Sheep Mountain from McGraw Ranch Road.
Sheep Mountain is the highest of three named 9ers in Rocky Mountain National Park (the others are Steep Mountain (9,538) and Emerald Mountain (9,237)), and the only named 9er in the Mummy Range. It is ranked 121 out of 126 on Mountain Jim's Summits of RMNP List
. It is unranked on Gerry Roach's RMNP Summits List
because it has only 294 feet of prominence above the saddle connecting it with Mummy Mountain. Sheep Mountain is characterized by its steep south face which offers rock climbing opportunities.
The peak is somewhat hidden north of Lumpy Ridge
. You can just barely see the wide summit behind Lumpy Ridge when approaching Estes Park from the south on US 36.
The summit is broad, and the true summit point is not easy to discern within the forest (see route information for details).
Do not confuse this peak with another peak named Sheep Mountain 12 miles to the east, outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.
SummitPost member joegrim
adds this information:
"The south rock face on Sheep Mountain is closed seasonally for raptor nesting.
The best source online for when this area will be closed is at the Rocky Mountain National Park Area Closures
site. The park updates this relatively well, but I would suggest you also contact the Backcountry Office at 970-586-1242 to make sure you have the very latest info. I mention this because I got burned once by hiking to a spot, only to find that it had recently been closed, but wasn't updated on the park website."
The logical trailhead to get to the summit of Sheep Mountain is Cow Creek Trailhead
Although Sheep Mountain is within Rocky Mountain National Park, there is no entrance station and therefore no fees are collected.
There is abundant camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. See http://www.nps.gov/romo/
The peak is accessible year-round. Snowshoes can be very helpful in the winter.