Elevation: 7,664 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Date of Climb: September 26, 2019
Cotton Ridge is one of the many named ridges in the South Hills. It is sandwiched between Freds Mound to the east and the long Northwest Ridge of Trapper Peak to the west. The summit offers a nice view to the north. Cotton Ridge itself is over 3 miles in length. USGS Trapper Peak
Park at base of FSR-591 just outside the entrance to Father and Sons Campground. The elevation here is 7,260 feet. Depending upon road conditions, you may be able to significantly shorten this hike by driving up FSR-591, FSR-532, and FSR-172 and parking closer to the base of the Southeast Ridge or Southwest Face of Cotton Ridge.
Southeast Ridge, Class 2
Follow FSR-591 to its terminus at a junction with FSR-532. Go L/SW on FSR-532 and follow it to a junction with FSR-172 (just after crossing a cattle guard). Follow FSR-172 W then NW for almost 1-1/2 miles to reach the base of the South Ridge of Cotton Ridge just after passing an obvious saddle. The road descends 140 feet to reach this saddle.
Stay on FSR-172 until you pass the thick aspen forest and thick brush near the road. Leave the road and scramble up a steep scrub slope northward to quickly reach the rounded ridge. Follow the ridge NW up to the summit area. Thankfully, the sagebrush shortens as you gain elevation here. The final ridge section follows the L/W side of a fence row. The summit high point has a cairn and is located just past the corner of the fence row.
Climber Trip Reports