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Stealey Mountain North - Via Owl Creek Pass Trailhead


Take the Owl Creek Pass Road (County Road 10) 12.9 miles from Highway 550. At this point there is a short side road (the old Owl Creek Pass Road) to the right and a sign post indicating the Stealey Mountain trailhead as being down that road at its end (0.1 mile).


Caution: 0.5 mile down the trail (roadbed) an ATV trail enters the road and parallels the road below the roadbed. That ATV trail IS the trail. There is a carsonite stake marking the point where the trail leaves the roadbed. Stay on the ATV trail for about a mile and then it becomes another road. There is a hunter's camp at that location.

The trail follows an old pack trail south and west down into the Owl Creek gorge and then south up a side fork of Owl Creek. The trail crosses this fork about halfway up the gorge and then switchbacks and meanders upwards to near the top of Green Mountain. At 4.0 miles the trail reaches its closest point to Courthouse. There are great views of Chimney Rock and Courthouse and also the Sawtooth/Needles. At 4.3 miles the trail reaches its highest point at 9,920 feet. There is a cattle guard and fence line there. 0.4 mile further on, the trail forks. Take the right fork. Another 0.1 mile and it forks again. Take the left fork this time, uphill. At 4.5 miles, views of the San Juans can be seen through the trees, and at 5.6 miles there are some house sized boulders. Then at 5.9 miles, just before entering the Uncompahgre Wilderness area, there is an awesome view of Courthouse. Once the trail drops off Green Mountain to the south, it then proceeds at a fairly level grade to its junction with the Courthouse Trail (6.1 miles). An option at this point is to turn right on the Courthouse Trail to its Cow Creek trailhead (2.1 miles). However, you may also follow the Courthouse Trail 1.3 miles to the left to the next Stealey Mountain Trail junction. At this point one can continue left on the Courthouse Trail to the West Fork (Cimarron) Road (2.7 miles) or turn right on the Stealey Mountain Trail to its Cow Creek trailhead (5.4 miles).

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