1
Blue = Class 2

Trail Profile

The vertical unit is feet, and the horizontal unit is miles.
Trail Profile of Cow Creek TH to Sheep Mountain via the East Slope Route

East Slope of Sheep Mountain from Cow Creek THEast Slope from Cow Creek TH.