White Ridge

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
13684 ft / 4171 m
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White Ridge
Created On: Jun 23, 2011
Last Edited On: Dec 20, 2011


White Ridge from the westWhite Ridge from the west

White Ridge is a very beautiful mountain, both from a distance and up-close while on the mountain. From the southwest, the peak presents a powerful presence and is carved by numerous couloirs. A curious variety of rock adorns its northern summit ridge. White Ridge is overshadowed by more popular neighbors such as Horseshoe Mountain, Mount Sheridan, Gemini and of course the Fourteener Mount Sherman, but it is by virtue of sitting in the virtual shadow of these more popular peaks that White Ridge affords the visitor peace, quiet and a more of a wilderness experience than on these more popular mountains.

White Ridge combines the accessibility of Mt. Sherman via Leavick mine with the solitude of a Thirteener, and, indeed, it’s a joy to sit on the summit of White Ridge in the peace and quiet while the crowds congregate on Sherman’s busy summit. Due to the high elevation of the saddle shared with Mount Sherman , White Ridge lacks the magical 300 feet of prominence. But this peak possesses dramatic beauty, affords the visitors great views near and far, and provides a quiet sanctuary from the bustling masses on Mount Sherman.

Colorado Rank: Unranked
Prominence: 184 feet
USGS Quad: Mount Sherman
Planning Map: Trails Illustrated #110

Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Getting There

White Ridge from the northeastWhite Ridge from the northeast
Upwards toward the saddleUpwards toward the saddle
Through the snow toward saddleThrough the snow toward saddle
Summit is in viewSummit is in view

White Ridge is most frequently accessed via Fourmile Creek. Private property hinders access from the northeast and east, while numerous other high peaks to the west make Fourmile Creek the most logical option to access White Ridge. White Ridge is fine as a destination of its own, but plenty of visitors combine White Ridge with a visit to one or area summits, most notably Fourteener Mount Sherman.

The Fourmile Creek road is rough but passable for most passenger vehicles when dry and clear of snow. It should be noted, however, that those with high-clearance 4x4s will have a safer and more pleasant drive on this road than those without.

To get to this road from Fairplay, follow US 285 south for about one mile and turn right onto County Road 18. In the winter, this road is typically plowed to approximately 11,000 feet. In late summer, after the snow has melted, it is possible to drive to the gate at about 12,000 feet. Roadside parking can be limited and awkward on busy days or when snow banks narrow the road.

Red Tape

Strange Rock on RidgeStrange Rock on Ridge
Southeast along the ridgeSoutheast along the ridge

White Ridge resides within the Pike National Forest. Few formal restrictions apply to this area as it lies outside of federally-designated wilderness. Follow LNT (Leave No Trace) principals and be courteous of other recreationalists. Unfortunately, private property and in-holdings dominate northern access to this peak via Little Sacramento Gulch as well as direct access from the east.

Summit Views_Horseshoe MountainSummit Views_Horseshoe Mountain
Summit View_SouthwestSummit View to the Southwest
Summit Views_NorthSummit View to the North


The US Forest Service operates two campsites along Fourmile Road:

Fourmile Campground Horseshoe Campground
  • 14 sites
  • Elevation 10,760 feet
  • Directions: From Fairplay take Highway 285 South for one mile and turn right onto County Road 18. Follow County Road 18 for approximately seven miles and the campground will be on your left.
  • Campground open in the summer only
  • 19 sites
  • Elevation: 10,560 feet
  • Directions: From Fairplay travel south on US-285 for about one mile. Turn right onto County Road 18. Follow County Road 18 for approximately six miles and the campground will be on your right.
  • Campground open in the summer only

Fairplay Hotels
Several hotels are available in the nearby town of Fairplay, approximately 8 miles north of this area on Hwy 285.

Weather & Seasons

Heading toward White RidgeHeading toward White Ridge

Snow Season: Because county road 18 is typically plowed to about 11,000 feet in elevation, White Ridge is a viable year-round objective. Immediately following large dumps of snow, however, the road may not be plowed adding mileage to the outing. Exercise caution in the many west-ish facing couloirs and any snow slope.

Summer: Due to proximity to popular, walk-up Fourteener Mount Sherman, the Fourmile Creek Road / Leavick Mine area trailhead/parking can be a zoo on weekends in summer and into early fall.

External Links and Additional Information

Sawatch ViewsSawatch Views

Pike & San Isabel National Forests
South Park Ranger District campground Information
Pike National Forest Recreation Map
Cabin Near Hilltop MineCabin Near Hilltop Mine | Steven Cross