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We arrived at the parking lot around 8am and there were still a handful of spots. This means we also got to skip the Echo Lake pay station (opens at 8am) and only had to pay $5 at Summit Lake (there were park rangers checking the fees when we finished the hike, so yes, they do check).

We hiked this trail clockwise, which is the opposite of what is listed. I really enjoyed getting the uphill portion done quickly and having most of the hike be downhill after that. The turn off of the road onto the trail is not very obvious so the AllTrails App was helpful for that. It was very windy at the top of Evans, but the views were great and there were few people since the road already closed at Summit Lake for the season. The wind died down afterwards thankfully. We had a great time following the ridge over to Spalding and back to Summit Lake as it was just a gradual downhill hike while maneuvering through the rocks. This did require conscious foot placement to avoid tripping and following cairns as trail markers. We enjoyed this, but it is something to be aware before going of if you don't enjoy that in a trail.

Overall, a great experience and beautiful views with only a handful of people at the summits!

One of my favorite 14er hikes. Mid-sept is a great time of year to hike with the great temps and changing aspens. I stayed on the main trail and did the out-and-back from Sunshine; didn’t follow any shortcuts (seriously bad erosion happening and unnecessary steepness). My round trip clocked in at 13miles, 7.5 hours.

We did this trail in early August with great weather. The trailhead is up the road about a half mile on the left and is easy to miss. There's a great variety of views a long the way, streams, valleys and a beautiful forest below the tree line. A lot of bouldering above the tree line, there's plenty of cairns but it's easy to lose the trail. Amazing but very difficult hike. It took us nearly as long to get down as it did to get up because of how steep it is. Poles highly recommended!

Hiked it on Wed, Sept 19. Arrived trailhead at 8:30am, two spots left in the parking lot. We saw only about 60-70 other hikers all day. Really glad we went on a weekday! No one on the summit when we got there, one other hiker showed up after 20 min. Amazing views! The boulder scramble at the top is the toughest part technically (but very doable), the rest of the way up is a well traveled standard trail. Took my dog, 5 month old boxer/Shepard mix (about 35-40 lbs) and she did great, led most of the way. Had to take her off leash for the boulder climb at the top, would not have been safe for either of us otherwise. Had to lift her up onto the next boulder 6-8 times, otherwise she handled it really well. Storm arrived on our way down, temperature drop, rain and sleet, but not bad. Glad we were not on the summit at that point, heard thunder on the other side of the mountain.

We could not have asked for better weather this past week. We hiked to mile 3 starting at about 1pm, arrived around 4:30pm. We’re both in shape but definitely took our time- the views made for good distractions to keep a nice, relaxing pace. We stayed on campsite 10, just after the creek, which had plenty of water to filter. We ended up not building a fire because we were unsure if we could or not. Signs on the ground said no, but the forest website said the ban had been lifted. We didn’t want to risk it. The low got to about 35 degrees at night, clear and no wind. We woke up at dawn and hiked to the top, arriving around 10am. Weather was 60-70 degrees with little wind. The boulder scramble near the top is intense, but fun. A bit stressful going down because the trail isn’t so easy to identify but you’ll find it. Our first fourteener is one I’ll always remember!

The dirt road was kind of a bumpy ride. But the trees are all yellow! It was a sight for me being from Houston. This was my first 14er and I had to take a lot of breaks. I took my time drank lots of water. My bandana helped a lot by breathing into it. It was hard but not imposible. The trail is soooo rocky, there was times when I couldn’t help but slide down. Watch your step. Don’t reinstall an ankle. I think I finished in 5 something hours. I run a lot in Houston so I think that helped me a lot. I felt really sick on the drive down. Could have been car sickness mixed with dehydration. I drank a lot of water and got really good sleep and felt brand new the next morning.

Breathtaking hike!!!! I went in Mid July and got a bit of a late start...5:45 am and was up at the summit by 10:15 am. The clouds rolled in quick and we were off the summit by 10:45 am but eventually had to race down to the tree line with another couple because of the thunderstorms and barely made it! The hike is long and steep but it rolls in the beginning and allows time for your legs to rest a bit. It makes for a long day and a lot of people decided to camp at mile 3. Personally, I don’t think the trail is long enough to make for an overnight camp. In total it took us just over 8 hours. It was a tough hike but we were not hurting the next day. Key to this hike is an EARLY start. I bet trying to see sunrise at the summit would be incredible. Careful coming down the summit over the boulder scramble, I went a little too close to the edge as I was making my way down.

Very pretty with all the yellow foliage. Most of the hikes I do are on the east coast so I definitely felt a bit dizzy and took my time up the trail. Took me 6 hours. It got a bit windy while walking up which was nice and then the summit was oddly still. This was my first 14er. I passed a few people on the trail and everyone was very friendly. I didn’t feel like it was super crowded as other posts say. Maybe it was my timing. I left at 12:30 returned at 6:30pm on a Tuesday. Highly recommend this hike.

Easiest Colorado 14er hike. Very crowded all the way to top. IF you want to avoid the crowd start early possibly 4 am. Donot underestimate though. it is still a 14er.

trail running
6 days ago

Great intro to Colorado 14ers. A fairly physical hike requiring some scrambling.

I read the reviews here and they seemed pretty much 50/50 as to start with Bross or Democrat. We started with Democrat (a nice summit, tough climb mostly because of elevation but some scrambling, too) then went to Cameron. Cameron’s summit was a snooze. Very anti-climactic, nobody else at the top with us, really bland, and unbearably windy. I was having sort of an off day so my friend and I parted ways there; she continued on to summit Lincoln and Bross while I cut Lincoln off entirely and took the shortcut that skips the “closed” summit of Bross but takes you down that side. Since I read the reviews, I knew it would be almost entirely scree but totally underestimated just how terrible it would be. Slid on my butt and/or basically skied with my boots for most of it, and then when that’s all done you still have about another mile of tricky trail until you reach the parking lot. Thanks so much to the friendly dad who chatted with me the rest of the way down—you were a huge help when I was about ready to say f this and barrel roll down and hope for the best. So if I were to try it again, I don’t think I’d descend Bross, but I’m not sure I’d want to ascend it, either. It would be super frustrating to try to go up and lose so much distance with every step. But perhaps it would be easier when you’re starting fresh... I’m really not sure. So, yeah, it was nice to be able to check off multiple 14ers in one go, but the views (at least from Democrat and Cameron) were just slightly better than nice (not stunning) and that Bross descent wasn’t exactly a cherry on top. Overall a 3-star day for me.

This was my third 14er and by far the best 360 degree views. You NEED a 4WD vehicle to get to the upper trailhead; if you have to park at the lower trailhead plan to add about 4 miles round trip to your hike.

I’m in good shape and it took me about 5 active hours round trip to complete.

hiking
6 days ago

My wife and mine first 14er. Wow! What a hike and kicked our tail. Of course we are 60ish. Beautiful weather on 9-14. Around freezing when started out at 7am and sun was just started peeking out behind the mountain but warmed as day went on. Trail maintenance is excellent. Got a good spot in the parking lot but plenty of parking on the road.
Oxygen was our biggest obstacle.

Beautiful hike today! We parked at the lower trail head which made the hike about 11 miles round trip. The aspen trees are at peak right now, great views and not too crowded for a weekend!

This was my first fourteener and definitely a decent challenge. Arrived at the trailhead at 5:30am and the parking lot was already full and the roadside was filling up. Tons of people and so crowded which is to be expected of any lower class fourteener. The lack of basic hiking courtesy and manners by most people really shocked me. My dog was amazing at scrambling and loved seeing all the marmots. Glad I hiked it, but honestly not sure if I'm going to be jumping on the fourteener train as I enjoy hiking to get away from people.

Great and challenging, quick trail. Went last Friday (9/14) and I got to Echo Lake before 8a so I didn’t have to pay an entrance fee; but I did have to pay when I hit Summit Lake at the pay station ($5 so no biggie). The lot was open and not too many cars parked. I started the trail with my dog at around 7:30a and we finished around 11:00a even after we took the road down to the lot. The road up to the summit of Mt. Evans is closed so no one was on it. When I came back the lot of filled and overflowing with cars so definitely recommend getting there early. I also HIGHLY recommend abiding by the rules and KEEPING your dog on a leash and there are some spots you may have to hoist your dog up some rock or direct them on the rocky paths with the carins. Not to mention there are some steep drops close to the sides of the trail and many squirrels living in the rocks - so don’t risk letting your dog off the leash and having them take off on the side of the mountain!

Hiked from the trailhead with full packs, which we left at a campsite near East Cross Creek, and continued with day packs to summit in five hours. Holy Cross Mount is located in the center of the Colorado Rockies; the view is stupendous in all directions. We spent an hour on the top just taking it in. Pleasant campout that evening after a two-hour descent to the creek. Took about 1.5 hours to hike out from there in the morning. Very dry route - no water between Cross Creek and the summit so bring a couple liters on a warm day.

arrived at 6am, car park half full. Heavy going for someone from sea-level....! follow the cairns to stay on track, lots of helpful hikers along the way to help the tourist from London; needless to say, absolutely stunning scenery, memorable sunrise from Mt Spalding. Tips: take toilet roll for the restrooms, headscarf/earmuffs to prevent earache from the howling wind, poles if you have them, get there early if you want any chance of parking in the Summit Lake car park. Thank you Colorado!

hiking
8 days ago

Perfect day weatherwise. Very few people all day. If you are thinking about cutting a couple of miles off the approach without a good 4WD forget it. 277 road very bad but not written up that way in 14ers.com. Not the most exciting one I have hiked.

Amazing hike. Beautiful views from every summit and throughout the hike. Went clockwise starting with Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln then Bross. Clocked 8.5 miles in 8 hours. Took our time on summits as the weather was perfect! Trails in great shape. Coming down Bross a little technical and slow at times but very doable. 4 peaks in one day! A must do hike!

Great beautiful bluebird day for a hike on sept 14, 2018. Weather was 36 degrees when I started around 545. The hike is slow and gentle for a fourteener maybe 2/3 the way up. Then there is a scramble to the summit. Well marked until the scramble, which cairns are located it seems on diff trails to the top. But, head up w the masses and get there no prob. The top was windy and chilly, but not Horrible.

Various folks from all ages climbing up. The children I saw were not having fun. It is very exposed and no shelter once you are above tree Line.

I saw all size dogs and most were not leashed. A dog was lost a few weeks back up here chasing a goat, so I would be cautious of that. Fortunately, it was recovered by other hikers at midnight near the top. Don’t do this to your dog. There was a moose off the trail, that would win if a dog had chased it..

I also brought down three bags of dog . If you are going to bring your dog, don’t be a slacker and leave your plastic  up there.. it takes so long for things to grow and decompose in low oxygen environments up high. So far, one of my easiest 14ers. (Not easy but relative to the others).
It was a nice 73 getting back to the lot. It was 90 getting back to Denver..happy hiking!

Hiked this Labor Day weekend. Started at 5:30 and went up Democrat, then Cameron, Lincoln and Bross. Amazing views on all peaks. Lincoln was probably our favorite. Some grapple at times, but it didn’t actually snow. Wind was howling on Democrat, but improved greatly on other peaks. Coming down Bross was rough. Footing was not good and it was a slow go down. That being said, I could not imagine going up it especially that early in the dark. A challenging, but exhilarating experience and awesome to hit 4 peaks in one day.

This was my first 14er so I don’t have other big hikes to compare it to. For being one of the easier 14ers I would say some parts are still pretty challenging. There was virtually no shade through the hike and we completed it in just under 6 hours.

backpacking
9 days ago

This was our first 14er. We are 55 and 60 years old. We both work out frequently and felt like we’d be as prepared as possible in regard to our fitness level. We live in Hot Springs AR and trained with backpacks doing 2-3 mile hikes with 1000 elevation gains in the heat and humidity of August. It is hard to prepare for the altitude.
On day of hike we left early afternoon from Half Moon Pass trailhead and set up camp late afternoon so we could break it up into a 2 day adventure. We restocked our water bottles with filtered stream water. Our plan was to get up early hike to summit, return to our campsite, rest for a while then finish the hike after a break. The hike itself was very hard to us. I started feeling a little dizzy and zero energy after an hour into the hike. In the back of my mind I started wondering if we would be able to make it to summit. We saw a few young people coming down saying they couldn’t do it and had decided to turn around and came back down. There were numerous young people who were hiking with complete ease too. I got to the point of taking 20 steps then stop and break, etc... We ditched our poles when we got to the boulders and glad we did. They would have just gotten in the way as we crawled over rocks with our hands. My husband forgot our lunch, sunscreen and extra water bottle (that I said to bring just in case we needed it.) Ugh! We had to ration what little water we had left all the way down. By the time we got back to camp I was completely sick feeling, sunburned and thirsty. We had to camp an extra night because I didn’t have the energy for the last 1000 ft hike out of the mountains. It was fun to set a goal and accomplish it. The views were gorgeous and the stars at night where we camped equally stunning. September is the perfect time to go-glorious fall colors, No mosquitoes and no spiders on the rocks at the top.

Very challenging, but very rewarding hike. I recommend starting with Bross, as descending Bross would be a nightmare. Tons of loose rocks and scree. Started at sunrise and got back to the trailhead just before noon. I am a pretty fast hiker, finished the loop in 4hrs 38min moving time, I would plan on taking 5-6 hours for the whole loop

Nice easy 14er if you're doing this route. It was a beautiful day and I got some really nice views. It took me 2 hours even, but I'm acclimated so I'd allocate a bit more time if you're not.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a great combo of two 14ers to hit. You can make it a really nice overnight trip by hiking in to one of the campsite areas just before the split off. The second of the two is nicest and is located right next to a stream for easy access to water.

The leg to get from the summit of Belford to Oxford takes 45-60 minutes each way.

Hiked counterclockwise yesterday, 9/9. As someone with a mild fear of heights and lack of confidence in my own footing, zero regrets in tackling Bross first. Going up was steep but not too bad, going down would have been much worse. There was some snow and ice on the trail. Great weather and overall an amazing experience! Started at 7:30 am and took about 8 hours, we were going a very moderate pace due to sinus headaches from recovering from a bad cold.

This was my first 14er. It took me 5.5 hours of active time, not including the half hour I spent at the top. The peak had a nice little pile of rocks that creates some coverage from the wind. AMAZING 360 degree views. Every angle was breathtaking. Would definitely do again. And the cute little pikas everywhere were probably my favorite. I have no idea how but I saw some insane person mountain biking too.

Hiked from the bottom lot, roughly 5200' vertical & 14 miles RT. I agree w/ Kurt below, the road isn't that bad, definitely doable in 4WD higher clearance. The last two miles of the hike are intense - around 2250' vertical.. of boulders & scree. The trail is well marked despite some of the negative comments below.. and certainly not dreadful. I second what Annie M says below.

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