I parked at the Leavick townsite which is unmarked and is roughly 10.5 miles from the US285/CR-18 junction. I could've driven another mile or so farther but I figured the extra distance wouldn't hurt, what with this being a relatively short hike anyway. About a half mile up the road, I got my first glimpse of Mt. Sheridan, a 13er that shares the southwest ride with Mt. Sherman but wasn't on the agenda for the day.
First view of Mt. Sheridan
The 4WD road closure gate which marks the Fourmile Creek TH is another 1.5 miles down the road.
The Fourmile Creek trail is somewhat unique in that it lacks the densely wooded portion that's typical on most 14er trails starting below treeline. The early part of the trail is broad and open as it meanders through the mine buildings. Shortly into the hike, Mt. Sherman came into view exposing the trail winding up to Hilltop mine and the traverse over its long southwest ridge.
Early look at the route and peak
The appearance was a little misleading as there was snow on the trail that quickly increased with elevation; thankfully, it was well packed and traction wasn't an issue for the most part. Wind, however, did make its chilling presence felt as I climbed up to the ledge west of Hilltop mine which leads up to the saddle between Mt. Sheridan and Mt. Sherman.
Ledge leading to the saddle
Saddle and ridge route
The hike from the saddle traverses the wind-scoured ridge that leads up to two false summits.
False Summit 1
False Summit 2
The true summit is another ¼ mile from the last pretender and is the penultimate hump in the picture below.
Final pitch to the gentle summit
Once on the top, I was rewarded with spectacular views of the Sawatch range. Here you can see Mt. Elbert, Colorado's highest, in all her majesty.
View of Mt. Elbert
...and the awesome five-summited Mt. Massive.
View of Mt. Massive
Here is a view over the South ridge gracing the top of Mt. Sheridan while the Sawatch range fills the background.
Summit View to the South
Here is a shot of yours truly; what appears to be a "Come to Papa" look was my attempt at an ear-to-ear grin but evidently, everything is muted at high altitude! Twin-summited Gemini Peak is visible in the background to the left.
It was not until I was well on my descent that it dawned on me that this hike marked the 13th anniversary of my previous ascent of Mt. Sherman. Today's was a solo venture but in 1997 I had hiked this peak with an amazing woman that I soon started dating and to whom I am now happily married. I will eternally be grateful to Colorado and her magnificent mountains for these incredible memories!