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great hike..got last spot in parking lot at 540am on Thursday...glad we had a jeep for the drive in. beautiful flowers, mountain goats, and scenery!

Stunning views, great workout, alien landscape and very windy in spots - it doesn't matter if the forecast calls for 10-15 mph winds, prepared to be blasted. It was worst on Democrat and on the way up to Cameron.

Poles not only help you with balance when the wind howls, they come in handy descending from Bross. Just take it slow coming down.

Parking? We took the last spot in the lot at 6:45 am Wednesday. No big deal, lots of openings on the road approaching the parking lot.

Also, we saw hikers in tennis shoes. Hiking boots are a must! Have fun, stay safe!

hiking
17 hours ago

FWIW, I am 66 and made it to the top with the help of an oxygen botte. A beautiful area, well worth the effort. Hiking up to wear the bouldering starts is not all that difficult. Up to that point would be a nice day hike in and off itself. In fact, depending on what kind of shape you are in, you might want to do that one day, recover, and then go to the very top a couple or so days later. What makes the hike difficult is that last 1000 feet or so up through the rocks to the top. I think that part took me two hours up and down. I have been up other 14ers, but it has been a while. In my memory, Bierstadt was the easiest up to where the bouldering started, but the "final assent" was easier at some other 14ers. Heavily trafficked. I started a little late, around noon, and probably crossed paths with 50 people on their way down. It took me 7 hours total, but I was pretty slow on the way down. I was probably the oldest person hiking. I saw one person who looked to be in his mid-50's. Everyone else seemed to be early 40s or younger. The median age was probably early 30's. In my younger days, I probably could have done it in 5-6 hours. Consider carrying a can of oxygen if you are from sea level or in my age range.

Amazing Hike!!! I recommend camping at kite lake the night before, watched a lighting storm ten miles out from my tent, more beautiful then the 4th of july. woke up in the night to see every star in the galexy, and in the morning just as I peaked Bross i met the sun and it gave me the warmest embrace. Best day hike ever! I got it done in just over 5 hrs but I was moving. Amazing views all around and great hike for cardio training as you cross the peaks. I started with Bross and glad I did, loose sharp rock and steep at spots. Democrat last isn't that bad especially after your lungs have adjusted doing the other 3, I probably went up Democrat at a faster pace then Bross. No matter the route, great people on the trail with beautiful views. I highly recommend!

Hiked this last Sunday. We were trying to avoid the storms that were slated to set in around 11am, so arrived at the Kite Lake trailhead around 4pm Saturday. We had no trouble finding a campsite, and it's a truly lovely spot to spend the evening stargazing.

We decided to take the clockwise route so we could catch the sunrise from Mt. Democrat. We left the trailhead at 3:30am, and made it to the summit of Democrat around 5:30. No trouble finding the trail with headlamps on high power, even as you get onto Democrat proper, which is scree marked with cairns. The sunrise was fantastic - everything we hoped for. Our second-favorite summit of the day.

The walk from Democrat to Cameron is a slog. Very rocky and not very scenic. Not much to see from Cameron, so we quickly continued on to Lincoln, which we made around 8am. This was my favorite peak - a fun climb and fabulous views. Not as exhausting as it looks, either!

Finally, we turned our attention to Bross, which seems miles away and kind of tall from the trail near Lincoln. Some nice downhill, then some gentle uphill and you're pretty much there. Not the most scenic summit, but savor the moment if you're going clockwise because the descent of Bross to the Kite Lake Trailhead is pretty terrible. Piles of loose, slippery scree everywhere, and the trail is not always obvious. We accidentally turned left too soon where the trail steeply descends from the summit into a valley to rejoin the main trail and ended up having to slide down a near-vertical wash for about 150 feet. Not fun! The descent seems to take an eternity, with slippery scree the entire way. By the end I was cursing Mt. Bross big time. We made it back to the trailhead a little after 10am. In retrospect I think it's probably wise to go counter-clockwise (safety first).

This hike should be do-able by anyone who is fit and acclimated (even the bad descent of Bross). Just be careful to avoid slipping and twisting an ankle! The place is full of flowers this time of year, and this set of peaks is relatively thinly trafficked - we had time alone on each of the 4 summits. Would definitely recommend this hike - and plan to do it again myself (just in the other direction next time...)!

Great way to bag 3 (maybe 4?) 14ers. I would definitely go Bross first, the trail was steep and very loose, I couldn’t imagine coming down it. Overall really great hike with awesome views. Started at 6:15 and finished at 1:00 with time spent on all peaks. Lot was full and road parking was filling up when we arrived so get there early.

Really enjoyed this hike because of the challenge, views and trail maintenance. The trail is heavily traveled and you better leave early if you want the trail to yourself. I started at 7:30 and the parking area was full, but plenty of parking along the road. I am a beginner hiker and the trail was very challenging and took me about 6 hours to complete. Views above tree line and at the summit were spectacular. Finally, the trail was mantained very well. Dress warm as it was cool and windy at the summit. Have fun.

Perfect for our first 14’er!!

The trail was challenging but very scenic and clean.
The mesmerizing views will give the push to ascent 3526 ft elevation in 3.1 miles.
Hiking sticks are recommended especially for the down trek
1 complain - there should have been at least 1 trash zone on the trail (6.2 miles round trip)

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike! Some notes for out-of-towner’s (like us) trying to gauge this hike against ability. I am 53 year old male, reasonably fit., but could lose a few. Hiked with my 24 year old daughter, who is in good shape. We started at 5:30. Up and down in 4:25. Took us 2:17 up. We didn’t stay long because of wind and cold at the top. My wife who is also here with us, opted out because of posts here on loose footing up above. But now that we’ve done it, we realize it is not as bad as many other hikes we’ve been on.

We were faster than most, but did get passed by others, including one guy who was running- yes running - UP. He must’ve been up and down in 3::00-3:15 - impressive.

Gauging by the groups we passed, which varied in age from 10-75, I’d say that’ the average round trip is 6 hours, and 90% finish in the 4:30-7:30 hour range.

Have fun!

So beautiful and my favorite 14er so far! The wildflowers were so pretty and there was a water fall to the right as your hiking up to summit. Nice clean non rocky trail the most of the way. Then just 5 to 10 minutes before the summit was boulder field.
Amazing and recommend for a first 14er!

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

did Democrat Cameron Lincoln bross and that order glad I did accept the trail coming down off bross is very narrow and all loose gravel not my favorite part of the trail and a little sketchy at times I would recommend going back over Cameron after summiting Bross for an easier descent back to the trailhead

hiking
2 days ago

What a great hike! I love goals at the end to strive for and that view does not disappoint, so push through folks! I read many reviews before I headed up and many had said the loose rock is kinda tough, I may have underestimated those comments and felt the rock proved difficult, especially on the way down, watch those ankles!

Had the best time hiking this today! This was my tenth fourteener and probably has been my favorite so far. Not super hard and the trail was very well defined and easy to follow. Views were some of the prettiest I have seen! It also isn’t as popular as Elbert which I did last summer so it was nice not having the trail be super crowded. Saw some mountain goats as well. 10/10 recommend!

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

First 14er I ever did. Trail was easy to follow, lots of other hikers going up that day. Had to stop often to catch my breath.

Brutal drive coming off of the highway...as others have mentioned, wouldn't do it in a passenger car.

Arrived at 5:15 am-ish, and I took one of the last three parking spots in the lot. Pretty heavily used trail...even for a Monday morning.

Great hike, though. Very windy at the top, so putting on layers was a smart move.

Our first 14ers! Wow, what an experience. I'm hooked! Couple things: The road is absolutely terrible. We picked up some hitchhikers going back to the bottom, and I would recommend thumbing a ride.
There is absolutely no scrambling. Just lots of steps!
Views were astounding on both peaks even in the smoke which made up for relatively mediocre scenery on the way up.
5.5 hours total trail time.

Was awesome!! Done 11 and this was my favorite.

Great fun

2 days ago

most beautiful backpacking trip ive ever done. would do it again. spend an extra day at lake como, its worth it just soaking in its beauty.

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

Gray was my first 14er and it was a beautiful trail!!! Many of the reviews said it was a packed trail, I went on a Monday starting around 10am and found it to be pretty lightly populated.

I didn’t train or acclimate myself to the altitude. It was doable, I made it to the top but there were a lot of breather breaks in between (and some altitude sickness when I got home).

Amazing wildlife along the way!! Encountered mountain goats, Marmots, and nice!

Had a great time going solo on the DeCaLiBron yesterday. I would definitely recommend going up Democrat and down Bross- also bring trekking poles for the way down Bross to make falling less likely. Took me 6 and a half hours round-trip including stops at the summit and talking to a lot of people along the trail. So fun to hike above treeline too! Would definitely recommend.

We did the loop by going up Bross and started at 5:30am. We didn’t go to the peak of Bross, since it’s off limits. Most people did, though. I realize it’s hard to pass up, but it would be a bummer if that keeps the park service from securing official access.

Lincoln was our fave of the four, as it was less crowded and pretty easy once we were up Bross. It was also the only one where I could find a geologic marker.

Cameron was really nice, since it is so spacious. We actually encountered a group who took a full size cooler up and had taken games to play. I certainly hope Cameron gets official recognition at some point. If you are hiking up from Democrat, I would thiGoing down the other side of Cameron was a bummer knowing we were going to have to climb back up to Democrat.

All in all, awesome hike! Worth the work

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing hike. Did this in two days, second 14er. First one was La Plata, which I thought was harder. But then again I learned my lesson and took ibuprofen and tylenol every 6 hours to prevent the pounding headache that I had with La Plata.

This was part of a bachelor party! We arrived Friday at trailhead at 11AM, hiked up the trail to the second campsite about 3.7 miles in (much better than first), and arrived around 2PM. First campsite super crowded, had about 7 groups. We had the second one to ourselves pretty much. Set alarm for 1:30AM to go outside and find a sky lit up with stars and a great view of the milky way and some sweet shooting stars.

Woke up next day, lazying around and left at 9:30AM. Summited with day packs around 2PM because we are out of shape. Tough hike with the elevation, with a small 5-10 minute technical climb at the end but definitely doable. Views on top are of course, unbelievable. Shared some celebratory scotch at the top.

Things to keep in mind:

- You need a 4x4 to get to the trailhead, Definitely. A miniSUV might make it, maybe.
- Plenty of water along the trail. Bring iodine pills, a pump, or what have you. No need to carry tons of water.
- Campfires are usually allowed, except when it's super dry in the summer and there's a fire ban in place

We did not do Columbia too, but ran into some people who summited Columbia, and hiked across the ridge to Harvard. They had said Columbia is the toughest they've ever done after 12x 14ers. Take care with attempting to bag 2 peaks in a day.

10/10 would do again

The road up to Kite Lake was better than expected with some rutted out spots (it was dry on 7/14). I got to the Trailhead at about 8am and had to park along the road about 0.5 miles from the parking lot, paid the $3 fee and began the hike from Kite Lake to Democrat at around 8:40am. The trail was fairly busy, primarily at the beginning as many people decided to only summit Mt. Democrat, so the crowd died down by the time I summited Cameron. The stretch from the top of Democrat to the top of Cameron was the most challenging for me, but it was smooth sailing to Lincoln and Bross. The top of Bross is private property, but those who choose to summit and loop back to the parking lot should be aware that the “trail” down is loose talus and can be very dangerous. Overall, the hike was a blast! I’d say it’s a moderate hike since it begins above tree line with relatively low mileage, especially for the fit and acclimated.

off road driving
4 days ago

This trail was awesome! I am a novice in the off roading realm and this trail was a great place to start. We went up here to camp and were not disappointed. There are plenty of areas to set up a tent and they’re far enough away from the other spots you’re not disturbed. 4x4 is definitely recommended along with proper clearance. My stock Xterra did great! When you come to the water crossing you can cross the water for Mt. Antero or go straight to Baldwin Lake. I tried to go up to Baldwin lake but either my vehicle or my nerves couldn’t handle it and I had to stick to Mt. Antero. Everyone on the trail whether in a Jeep, ATV, motorcycle or other SUV was very polite. Hit this trail!

hiking
4 days ago

Physically demanding, but certainly worth it. Great scenery and a nice view from the top. Definitely recommend an early start to beat the crowds and/or summer thunderstorms.

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