Mount Sherman (14,036 ft)
14er Peak Rank #45/53
Considered perhaps the easiest 14er to hike, Mount Sherman – featured on Colorado 14ers Series Map 4 of 16 – sits away from its fellow Mosquito Range 14ers clustered further north between Fairplay and Breckenridge. Mount Sherman allows hikers to start nice and high (12,050′ trailhead on the east side) and attain the flat summit after only 2.3 miles of Class 2 hiking – making it one of easier 14er peaks to climb.
Historic mine building near Mount Sherman
Mount Sherman was named after William Tecumseh Sherman – a Civil War general – by the Hayden surveying expedition in 1872 along with neighboring Mount Sheridan – another famous Civil War general. Located in a historic mining district rich with mineralization, evidence of old mine operations abound on the roads and trails around Mount Sherman, such as the Hilltop Mine perched on the side of the mountain.
From the late 1800s into the first half of the 20th century, the Hilltop mine produced precious metals and zinc. Trails in this area pass a variety of historic mine structures along the way, but beware that these old structures and mine workings can be very fragile and dangerous – so please keep your distance.
The gentle climb up Mount Sherman begins for most hikers on the east side of the mountain, having come up Four Mil Creek Road (County Rd 18) from Fairplay. The trailhead is the parking area just before the gate across the road (and most vehicles can get pretty close to the parking area). The route then meanders 1.5 miles up to the ridge (gaining 1,100′ in elevation along the way) before turning north along the ridge for about 0.8 miles to the flat summit – for a total of 2,000′ elevation gain.
From the west side of Mount Sherman, there is another route that is more convenient if coming from the Leadville area. In this case, County Roads 2 and then 2B lead east from Leadville through Iowa Gulch to a small, unmarked parking area before the Iowa Amphitheater. Look south to find a trail that leads up to the ridge of Mount Sherman for 1.3 miles before meeting up with the trail from the east and heading 0.8 miles further towards the summit. This route has a total of 2,000′ elevation gain from trailhead to summit.
As with all visits to the high country of Colorado: be prepared, know your limitations, watch the weather, drink plenty of water, and as always don’t forget your 14ers Maps. Mount Sherman is one of six fourteeners featured on Outdoor Trail Maps Colorado 14ers Series Map 4 of 16.
Directions to Trailheads
For the main trailhead from the east side, go south on US 285 1.25 miles from Fairplay and take County Road 18 (Four Mile Creek Road) on the right/west. After 1.25 miles on this road, the pavement ends; stay on this road for another 10.5 miles to the gate blocking the road, which is the unmarked trailhead. Four Mile Creek Road is a well-maintained road and suitable for 2WD vehicles until the last small stretch of road.
To climb Mount Sherman from the west via Iowa Gulch, take S. Toledo Street (County Road 2) south from Leadville for 4 miles until County Road 2B splits off to the left. Follow 2B for 3.2 miles to the trailhead parking on the right/south side of the road. Look for the trail that crosses the valley heading south and follow to the tallus slopes below Mount Sherman.