Mount Sherman

West Slopes
Difficulty Class 1 
Risk FactorsExposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
TrailheadIowa Gulch
Start12,000 feet
Summit14,043 feet
Total Gain2,150 feet
RT Length4.50 miles
Last UpdatedAug 2023
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The road closure (started in 2022) is still in place at 3 miles up from Leadville. The road is blocked, with parking off to the left. This means you will have to walk nearly 4 miles to get to the actual Iowa Gulch trailhead.
Take US 24 through downtown Leadville to the southern end of town. Turn east onto Monroe Street and drive 0.2 miles. Turn right (south) on Lake County 2 (Toledo St). Follow CR 2 (paved) for approximately 3.8 miles to a fork in the road. Turn left on a 2WD dirt road and continue 3.0 miles up into Iowa Gulch to the trailhead. A total of 7 miles from US 24 in Leadville. The trailhead is unmarked - park along the road. If you're hiking Mts Sherman or Sheridan, locate the trail (below the edge of the road) as it heads toward the creek under the power lines.


In summer, you can drive all the way to the upper trailhead at 12,000', but in winter the Sherman road is closed at the intersection with County Road (CR) 2 - 1. After leaving CR 2, continue 3 miles up the Sherman road to 12,000', below the mine buildings. Because this is an unmarked trailhead, the first priority is to locate the trail that leads across the basin. Find the small road that turns down and back to the right below the side of the main road - 2. This is the best place to start. Walk down this road and look for the trail that starts on the left after about 50 yards - 2. The trail drops past a wooden electric pole and heads south toward the stream below. There are a few spots where the trail has been washed away. Stay with the trail as it weaves southeast through willows to reach the east end of Iowa Gulch. Continue south and southwest on the trail as it climbs up onto talus - 3 and 4. The trail becomes thin in some areas but it's fairly easy to follow. Continue to the gully between Mt. Sherman and Mt. Sheridan - 5.

Stay on the trail as it climbs southeast along the left side of the gully - 6. Your next goal is to reach the Sherman-Sheridan saddle at the top of the gully. Switchback to 13,000' ( 7) before sweeping left to reach the north side of the Sherman-Sheridan saddle - 8 and 9. Begin hiking north up Sherman's southwest ridge - 10. There is a good trail all the way to the summit. You will encounter various trail sections but they all lead up the ridge. Between 13,600' and 13,800', the ridge narrows and there is only one trail along the ridge crest - 11. Continue to the final pitch along the ridge ( 12) and ascend to the south end of the Sherman's summit ridge - 13. Walk another 0.2 miles to reach the true summit - 14 and 15.


At can be a bit difficult to locate the start of the trail from the main road. Look for a small road that starts off to the right. The trailhead is almost exactly at 12,000'.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15

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