A lesser-used route from the western Iowa Gulch Trailhead that provides folks with a longer and more difficult option to summit Mount Sherman and Sheridan. Expect relatively loose trail, though not terrible, with beautiful views, wildflowers, and a couple creek crossings in the basin.
This area is largely private land. Please respect the trail and signage, as any misuse could lead to restricted access in the future. Practice LNT and "pack it in, pack it out" principles!
Head up County Road 2B to access this private trailhead for the Iowa Gulch Trail
. The trailhead and parking area are largely unmarked except for two concrete blocks around one hundred yards before the end of the road at the Iowa Amphitheater.
The trail drops from the road as it heads through the bushes and wildflowers that cover the basin. This area is typically wet with small creeks and streams braiding down from the cliffs above. All crossings should have a means of getting across without much work or wet feet.
After a little over three-tenths of a mile, the trail rises above the vegetation and begins the long, rocky ascent to the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. The trail crosses areas of larger rocks, hard-pack dirt, but mostly firm gravel. This is the longest sustained climb of the day so take your time to appreciate your lungs and heart.
Near the saddle, the trail makes a couple long switchbacks and then merges with the Mt. Sherman
featured hike from the southeast and the Mount Sheridan Route
from the south.
Here, you'll be able to choose between the taller, longer, but flatter ascent of Mount Sherman or the shorter and steeper climb to the top of Mount Sheridan.
This route heads north to Mount Sherman first. Expect the crowds along this route as the label "one of the easiest 14ers" brings the masses. The ascent is nice, however, with some more exposed sections, all of which are wide enough for at least two people across. Remember to yield to folks heading up as much as the trail allows.
Back at the saddle, this route climbs steeply up the Mount Sheridan Route
, attempting to follow the most worn switchbacks through the rocks and scree. At the top, follow the short saddle to the large cairn and windbreak for a snack and some rewarding views.
At this point, retrace your steps to the saddle and return to the Iowa Gulch Trailhead.