The Don Cecil Trail climbs the relatively cool north-facing slope of the canyon. This historic trail was the major access route to Cedar Grove prior to the completion of Highway 180 in 1939. The trail begins from Highway 180 in Cedar Grove at an elevation of 4,750 feet. It leads south from the highway into the Sheep Creek drainage. Shortly after leaving the trailhead the route crosses a dirt road and continues ascending Sheep Creek.
Approximately one mile from Highway 180 Don Cecil Trail enters Sheep Creek canyon. It crosses the gorge on a bridge that provides sweeping views of the waterway. The trail then leaves Sheep Creek leading along the southern bank. The trail begins to switchback along the eastern branch of the stream. It reaches an elevation of 6,000 feet by mile two. Turning westward it begins to climb another set of switchbacks after a short reprieve. This is where Lookout Peak comes into view on the western horizon.
At the top of the second set of switchbacks the trail reaches an elevation of 6,500 feet. The next mile is flat as the trail traverses the bank south of the western branch of Sheep Creek. At four miles the trail crosses the stream and follows it for a short distance. Beyond the stream crossing you're climbing again, reaching 7,000 feet. The trail turns sharply northward then westward reaching the ridge northeast of Lookout Peak. Follow the Don Cecil Trail around the eastern and southern flanks of the peak. The trail meets the Big Meadows Road where the summit trail begins. Follow the summit trail until it ends on the peak then continue scrambling to the mountain crest.
The Don Cecil Trail continues southward to Marvin Pass from the road and summit trail junction. It begins to descend from the flanks of Lookout Peak and reaches 7,400 feet in a half mile. The trail remains level for a short distance then begins to ascend again. During the next mile and a half the trail leads along the western side of Sentinel Ridge eventually ascending the ridge at Marvin Pass. South of Marvin Pass hikers can enter the Jennie Lakes Wilderness.
Directions: From Cedar Grove, The trailhead for the Don Cecil Trail lies on the southern side of Highway 180 .2 miles east of Cedar Grove Village.
Elevation: 4,750 feet
Ending Elevation: 8,630 feet
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