Sheep Mountain

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
County:
Larimer
Activities:
Hiking, Mountaineering
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Elevation:
11820 ft / 3603 m
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Sheep Mountain
Created On: Jan 29, 2012
Last Edited On: May 1, 2012

Overview

Sheep Mountain is a summit in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Northern Colorado in the Rawah Wilderness Area. Sheep Mountain has 600ft of prominence and isolation of 1.5 miles from it's highest neighbor South Rawah Peak. Sheep Mountain is situated a little east of the main spine of mountains and as a result, it has awesome views of the higher Rawah Peaks.
Rawah PanoramaRawah Panorma from the summit of Sheep Mountain

Surrounded by grassy, alpine tundra, I think Sheep Mountain is one of the coolest peaks in the Rawah. In the spring, snow disappears off Sheep Mountain first, so vegetation that melting snow yields draws an array of wildlife such as Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and Rocky Mountain Elk. Like all summits in the Rawah, Sheep Mountain will provide one with solitude and amazing views.

Route Info

The Namesake for Sheep MountainBighorn Sheep-the namesake
Sheep Mountain is best accessed from Grassy Pass (40.67198°N/-105.94189°W), which is a main corridor for extended hikers in the Rawah. Most people hiking this peak will hike it from here and be passing through and drop their packs for a quick jaunt up to the summit. Grassy Pass lies above the Rawah Lakes and just below Rawah Lake #4. There are two "passes"; an east and a west one. The west pass is slightly higher and has a little lake (a good water source). The east one is the pass that directly connect to Sheep Mountain. From the east pass, head NE up a somewhat steep (~30 degree). You will probably be following game trails. Veering more north, you will eventually work your way up to a rock summit ridge. To the east is a east cirque that drops down to Camp Lake. To the SE is a sub peak of Sheep Mountain that does not quite meet the requirements for a true summit. From the pass to the summit it is 600ft of elevation gain and is about 1 mile of hiking.

Sheep MountainSheep Mountain from "west Grassy Pass"
Just Below the SummitSummit ridge
Camp LakeCamp Lake from the summit
Summit Ridge SouthDown the summit Ridge

Red Tape

The only Red Tape in the Rawah's is the snow. The Medicine Bow Mountains are a notoriously snowy range. Roads to the the trail heads open late May to early June (with the exception of the Blue Lake Trailhead which can be open year round because it is along HWY 14). For current conditions, HERE. If the roads are still open, access higher wont normally be snow free until mid-June. Bugs are bad in June as well. Groups are limited to 12 people.
Covered in SnowGrassy Pass sign in June 2011
Not Covered in SnowGrassy Pass sign in July 2011

Camping

Grassy Pass LakeGrassy Pass Lake- one could camp here
Camping can be found all over the Rawah Wilderness and around Sheep Mountain. Steller camping can be found at any of the Rawah Lakes (Rawah Lakes 2 and 4 are my favorites. Camp Lakes and Sandbar are also awesome places to camp, but they dont provide one with the easiest access to Sheep Mountain. You can pretty much camp anywhere in the area. Here are some camping rules and regulations: -Camping and fire building are prohibited within 200 feet of all lakes, streams and trails to protect water quality, sensitive vegetation and to help assure solitude. -Camping is prohibited within one-quarter mile of Blue Lake and Hang Lake. Do not camp or use a fire in revegetative sites. These areas are seeded with native, high-altitude grasses and need protection to grow. -Campfires are prohibited in the alpine areas above 10,800 feet. Campfires consume scarce vegetation and leave permanent scars on the fragile soils of the area. -No camping around Blue Lake or Hang Lake The closest established camping can be found at Chambers Lake Campground.

Getting There

From Fort Collins to the West Branch Trailhead- Head west on HWY 14 (Poudre Canyon Highway). Follow the Poudre Canyon Highway for 51 miles until you reach CO Road 103 (if you reached the Chambers Lake Campground you have gone too far). Take a right and follow this road around the east side of Chambers Lake. Follow this nice dirt road for just under 7 miles until you reach the West Branch Trailhead on the left-you cant miss it. For other trailhead information, see the page on the Medicine Bow Mountains If you are starting at the Rawah Trailhead, continue down CO Road 103 for another 3.5 miles until you see a trailhead on the right side.

External Links

Rawah Wilderness Arapaho National Forest Service page for the Rawah Wilderness. Current Weather Conditions Current weather conditions for Sheep Mountain as forcasted by NOAA.

Misc

If you have any more additional information or photos, please contact me or add them to this page. Thank you!
On the SummitYours truly on the summit
Doing a Front FlipDoing a flip into the snow below Rawah Lake #4

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-2 of 2
hgrapid

hgrapid - Jan 29, 2012 8:32 pm - Voted 10/10

topographic coordinates

Just an FYI, seems like you may want to double check your coordinates. Click on the topo map to see what I mean.

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Jan 29, 2012 8:40 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: topographic coordinates

Fixed them. I am still in the process of working out the kinks in this page. Thanks for the feedback!

Viewing: 1-2 of 2






Sheep Mountain

Mountain/Rock
12 Images 2 Climber's Log Entries 7 Comments 2 Additions & Corrections

Geography

MyTopo Map Nearby Mountains & Rocks Interactive Map Mountains & Rocks in Colorado

Parents

Medicine Bow MountainsMountains & Rocks