Walked in from Indian Camp Pass after climbing Elk Knob, Turret and Shingle. W Mtn isn't the best peak in the area, but the ridge up there is pretty nice. 50 miles in the Flat Tops this weekend, and some more people along the W Mtn ridge than the rest of it combined. Popular for outfitters coming out of Sweetwater.
After driving the rough 4wd road to the Big Springs Trailhead the night before, Kessler and I set off early to climb W Mountain. We didn't find the beginning of the trail (the map is misleading), but we followed cow trails into East Fork of Red Dirt Creek, where we found the trail. The trail was pretty easy to follow up to the first saddle, but we lost it there and only found scraps of it up to timberline. Once above timberline, the route was easy to find.
The views and weather were really nice from the summit. It was hard to tell where the true summit was since there are a bunch of little bumps and rock piles on the rolling summit area.
We saw and heard pikas and two marmots. After enjoying the summit, we returned most the same way, but found the official trail on the way back. There were a few mosquitoes and a few biting flies, but no other unpleasantness.