Climbed via the nice trail from Upper Island Lake. Great ridgewalking, fantastic views, lots of elk.
Kessler, Shaylee, Kimberly and I went for a climb of Sheep Mountain, which is the second highest mountain in the Flat Tops. The mountain looked easy on the map, but the road up South Derby Creek was much rougher than expected (even with a 4wd) and we didn’t make it to the trailhead the night before.
In the morning we started up the rough road, but we tired of beating the vehicle up and parked just above Still Water (not be confused with the Stillwater Reservoirs farther north). We walked the road to Crescent Lake and to Mackinaw Lake and found the trail to the pass in surprisingly good condition, considering that it isn’t used much.
From the pass, we climbed the easy West Ridge of Sheep Mountain to the summit. We (everyone but Kimberly) climbed the other sub-peaks as well. After enjoying the summits, we descended the south face of Sheep Mountain. This was a mistake as the rock and gravel were quite loose and it was much less pleasant than the West Ridge.
After reaching the 4WD trail, we walked it a short distance to the vehicle. It was a good climb, but it took much longer than expected due to the fact that we didn’t drive the road to the end and because descending the south face was harder than expected.
It was still a good climb and most of the autumn leaves in the area are already at peak color.