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I'm giving this a 4 because there is no way this trail is 8 miles long. at the very least, it's 6 miles one way. there are two points where you are losing all of the elevation you've gained, just to have to go and regain it again. bring more water than you think you need.

also, the map posted on all trails is not real. it's not a straight path

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.

backpacking
1 day ago

Amazing trail. Very easy for a fourteener, however the road in is very bad. We made it in about 3 miles in a Chevy Silverado. However, most people had to park further down the mountain. The trail was very nice though. Our little shepherd even made it to the peak.

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

The road to the trailhead is definitely crazy - our 4x4 Pathfinder took it like a champ! But, you definitely need a 4x4 vehicle to get through.
We pulled into the lot at 5am on Wednesday and there were only a few cars at the top parking lot.

This was my first 14er and it was the hardest hike I’ve ever done in my life! Definitely worth it! We had our 7 year old with us... and it was pretty difficult for him. We all summited Grays and enjoyed the breathtaking views. We didn’t summit Torrey’s. One was enough for us.
We took a lot of breaks with our son - it took us about 6/7 hours to reach the summit. We made it back down to the parking lot in about 2 hours.

What an amazing hike! It’s a tough one for sure. The road is definitely scary, but we took it pretty slow. My Jeep Patriot did great. Got to the TH at 530am on a Wednesday morning still spots in the parking lot, not too busy on the trail, was perfect. Took 8 hours with a lot of breaks. Did Grays and Torreys, worth every second!

I arrived on a Monday evening around 6:30pm - there were 2 other cars by the trailhead, by 10pm the parking lot was about half full and when I headed out at 6:30am the next morning the lot only had a few spots left but there was still another 8-10 spots on the side of the road by the beginning of the trail. There are a few sporadically positioned camping spots by the trailhead with firepits - I counted 5 but there may be more. I highly recommend arriving the night before and sleeping in your car or camping as it takes the stress out of wondering whether there will be a place to park once you finally get up the dirt road. Plus you get to see some amazing stars and get to start your climb at whatever time you choose.

The road is as described by many others - rough. I have a 4x4 Jeep and found it tricky in places and slow going 5-10mph for most of the ride to avoid damaging my vehicle. I did see a Prius and several low clearance 2 wheels up at the trailhead which I would not advise unless you're in a rental or just don't care about wrecking your car (or inconveniencing others if you get stuck).

The hike is fun but challenging. I'm in my early 40s - active, above average fitness and live in Denver so not coming directly from sea-level and found it tough above 13k. There's a lot of rock and scree. The views are worth it. I did Torey's first by veering right where the trail splits and then Gray's - which seemed to be against most of the traffic so I'm glad I did. Overall it was busy (especially for a Tuesday morning) but not to the point where that affected the pace of my climb or my enjoyment of it - just plenty of people to say hello to.

Time wise I got up to the top of Torey's in 2-1/2 hours, it then takes about 45 mins to go down, traverse and summit Gray's. I took my time at the top of Gray's and came down fairly casually. I was back down at my vehicle in 5 hours 40 mins (8.6 miles, 3,107ft of elevation gain).

The weather was great - clear all morning. It was chilly at the top of Torey's so I was glad for a nano-puff and pair of lightweight gloves.

It's a fun, challenging hike - that will take your breath away in more ways than one.

off road driving
3 days ago

Great trail ride for beginners with amazing views that can be enjoyed by all! Not sure what made this a blue trail, there were a couple rough patches but have confidence factory Jeeps and 4Runners/Tacomas would make the trip without spotters. For comparison, we were in my fiancé’s lifted TRD Pro 4Runner on 285’s and did not scrape or rub anywhere, did not use spotters, and didn’t really have to pick a “safe/easy” line. She loved seeing all the pikas, marmots, and chipmunks. There are several spurs we didn’t explore sticking to the main trail mostly but we will be back to see more. I mean there were still Ice caps in August, how cool. We caught a sleet storm, so take jackets and some warmer clothes even if it’s hot before you arrive.

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.

To reiterate others' comments, the road is an absolute mess -- without a SUV, pickup, or Jeep, there's no way you'll be able to drive to the upper (summer) trailhead. We managed to get about half a mile in a Honda Civic before parking on the shoulder and walking the rest of the way (~2.5 miles). By 7:00 AM on a Sunday, the parking lot was completely full. Don't expect much solitude, especially on the weekend - at least a few hundred people summitted the same day we did.

All that said, the hike itself was a lot of fun, though certainly difficult even after a few days of acclimation at RMNP. I'd recommend doing Grays first, going down the saddle, and then heading up to Torreys. Grays is all steep switchbacks; from the saddle, Torreys is a short but very steep climb. We thought the views were slightly better from Grays. Despite being rained on, hailed on, and briefly snowed on (yes, in August), the trails themselves weren't difficult to follow. Definitely a good experience for our first 14ers!

First, the road: NEVER AGAIN! What an awful beast of a road. I think I have PTSD from driving those 3 miles from hell. (And yes, I was in a high-clearance 4x4 truck.)

Next, the trail: Just wonderful all around. Mostly moderate in difficulty but hard in some places. The trail up to Torreys is steep and a lung-buster. Hiking poles highly recommended for the descent.

This is definitely a very popular trailhead. Arrived at 445 am and the lower lot had cars parked, we found a spot on the road near the upper parking lot cause it was full. The road up was sketchy for sure. Highly recommend you use a 4 x 4. I have a 4Runner and made it no problem, but there was a Prius 2 people in front of us that got stuck a couple times. Be smart people! The trail itself was nice but crowded.

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.

shoutout to Mike for giving us a ride up to the trailhead. TIL what altitude sickness is. View from the top is 11/10.

Great hike. The people that climb these peaks are so pleasant to be around. It's almost like a family thing. Awesome views from either peak.

Would be great if the map reflected that the actual highway of legends is hwy 12 from Trinidad to Laveta instead of interstate 25.

off road driving
6 days ago

Took this trip yesterday and enjoyed every minute.
My review is not for hiking but for 4x4 off-roading.
You will definitely want a high clearance vehicle (no RAV4 or similar vehicles) if you want to take the road to the end. The last leg is semi brutal so take it slow.
To get to upper Pomeroy Lake, you have to park and walk about 3/4 mile.
If you have time, take the side trip up the mountain to the Mary Mine. Very rocky, very loose gravel and excellent views.

Arrived at 5:25am in a Friday and there was 2-3 parking spots left but when lot is full people just park on side of the road. Also noticed people parking just past the trailhead as the road does extend a bit further. As a flatlander making first climb at this altitude it was hard. It made it up in 3:15 with frequent breaks.

Great hike. Quite busy on Friday and the road up takes a bit of time but it is not bad. Outback made it up easily. Went up Gray’s first, awesome view! Both peaks were great, easy to keep on the trail. I could have used 2 fewer miles on the way back! The beginning of the trail is pretty, but long. Enjoy!

great hike beautiful day. 4x4 drive up to parking lot. arrive by 5am

My husband climbed West Spanish Peak July 28; he started at 6am and reached the summit by 9am. Approx the first 3 miles (which took us ~90 min) were a nice, gradual climb on a good, often wide trail alternating between woods and meadows with views of the West Spanish Peak. Once reaching the rocky base of the climb at treeline, the trail immediately got down to business, climbing nearly 2,000 feet in elevation in the last 1 - 1 1/2 miles. While the first part could be rated easy, the rocky and steep climb was definitely moderate+ for an average hiker. From this point, it was another 90 min to the summit. The trail is rocky and hard to follow in spots, but aim upward and look for the many cairns. At the summit, there are great views of the natural dikes below and nearby East Spanish Peak. Spent 90 min at the summit and was back to the TH by 1pm (this included lots of stops to chat with folks). There is a nice campground with a clean restroom at the TH if you want to spend the night before there.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike with tremendous views at the top. Difficult for the first half mile and the last half mile but pretty easy in between.

it was a fun trail. the road was definitely rough heed the 4x4 sign

DO NOT TAKE TRAIL 626!! There is a trail before the Mt Rosa trail head called 626. This trail is extremely dangerous for hikers. We were shot at multiple times during this hike. The area leading up to the trail is also dangerous because people have makeshift shooting ranges along the road. The whole place has a bad vibe and there is a disrespect for hikers and the environment around this area. This place is not for people looking for a peaceful hike. AVOID THIS TRAIL!

hiking
11 days ago

While the trail is beautiful, winding through the woods up to a arid clearing and then into the woods again to the summit for a 360 degree view, I would recommend approaching the trail from Cheyenne Canyon instead. As mentioned by previous reviewers, there are many people using the area (esp along the 379 road that you add to your hike if you don't have a high clearance vehicle) as impromptu shooting ranges, destroying trees and leaving an incredibly disheartening amount of trash. Shots fired can be heard throughout the hike. While some of the people out shooting looked to be responsibly enjoying the sport, there were just as many groups who looked shady: teenagers smoking weed, drinking, and firing semi automatic weapons level shady. While we did see a sheriff drive by on old stage twice, the sheriff does not drive on 379. It was to the point where we saw multiple other hikers with their own side arms making my dad comment that he wish he had a side arm for the hike as the amount of unruly people along 379 was to the point of discomfort (case in point poor Zach's review below!).

Shooting ranges aside, the hike was 8.2 miles total starting from the lot on the left of old stage, up 379, turn off on 672 about 1.8 miles in (we missed the frosty park trailhead as it is not marked), and then heading up to the summit. In total it took my dad and I 4 hours and 26 min including 35 minutes picnicking at the summit. I would suggest bringing hiking poles if you have them for the descent. Personally, I found the hike a bit more rigorous than anticipated on the uphill but it sure made for a great workout! My dog loved it as well but the top can be pretty exposed in the heat so bring extra water for your pup!

If you drive to Frosty's park up 379 the hike is probably closer to 4 miles however the road has portions with enough dips and rocks that I didn't want to risk scraping the bottom of my 2005 Toyota Rav4. Vehicles that I did see make it up included pickup trucks and jeeps for reference. Keep in mind that if you select the 'directions' option, google maps actually tries to take you on roads that no longer exist due to reclamation. Ignore the turns and just stick to old stage to gold camp until you get to Rosemont-Penrose Reservoir and there will be an obvious widening of the road for a lot on the left. From the time you exit the neighborhood at the base of old stage road to the parking pull off below road 379 will be about 10 miles.

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.

For me it was hard

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