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on Mount Belford

17 hours ago

Challenging hike, but so worth it! Three of us from Kansas City were able to make it to the top- it did, however, take us all day. Beautiful views the whole way. We hiked up the Belford standard route and came down through Elk Head Pass. Added about a mile, but saved our knees from the switchbacks.

Fucking awesome hike; this is just a phenomenal experience. Democrat would be a great beginner 14er. Lincoln was really haunting. It snowed a fair amount (8/16/18), so be prepared with layers, gloves, a buff, etc. poles would’ve been helpful for the descent.

Easily accessible trail. You start above treeline so there isn't a long trek before you start going up. Climb Bross first, there is a lot of loose rock and it is much easier to go up than down. Start early and bring some warmer clothes for up on top.

I started at 6:30 up bross. It was slippery rock going up so I couldnI’ll imagine it going down. I’m pretty happy with going that way. You get a nice “break” going to Lincoln and then Cameron. Then a buttkicker for Democrat. Buttkicker either way ! Amazing views. We even got some snow flurries up there. Finished the rocky trail at 1:30pm

hiking
3 days ago

Tough hike in general, but easy for 14ers. No hike is easy when with so little oxygen though, so don't underestimate it. The climb is relentless, and due to loose gravel and steep grade you'll want good hiking boots for the way down. Saw several people slip and fall, and 2 out of 3 of us in my group with good hiking boots took spills going downhill as well. Very rewarding for such a short distance. Go on an early weekday to avoid the crowds. And summit before noon to avoid electrical storms!!!

it was an amazing hike. lots of people are suggesting to srart going up from bross. I personnally wouldnot reccomend. I am beginner hiker and this was my 5th fourtener. Starting from bross you will loose all the energy you got an you may not be able to do all 4. Yes going down on bross is tough due to steep slope and loose rocks all the way down.

I loved this hike! Started with Democrat around 6:45am, then went to Cameron, Lincoln, and finished with Bross, back to the car about 6 hours later. My dad and I were worried after reading reviews about the descent down Bross, and made a game time decision to go ahead and go for it. In my opinion, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people describe- definitely lots of loose rocks and prepare to slide a lot- but it wasn’t dangerous or life-threatening in terms of sending you off the mountain. I had my heart set on bagging all 4 peaks so for me doing Bross was worth the tough descent. My dad thinks maybe he would have just skipped Bross altogether. The rest of it we absolutely loved. Definitely the toughest hike up Democrat so I’m glad we got that out of the way first. My favorite view was on top of Lincoln.

My tenth 14er and goes down as my favorite because the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little deceiving because you’re surrounded by a forest and creek for about half the climb and you can’t see the exposed tree line area at all, but it’s nice this trail spoils you a little bit before the hard work starts. The trail was nice until the very top of the summit where there were big boulders. We had a Boston Terrier who struggled on this part a bit, definitely more class 3 terrain at the top. We only saw 4 other people and had the summit to ourselves, a first for me! The descent was nice and easy since it’s not too steep and you also end in a beautiful forest to reward yourself from the tough climb! Highly recommend.

Rocked out this hike yesterday 8/11. Awesome hike! Highly recommend camping at trailhead the night before. Actual parking lot was already full by 10pm! If you dont camp you still will want to get there as early as possible, Getting stuck parking down the road will just add miles to your already tough hike! Took our jetta almost all the way to the trailhead but theres one large bump that our car could not clear so we stopped and camped there. only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot. Hit the trail at 445am done at 1215p with breaks and summit stops. I believe doing Democrat first is by far the way to go. Not only do I think going up bross in the dark would be terrible. Having to go up Democrat last would be a tough climb after bagging the other 3. Also another reason would be that by the time u would get to the democrat climb it will be packed. By 10am there looked like there was a line all the way up democrat. Going down bross was def tough and took a lot of concentration watching where you step and keeping balance. Poles for sure a must. Not sure what my fav was. Being almost to the top of democrat for sunrise was amazing, but being atop bross and being able to see all of what you just did was awesome too! Bross' summit is huge but lincoln and democrat's a lot smaller. Took our dog whose used to hiking and is a larger dog. She was very tired at the end and I got a little worried about her paws coming down bross as it is very lose rock but she made it down without any cuts and passed out the whole way home.
Overall amazing hike. Very fulfilling finishing all 4.

- Did these four yesterday. great hike with amazing views from each summit. There is a lot of small rocks and loose slag, especially on Bross and Democrat. Like other climbers i would highly recommend starting with Bross. It is a pretty good climb up and around to the summit but it's a good warm-up for the other three and the descent of Bross is much harder on the knees of you do it last. Mt. Democrat is probably the steepest climb but its worth it when you get to the top. Do yourself and your knees a favor and please invest in poles. You won't regret it, especially the descent of Democrat.

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

9 days ago

Did this yesterday. Excellent hike. A relatively easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak wildflowers.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice hike. Easy 14er, but a moderate hike. Past peak flowers, but nice views.

We ran out of time and only ended up doing Democrat, Cameron and Lincoln. It was a really great, but challenging hike. My biggest complaint was that Democrat was super crowded. We started around 7:30, so that's partially our fault. If this bothers you though, you may want to consider doing Bross first or get there around 6. Democrat was much more challenging than Cameron and Lincoln. So, if you have the time, it is worth doing 3 if not all 4. In my opinion, I would not want to do the first part of the hike again (not that it's hard, it's just I don't like repeating), so it's better to get at least 3 out of the way rather than coming back to cross those off. Sort of one of those if you've gone this far, why not keep going situations.

hiking
11 days ago

My first 14er

This was my very first 14ner and only did Democrat, but had a great workout! I didn't have issue with illness but air got thinner and thinner. It was such a great accomplishment to get one done, however, 7.6 miles for the whole loop is impossible for me to think since Democrat itself was 4.2 miles. I will prepare to go early next time to get all 4 done!

13 days ago

Great hike and accessible for most anyone. A perfect intro to 14'ers.

*closure!* came across road closure signs a few miles before the TH, however they were only blocking one lane so we continued on. Got to the TH at 930 and were told by road construction that the road/hike is not open to the public, only certain resorts. However they did end up letting us in.
The trail was well-maintained and easy to follow, other than the last mile which was a scramble over rocks. Lots of wildflowers and great views the entire way up! Had the mountain to ourselves the whole time. Clocked 9mi total.

Extremely crowded with people playing music on speakers, hiking with off-leash dogs who weren't very well controlled, etc. I guess that's how it is now... Like a frat party in the mountains.

Started at 5:30 and summited at 7:00am. Slick in spots from fresh ice and snow. Escaped the thick of the crowds by heading over to Sheridan to make this one a little more difficult. Took the long way down from Sheridan to meet up with the Sherman trail, bypassing the crowds. Would be very easy to add Horseshoe and Peerless as well.

hiking
14 days ago

Road up is a little rough but made it fine in my sedan. The trail is simple but a lot of lose rock and gravel. Made it to the top around 1130 ish and had a storm roll in so be careful of the weather. Beautiful views

hiking
16 days ago

Lots and Lots of switch backs but a great well marked trail. Lots of people and parking is limited at trail head but overall a wonderful hike.

I haven't climbed Mt. Yale yet. I just wanted to thank Shubham for his review. That's one of the best trip reports I've seen in a long time.

hiking
16 days ago

Easy hike, beautiful views. Tons of wildflowers. The lake was really pretty and a welcome sight for the pups. If you have 4wd, follow the road up to the highest parking lot.

Did Democrat first and bross last, was hard going down but not impossible. Got out early as it does get crowded, once past Democrat only saw a handful of people. Very cool and great views from all peaks!

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike! Made it to the upper parking lot in my Ford Escape but it was definitely a little sketchy at times. I would recommend driving a car that has a little more clearance than mine. I would rate this hike as an easy to moderate hike. One of the most scenic hikes I've ever done and the dogs handled it really well!

This series of 14ers were my first ever! It was a fairly difficult hike, but worth the views. The most unpleasant and difficult part was going down Mt. Bross. It’s extremely steep and there’s a lot of loose gravel that makes it slippery. A huge part of the decent involves sliding down on your behind to make it down safely. Not even poles are helpful for a majority of the decent. I’d hike all of them again, but I’d probably turn back around after reaching the summit of Mt. Bross because of how hard it is to decent from there by completing the loop.

This was awesome all the way up until the descent from Bross. We started about 6:30 and the lot was already full but made good time up Democrat and across Cameron and Lincoln. Getting up Bross was fine but coming down we had to scoot on our butts the whole way and it took close to 1.5 hours. Amazing hike overall. So fun and definitely a challenge. Still made it down by 12:30 and luckily for us the weather was fine.

Go up mt Bross instead of down-it was very treacherous and steep, I can't imagine going down that way after hiking all day! My favorite views on the hike were from Mt. Lincoln

For my first 14er, this was a huge gift! 4 in one day! It took just over 6hrs with about a 40min lunch on Cameron and several breaks getting to Lincoln. Went to Democrat first and then doubled back to go from Cameron to Lincoln and then finishing at Bross. Only issue is that it’s completely exposed...but that could also be considered a benefit as you really can’t get too lost on the loop. In all a very tough test but, thankfully, since I was in halfway decent conditioning, it was do-able. Still, I contemplated quitting before each of the 3 peaks before the final at Bross. Democrat was a bear and it felt like forever to get to Cameron and Lincoln.

Definitely bring sunscreen, pants and jacket as once you crest a few places the temp plummets. Bring lots of water, some snacks or even a sandwich. You’re gonna burn some calories today!! Go for this! It’s a big morale booster!!

hiking
22 days ago

I agree with the reviews below: road is rough but doable for most vehicles (high clearance recommended though) and the hike is an easy 14’er but is a more difficult hike overall. My advice, especially to the less experienced, would be to go right at the fork seen on the map. This is a more gently sloping ascent and you get to see more ruins, bonus. We went left ascending and experienced more loose rock. But it was doable for sure.

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