While Dyer Mountain may easily be reached by a strolling, Class 2 ridge walk from Mount Sherman, a more interesting route exists on the west side of the range by driving in from Leadville. The West Ridge route to the summit offers some Class 3 scrambling and the start is still accessible to passenger vehicles. The overall route may still be completed in just a few hours since there is no lengthy approach hike. The overall mileage from the east side & hiking over Mt. Sherman will be significantly longer than the hike from the Leadville side. See both routes and separate trailheads below.
Dyer Mtn. SE Ridge Route
Long Day // Back for Dinner
RT From Fourmile-Leavick:
From the intersection of US 285 and SH 9 at Fairplay, drive south on US 285 for one mile to CR 18. Turn west onto the county road. In about four miles, you'll come to National Forest land. Drive west past the Horseshoe CG , then the Fourmile CG. Both are rather small and have limited number of sites. 2.5 miles past the turnoff for the Fourmile CG you'll arrive at the old mining townsite of Leavick where there are still some old buildings. Park in this vicinity for passenger vehicles. 4WD may be able to continue up the road as much as another two miles. Much of the land around here is privately held, mostly old mining claims. Respect any private property postings. Mt. Sheridan is on privately held land. Much of the route up to Mt. Sherman is also on privately held land. Fortunately, at this point, there have been no attempts to block access to these peaks.
As mentioned above, there are two National Forest Campgrounds on the drive in - the Horseshoe and the Fourmile. It appears that the Fourmile CG is always first-come, first-served while the Horseshoe has sites that can be reserved on Recreation.gov during the "reservation season." Other than these two campgrounds, you may find a primitive site on the north side of CR 18 at Horseshoe and some other primitive sites on the south side of the road, a short distance back east from Horseshoe CG.
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Year Climbed: 1988
From the suggested park location at Leavick, walk WNW up the main road and above the Dauntless Mine, follow the well established route to Mt. Sherman's SW ridge. The only "difficulty" is found along the SW ridge crest of Sherman. The route remains an easy Class 2 hike. The summit of Sherman always impressed us as one of the largest and nearly flat summits to be found anywhere. You could play a limited football game here.
From Sherman, continue walking north down the ridge to the Sherman-Gemini saddle. Take a ten minute detour over to the higher, eastern summit of Gemini. It offers a nice view and has a rock shelter to block the frequent winds. Then, return to the main ridge and follow it down to the Gemini-Dyer saddle, losing about 500 feet in elevation. Then, ascend the ESE ridge of Dyer, regaining over 475 vertical feet. The entire traverse is on a mix of sparse tundra, scree, chiprock and smaller rubble. Much of the hiking is really Class 1. You will find some use-trail to follow from Sherman to Dyer. The round-trip elevation gain we show includes having to re-ascend Gemini and Mt. Sherman to return to your vehicle.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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