Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Cimarrons offer some of the best camping in this part of the state. Follow all Uncompahgre Wilderness regulations. Camping at Silver Jack Reservoir will cost you $14/night, but free dispersed camping is available all along the East Fork, Middle Fork, and West Fork roads, as well as the road leading up to Owl Creek Pass.
Some route-finding skills may be needed through the meadows.
Tucked beneath an unyielding canopy of high-reaching pine trees, aside from a few passing glimpses at Precipice Peak, the views don’t open up much once leaving the trailhead behind. For 0.6 miles, the route gains steadily, climbing 700 feet to reach an 11,000 foot ridge below Courthouse Mountain
. Meeting with Courthouse Mountain Trail #144
, the trail immediately drops from the ridge.
Across the next 0.8 miles, a steep descent finds a major drainage of Courthouse Mountain
. Easing up and wrapping towards the mountain's more familiar western face, the trail ripples across the contours on the flank of Courthouse Mountain
After 0.9 miles, the route enters a heavy grove of aspen, and the Stealey Mountain South Trail breaks off to your left. Back into the pine, another exhausting 1.1 miles finds Courthouse Creek and Stealey Mountain North.
Veering west, and easing into the Courthouse Creek drainage, the elevation loss grows rapid once again, and the trail makes a straight shot down to its western trailhead on County Road 12/FSR #857/Cow Creek Road, 1.9 miles away.
Flora & Fauna
You may spot the occasional deer, mountain goat, bighorn, or bear along this trail. Near and above treeline, a vivid display of wildflowers blanket the high-alpine meadows.
Shared By: Caroline Cordsen