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Great hike & gorgeous views along the way as well as at the summit. Not too difficult if you are in good shape. Some ice in the beginning to middle of the trail that turned into slush on the way back down in the early afternoon (boots definitely got muddy on the way down). Doable with just hiking boots, but yaktrax and hiking poles are helpful if you have them. A good amount of snow as well as wind during the middle to end of the way up to the summit. Top of the summit was quite windy and only stayed up there for about 15 minutes due to this. Way back down was much easier if you had a hiking pole to help with the snow & ice, but again, doable without. Would recommend multiple layers, hats & gloves, handwarmers to put inside gloves (those were a huge plus!), as well as a ski mask or something to pull up and over most of your face for the way down, as the wind was almost unbearable at points. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot at the start of the trail. I recommend starting in the morning (8am or earlier) in order to avoid some of the snow & ice melt that turns the trail into mud on the way down.

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome hike and views.. Not as challenging as some other 14ers but there was a good amount of snow and ice from the half way point up. If you want a more enjoyable hike definitely bring micro spikes and some walking poles. Poles aren't necessary but will make your hike easier. There is a false summit that leads to a bit of a scramble to actually summit. On the way down the spikes made descending much faster and easier. I took mine off about half way down as the weren't needed anymore. When you get about half way down all the morning ice and snow pretty much turns to mud.

Great hike. it may have been 34 at the trail head but half way to the summit the wind had to be 30+ mph. Deeper snow as you head up to the ridge. Definitely need poles or micro spikes.

hiking
20 days ago

Did it today. Beautiful weather. Started at 8:30am, summited at 10:45am. Only stayed up there for 10 minutes and i think it took me about an hour and thirty minutes to get back down.
I put on my spikes about half way up. The snow was nicely packed, only deep in a few spots. It was windy in a few spots but not bad for the most part.
It wasn’t easy due to the wind but not very difficult since it’s a fairly short hike and there is zero exposure.
My first Colorado 14er!

hiking
21 days ago

We did this hike yesterday. Weather was 35 and sunny when we left the parking lot at 9:00. Beautiful hike. Beautiful day for the end of October. Nice and easy with a slight incline the first 2 miles. Packed snow on most of the trail. The last mile to the summit was kind of treacherous. Loose snow, very windy, cold. Yak tracks are a MUST. It was doable if you were set on doing a 14er in late Oct, but I were to do this hike again, I would go in August.

rock climbing
25 days ago

Wicked climb! made it to the lakes in 70 min. then the climbing begins. fun test of your route finding and climbing skill.

hiking
26 days ago

We left the trailhead at 9:30 am. There trail was covered in packed snow from other hikers. We passed others hikers leaving that couldn't summit because of the wind but by the time we got up there at 1:15pm there was no wind and an eerie silence. Beautiful views all around. Going down was slippery but felt that the packed snow around the rocks cushioned our steps. We made it down in 2 hours.

Hiked this one today, it my was my first 14er but I’ve been living In Colorado and hike rather frequently. Got to the parking lot at 9am and found open parking. The hike is long and mainly flat for the first hour, then starts climbing slowly and ends with a rock scramble up the last few hundred feet to the summit. Lots of packed down snow and icy/ slippery patches going up made it feel like walking in sand, very tiring. Coming down extremely slippery. If you do this one in the snow you absolutely need poles and yak tracks. Took lots of breaks along the way and had a picnic at the top. Took us 7hours round trip. Overall beautiful views and not too Terrible, snow made things slightly more challenging.

First 14 for us. It was a beautiful day but there was a lot of snow on the ground. It was slippery on the way down. We got an early start and beat the crowds. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. The trail starts out very easy and starting before sunrise was great. The elevation was a factor for us near the top, but it’s a great hike.

Great 14er with some amazing views. Best as a sunrise summit.

Did this hike in July on a clear day. Left at 0200, reaches the summit at 0830 and returned to the car by 1430. Views are awesome. The views before the keyhole were cool and once you cross to the other side the views change and get even better. Some slippery areas, but very doable.

Great climb. Went up 10/10/18, 3-6” of snow on the trail for the first 1.25miles. 1’ - 3’ feet! snow drifts from there on to the saddle. We were unable to make the peak due to conditions. Feet were soaked on the way down. 2hrs 50 mins up, 2hrs 10 mins down. Be smart. Be careful. We were the only car in the parking lot. Only ones out there.

My first 14er today at Mt.Bierstadt. It starts out not too bad, but I agree with these other comments, the elevation totally got to me and I felt like I had to stop constantly towards the steep part of the trail. Still feels like a great accomplishment! No mountain goats or any wildlife that we saw. Super windy at the top, so we did not stay long up there! With windchill I believe it was close to 15 degrees.

Better than I thought. I went on a Monday so there were fewer ppl. I less than a day if you start around 6:30. You could drive to Quandary or something and get that one done too if you have a good pace. It is a rocky and the abandoned mines are pretty neat. Overall I enjoyed what it had to offer.

Truly an awesome experience. So glad to do it. And the dogs loved it too. Moderately full lot. Don’t go all the way to the top of the parking lot without high clearance. Keep an eye out for active mines on the road up and ruins of mines throughout the hike. Perfectly sunny day but it was entirely above 12,000 feet on the last day of September so I wore ski hat, ski mittens, ski pants and a fleece the whole way. Started up Democrat at 730a. Democrat is pretty steep. About 1 3/4 hours to that summit. Went back down to the saddle then up Cameron. It’s tough but not as tough as Democrat. Cameron has several false summits. Only about 900 vertical instead of 2,100-2,200. Another 1 1/4 for that leg. Cameron is a weird domed summit and then you feel like you’re taking a leisurely walk down to the Lincoln saddle. You don’t even feel like you’re descending but you do about 200 feet. Lincoln is by far the most interesting looking of the mountains and you can ram up the 250 feet or so on a very well worn trail in 20 minutes or so. Take the same trail down Lincoln and take an easy traverse around the side of Cameron to Bross. Another gentle trail brings you up Bross. We headed down the trail from Bross at noon (4 1/2 hours) and oh crap that’s when it gets hard. I forgot my poles at home and really regretted it. Don’t be that guy: bring your poles. I read other reviews on this site about the scree field going down Bross and thought people were exaggerating. They’re not. This was an hour and a half of making sure each step doesn’t send you sliding off the mountain. I loved it once I was done as that descent was one of the more challenging experiences of my life. But I could see where many people would only want to do Democrat and Cameron (once you go down Cameron to the Lincoln saddle, you either have to descend via Bross or summit Cameron again). A perfect day for me and the dog did fine, but this full loop is not for everyone.

Pretty easy hike for a 14er until you get to the saddle, then it gets a little technical. We went really slow with this one for a total of 10 hours. Started at 630 and was off the mountain still in plenty of time. If you get a nice weather day in the fall I would highly recommend, the Aspen trees were some of the most beautiful I've seen. Of the 12 14ers I have hiked, this was one is up there as far as a good hike and beautiful views. Enjoy!

we did this hike today and it wasn’t too bad. it was pretty easy as far as the trail goes, but then the elevation was kind of an issue when you got asthma. nothing a puff can’t fix tho jaja.

the wind was wicked at the summit so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. the views were worth the work and dealing with so many people.

My 1st 14er definitely tough the views were amazing throughout. the winds were super chilly at the top. definitely layer, coming down we saw a couple of people with minimal clothing. Don't underestimate this hike and be prepared.

Was really windy. Got to the trail at 5 and climbed bross route first. It was a bit of scree and loose rocks. We made it for sunrise. It's nice to have the wind shelters on top. We left and got destroyed by wind on our way to Lincoln. Wasn't to hard to grab the second one, we were done with that and then Cameron at 8 or so. then came down to the base of Democrat ate some, and were up to the top at 10. Down to the car at 11. So about 6 hours total. bring Lots of layers because of the wind, heat, cold. Amazing views, most of the work is at the beginning and end.

hiking
1 month ago

So beautiful. We started at 10:30am and it took us about 6 hours. We had a little one on our backs so we took lots of snack/picnic breaks. Quite windy at the top so I recommend you dress accordingly.

Awesome hike. The rock after the keyhole is pretty darn worn from all the hikers. It was super slick even in completely dry conditions - wouldn’t recommend if any ice.

9/25 Extremely challenging with poor weather. Temps were well below freezing and winds strong from Chasm split through Boulder field. Sustained winds 35+ @ Granite Pass. Absolutely miserable. Took 5 hours to 6.5 mile Keyhole. 9 of 12 people turned around @ Keyhole. Not sure if any made it. Ice and strong winds stopped me there. Plus I blew my time window taking so long to Keyhole. Had a little AMS. I live at 800 ft ASL and had 2 days to acclimate. I’m an avid runner and in shape, but winds and cold kicked my butt. Still worth it; enjoyed the views. I will be back but in summer with lower winds. A guide said he was 2 for 5 on the year. Ranger said only 35% make their 1st attempt. I used all 4L of water and sandwich, cliff bars and Gu. Dressed same as snow skiing. Leave before 2am to arrive Keyhole by sunrise and snack/recharge. 13.2 miles to Keyhole and back. Good luck and watch the weather.

hiking
1 month ago

Got there at 7am on a Tuesday (9/26) and there were still plenty of parking spots. Wasn’t crowded at all. Make sure you bring a wind breaker, gloves, a hat, and plenty of water. 2liters was just enough to get me through the last stretch on the way back. Trail is well mAintained. Saw big horn sheep and mountain goats while I was up there! Started at 7:30 and I reached the summit at 10:30. I’m coming from below sea level so I took a lot of breaks to catch my breath. The hike wasn’t too hard in my opinion, but I’m in shape and exercise regularly.

Got to parking lot about 6:20AM. Only about 6 other cars were there. Temperature was 26 degrees F. Got to trail head at 6:30AM. I started out strong. Made it to 12000 elevation by 7:30 and 13000 feet by about 9AM. Then things became very difficult because of the altitude and my 70 year old legs. Also trail was hard to follow at the 13250 feet point. Finally headed back about 10AM with the peak in sight about 1/2 mile away but with about 750 feet more elevation to go.

Legs were very rubbery on way back. The trip down took as long as the trip up because of tired legs trying to negotiate the snow.and ice covered steps and rocks. Managed to fall a couple of times including a dip in the creek crossing on the way back.

The hike was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Finally 7 hours later at 1:30PM, made it back to car. I'm still glad I did this for as you may have heard, if something doesn't kill you it makes you stronger.

FYI, I'm a 70 year old male using wife's account.

It's a pretty tough trail and if you are from the plains or lower evaluations, it will definitely test you. I am a big dude, no doubt, but it wasn't my fitness as much the amount of just scree and rock at points that made me want to turn back and once it goes up, it's just steep. We made it to Cameron before I tweaked my ankle and say it wasn't worth it hit Lincoln, which didn't make me happy, but safety before pride.

Road from Alma to the trailhead is alright, but the last mile or so is rough going if you don't drive dirt roads or have 4WD. I drove my Chevy Cruze as close as parking would allow.

Weather was awesome, I didn't even use my jacket. Wind pickup on the ridge, but it wasn't freezing, but we didn't hang out long.

Overall, it's completely doable, but as a fat guy who causally plays in the woods and canyons, I wouldn't exactly call it fun or easy. It was a change of pace, had good views, nice people, and got the heart going.

Great hike started at 315 stopped at the key hole very windy the morning I was there some were continuing on to the summit awesome views at sunrise at the boulder field go back next summer to try again

Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln are great, amazing views, but descending Bross is an absolute nightmare. Is there even a trail? Descending Bross is doable if you are comfortable with tons of loose rock and scree. If I had to do it again I'd skip Bross and descend the same way I came up, or do Bross first.

Hiked on September 7th. Got there at 6:15 and the parking lot was half full. Started at 6:30 with temperatures of 40 degrees. We didn't realize the parking lot was so far from the base. It took us 4 hours to hike up as we aren't used to the elevation (we're from Texas), and it was the hardest thing we've ever done. Finally getting up there we spent 45minutes up at the top eating sandwiches we made and drinking a celebratory beer. Only saw Marmots roaming around the top, but they were fun to watch. Definitely one for the books. Go early for good parking, be courteous of other hikers (a lot are friendly, just say hi) and pack a lunch!

hiking
1 month ago

1st 14er so no comparison available. I had fun and the trail was well marked until the scramble at the end; fortunately there were enough people on the trail to get an idea of where the best path was.

This trail is not for the faint hearted if you want to do all four in the same day. Not going to sugar coat it, for the average joe person, this trail blows. It earns its difficulty rating. It’s really only a “good climb” if you’re the person who likes to brag about the number of 14’ers you climb.

I started around 6am and took Bross first. I AM SO GLAD I DID. It was by far the worst part of the hike and even in the dark I would rather climb that direction first. It’s a complete scramble and STEEP. There were several places where I was on my hands and knees. I can’t imagine trying to go down it after doing the other three summits.

If you plan on taking your dog I would HIGHLY recommend boots for their paws if they will tolerate it. There are no soft areas for them and it’s all jagged rock. This trail was pretty heavily traveled and skinny at many points so make sure your dog friend is friendly to both other dogs and people.

As far as getting to the trailhead, I was able to get my Ford Focus ST most of the way. I was about 100 yards from the main parking area due to the toughness of the road and they have huge bumps/ditches that low cars won’t get over unless you want to risk it. About 2 miles from the trail head the potholes get a little wild so you’ll have to go slow and work around them.

My pup and I bailed on mount Democrat due to her paws and still having to hike back to kite lake. It took us roughly 6 hours to summit Bross, Lincoln and Cameron and make it back to the parking area. Plan accordingly!

It’s VERY windy. And the summits are COLD. Take gloves.

Would I recommend this trail? Maybe. If I know you want to accumulate 14’ers. Will I go back and finish Democrat? Probably not. There’s not to look at besides a mass amount of loose rocks. Being that high is cool but there are WAY better hikes out there.

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