With a higher clearance vehicle and a drive to the top of Stony Pass, this peak can be a very easy and short hike on Class 1 & 2 terrain and offers an outstanding view of the Grenadier Range.
Canby - NW Ridge Route
Short Day // A Wee Little Climb
RT From Stony Pass TH:
From the Town of Silverton, drive east to where the paved road splits one block past the courthouse and veer right onto blue-signed County Road 2 (set odometer here) for 4.2 miles of nicely graded dirt road to Howardsville. (On Trails Illustrated map #141, this road is labeled #110. Pavement ends after 2 miles.) Turn right onto BLM/FS Road 589 for Cunningham Gulch and Stony Pass. At 4.4 miles, stay right and avoid going up to the "Old Mine Tour." At 5.9 miles driving south, take the left fork for Stony Pass and begin the climb out of Cunningham Gulch. The Stony Pass road is BLM/FS 737. Once you leave Cunningham Gulch, the road will begin to degrade to a 4WD/high clearance status. In 1998, when we made this trip, vehicles like Subaru wagons could have made it to the summit of Stony Pass. In subsequent years, the road has experienced enough traffic and weathering to have some rough spots where a higher clearance vehicle is the safer bet. This road is also quite steep for its short duration of about 3 miles to the summit. Once at the top of the pass, park at a small turnout on the south side of the road.
Best place for overnight camping would be back down in Cunningham Gulch, south of the turnoff for Stony Pass. There are a few at-large campsites before the road in Cunningham ends. Otherwise, it's possible to park and car or tent camp at the pass. We do not recall any camp spots on along the 3 mile drive up to Stony Pass.
Route Info Canby - NW Ridge
Year Climbed: 1998
From the top of Stony Pass, look for a trail on the north side of the road that heads directly up the southwest slopes of Canby. The trail heads directly up a tundra slope, then turns north as it follows a tundra bench above some lower cliffs. Do not be confused by the CD/Colorado Trail which also crosses the road near the summit of Stony Pass. The trail that heads north crosses an area of rocks & talus and then returns to tundra as it leads upward to intersect the NW ridge of Canby at 13,080 ft. Once you gain the ridge, turn abruptly SSE and follow the ridge to the summit of Canby. The lower ridge will be mostly tundra. The upper ridge will turn to smaller talus and rubble. Though not particularly exposed, the upper ridge narrows and drops off precipitously on the north side to add a little excitement.
From the summit, take in the fine view of the Grenadier Range to the south. If you have not climbed Storm Peak viewable to the north, you may want to study its north side for future reference. For a descent back to your vehicle, head back down the NNW ridge but watch for a scree slope on the left, a couple hundred yards down from the summit, where you can glissade down small talus for several hundred feet and intersect the trail that cuts across the southwest face of Canby.
Bonus Points: On the south side of Stony Pass, there's Unnamed 13,165 (Stony Pass Peak - ranked) which can be climbed in under an hour. Or, make it a full day by also including Sheep and Greenhalgh Mountains to the ESE of the pass and Galena Mtn. north of Canby. In addition, the July wildflowers near the top of Stony Pass, especially on the north side can be spectacular.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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