Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail

HARD 265 reviews
#6 of 155 trails in

Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Alma, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3412 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

private property

The trail is accessible year round through the Kite Lake Trailhead. The road near the top is treacherous, but easy enough to park a half mile down the road before that part and hike.

19 days ago

I've done these peaks numerous times over the last 45 yrs. I've taken a number of beginners. They are possibly the easiest 14ers, but they have beautiful views. I've read that some consider the southwest descent off Bross to be one of the most difficult descents off any 14er. As others have recommended, stay off the summit of Bross but you can get close enough to legitimately tick it off the list. Great way to get 4 in one day. An 8 am start is late.

hiking
26 days ago

Lot of snow. Had to hike in from County Hwy 8 about 2 miles due to snow on the road/ someone getting their Tahoe stuck right in the middle of the road. From Kite Lake there was between 6 inches and 3 feet of snow to walk through to get up Democrat. Was a challenging hike with the snow but the views and the weather was great.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked 9/21/17.

Definitely doable in a day, but I skipped Bross. It is on private property and they patrol it pretty frequently. I didn't feel like I missed out in any way by not doing it, though. Went up to Democrat, then to Cameron and Lincoln. The summit of Lincoln was my favorite - beautiful 360 degree view. Most of the trail isn't very exposed, but that meant we were caught a little off-guard when the winds got strong up high. Get an early start, 8:00am at the latest. We started late and were rushing to get down before nightfall. This wasn't too difficult of a hike for my first 14ers, just expect it to take awhile. And be sure to acclimate to the altitude as much as possible in advance, and it will go much more smoothly! :)

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

pretty awesome

5 months ago

Easy as far as fourteeners go. No exposure to speak of.

hiking
6 months ago

I did only Democrat, (Cameron), and Lincoln. Skipped Bross and came down the same way I ascended to avoid the talus slope of Bross. About 4-6" snow up high, some sun early, clouds and wind later. I recommend microspikes, but it certainly can be done without. Overall a good, albeit a bit slow, day in the mountains!

hiking
6 months ago

We only did Democrat as we were moving slowly. Got slightly side-tracked on the talus slope after the trail sign but it turned out OK. Some snow along the ridge up to the false summit made for careful stepping going up and a little slipping going down. Fantastic weather and great views.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice views, fun hike. Snow and ice building up. Wore spikes descending from Democrat as large sections had turned in to slippery chutes. Fattest marmots I've ever seen all over the talus field. Skipped Bross, didn't know the 'no legal access' warning wasn't to be taken seriously...

Short vid: https://youtu.be/1xH4jbSwpI0

7 months ago

Loved the opportunity to spend so much time above 13,000 ft. Great views, but prepare for cold & wind this time of year. Scary talus on the way down, if you do the clockwise route, especially for people without poles (IMO). Some impressive exposure west of Cameron, and east & west of Lincoln. Talus fields on way down from Bross are amazing. I think if I did this again I'd go counterclockwise and avoid going down talus & scree at end of route. Take lots of photos, lots to remember!

7 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Super windy though.

7 months ago

Not a fun hike compared to other 14ers I've done. More or less just a walk up a rock field. However, the views from up top are some of the best I've seen. We decided to call it quits after completing Democrat, partially due to weather, partially due to honest lack of appeal. The idea of "4 peaks in one day" sounds good on paper, but like others have mentioned, there are certainly more enjoyable ones to climb. 3 stars solely for the views and cool people at the top. For those considering the loop, may want to avoid Bross all together. Not only is it private property, but it looks like a nightmare going up or down.

hiking
7 months ago

If you plan to do all 4 peaks, go up mt Bross and down democrat! Bross would be very difficult to come down with or without hiking poles

hiking
7 months ago

Its awesome to be able to do so many 14ers in one day. I wrote a whole blog post about it, You can find it here http://wp.me/p7ZycW-3F if you;d like to read it.

hiking
7 months ago

Don't go up Bros. it's a bear to come down. I can't imagine going up!

7 months ago

Fantastic trip! Tag four 14ers in a day.

hiking
7 months ago

My husband and I hiked Mt. Democrat with our pup last week (8/30) and found it to be relatively easy compared to many 14ers, but still a challenge, especially for our four legged friend! I wrote a blog about if you'd like to get information on what gear you need, trail conditions, the campsite, and of course some beautiful pictures of our adventure. Hope you enjoy it---> http://borntobewandering.com/2017/09/06/the-ultimate-guide-to-mt-democrat/

hiking
7 months ago

We started up Bross at 5am in the dark. All of the reviews say Bross is a mess to come down, so we went up it. I also think it is easier to go up in the dark that to go up Democrat. The only "easy" portion of this is between the top of Bross and the way point that connects Lincoln and Cameron. There is no water on the trail so leave your water filter at home. We took off layers and put them back on throughout the day. The wind is bad in some spots but fine in others. There weren't as many people as I expected on labor day but it was still pretty heavily traveled. The campsites were not used. We stayed in a hotel in Breck because we didn't think we would be able to get a campsite. I would take the chance of getting a spot especially if you come between 1-3pm. All in all, Democrat was our 4th summit and I felt like it was the hardest. I also felt like the climb up Bross and up the rest of the way to democrat was as hard if not harder than the Manitou Incline. The stars were amazing at 5am.

7 months ago

Amazing day summiting four 14ers. This entire hike was probably easier than Quandary (save the end) and you bag four 14ers instead of one! Start early. Took us 6 hours exactly. We were on the trail at 5am and honestly 430 probably would have been optimal. Incredible to see all of the stars and everyone's head lamps make for a cool way to follow the trail up.

We went up to Democrat first and highly recommend this clockwise approach. I cannot imagine trying to climb (and I mean climb) the Bross trail, let alone at night. The 5am start let us see the sunrise near the Democrat summit. That's why 430 would have been a perfect start - could have watched it on the summit! Still had beautiful dawn light when we reached it - awesome photos.

Climb from the saddle to Cameron was the toughest part of the ascent in my opinion. Lincoln was a short jog from Cameron and was my favorite summit. Great views of Quandary, Grays, Torrys, Silverheel. Bross summit had some climb but was also quick.

The Bross descent is as bad as everyone describes. We were skeptical ourselves but seriously - what a mess. Not really a trail so much as a steep descent on scree for what feels like forever. Thank God for hiking poles! It is obviously doable, but be prepared for what is coming and take it SLOW.

All in all an amazing hike, incredible views and memories. These are very accessible 14ers if you come prepared and take them seriously. Layers. Water. Time. And those hiking poles!

7 months ago

Did solo during labor day weekend, this is a crowded popular trail which makes it safe to do so. Started hiking at 5:30 am, great weather, clear sky all day, very windy at the saddles, rather calm everywhere else. Bring good hiking poles and hydration pack, you dont want to reach for your bottle everytime. Also pick snacks that won't freeze in cold temp, it was 95 in Denver but high 30s up there. I was in good spirit because you can see the tops most of the time.

The trail is what you would expect from a type-2 14er. Clear path but tough and demandiing, not to mention thin air and altitude which make it even harder, so take a lot of rests. I would recommend you to be in a good shape, or train beforehand. Have fun and enjoy this magnificent trail! You'll love it.

hiking
7 months ago

If you're going to do all four then I absolutely recommend you start with Bross. When researching the hike I noticed that most people commented that the worst part of the day was going down Bross due to lots of loose scree. Actually, the scree is more like walking on ball bearings while going down a steep incline. Do it first....you will thank me. The wind today was blowing like crazy. I don't know if that is common there but dress accordingly with gloves, hat, warm windbreaker and long pants. The views are indescribable and the satisfaction of summiting each peak is exhilarating! You can't get there too early. The later you are the farther down the road you will have to park and hike up to the trail head. Enjoy and be safe.

7 months ago

We drove to the trailhead in a chevy cruze. I wouldn't recommend it but it is possible. We bought hiking poles beforehand as recommended by the reviews. I always thought poles were lame; however, they definitely helped going down the Bross Bypass descent, and my knees do not ache today. I'ma believer now!

We live below 500 ft elevation so this was a bit of a challenge. We hiked 1000 to 430 with a long break on Democrat and short ones on the others.

Personally, if you are only going to do one peak, I would do Lincoln. I felt like it was the best, you will have it all to yourself on a weekday, and it's not much further than Democrat. We met about 8 or 9 couples that went up Democrat and decided that was enough. So just a suggestion if you will only be doing one. Good luck and happy hiking!

7 months ago

Did Cameron and Lincoln yesterday as my first 14ers. Difficult for sure but well worth it! Rocky almost the entire way,

hiking
7 months ago

Tough climb, lots of people on the trail... did it solo, but given everyone else out on the trail, I didn't mind!

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail to get 4 14ers out of the way! The only bad part was going down mt bross because of the loose gravel otherwise it was a great hike!

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

Mt. Democrat only. Spectacular views and perfect weather! Arrived at 8am on a Saturday and had to park behind at least a 100 cars a half mile down the road from the trailhead parking area. There were easily 300+ climbers on the mountain but it didn't feel overly crowded. It took my teenage son and me 2.5 hours up and 2 down going at very leisurely pace. It was strenuous but worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

We reached the trail head the day before around 6:00 pm and the 5 tent sites were taken. We camped below the trail head in national forest just off the road. We could here cars passing all night and started heavy again around 4:30 in the morning. We drove up to the trail head around 6:00 am It was very busy early in the morning. The parking lot was full and cars were parking on the side of the road. We decided to start with Bross first and I'm glad we did. The majority of the people started out on Democrat and when we reached the summit of Bross we were by ourselves for at least 15 minutes. Bross wasn't bad going up I think I would rather go up Bross then down it looked like it would be very slippery and steep going down. Getting to Lincoln and Cameron from here is not bad. By the time we reached Lincoln we were in a crowed of cattle. Good to see so many people enjoying our outdoors. Everyone was friendly and in good spirits despite the cold and wind. We went over Cameron and only stopped for a photo op. Getting down Cameron into the saddle is rough and very rocky as is getting up Democrat. I feel the saddle between Democrat and Cameron is the rockiest part of the hike. By the time we reached the summit of Democrat the majority of the crowed was gone and at the end we were by ourselves again. All and all it is a rough loop little harder then I was expecting. From where we parked it was an 8 mile round trip.

hiking
8 months ago

What an incredible hike and stunning views! I've hiked three 14ers and this was Lori's first. If this is your first 14er, take your time. It's not a race. You win when you safely complete the loop and drive to a nearby tavern to celebrate your accomplishment.

We hiked on a Wednesday, reached the trailhead at 6:20am and there were still a couple of spots left in the parking lot ($3 fee).

The dirt road was fine for the first few miles, but gets rocky after that. We saw a few sedans at the trailhead but AWD and clearance help. Given that it was mid-week, the trail wasn't very busy. Those you run into are very friendly, but we saw only one dog - too rocky so be careful if you want to bring yours. It was reasonably easy to stay on trail up to the saddle, where it turned incredibly windy. The cold only added to the adventure - temps in 30s.

It's August but bring layers. I had a short sleeve, 2 long sleeves, a waterproof windbreaker, hat, and gloves.

We encountered snow prior to hitting 13k - less than an inch and all from the night before. We did not hike Democrat and went straight over to Cameron, then Lincoln, and off to Bross. Initially, coming down Bross was fine, but it quickly steepens. I can't vouch for Democrat, but it felt like a class 1 till we came down Bross. Just take your time and definitely bring poles.

My tracker logged 6.5 miles (remember, we didn't hike Democrat) and it took us 6 hrs, 50 min. Good luck! Oh, Lori's ready to tackle Democrat :)

hiking
8 months ago

My friend and I tackled The Decalibron Loop the other day and it was a magnificent trip up the mountain(s). We started around 7 am and completed the full loop around 2 pm. I have completed five different 14ers to date (Gray's, Bierstadt, Quandary, Elbert and Evans), and Mount Democrat was by far one of the easiest I've done. It was probably attributed to starting at 12,000 ft. Either way, it was pretty clear for most of the day with the exception of some light snow while coming down Democrat. It was incredibly windy at the top of Mount Cameron and that wind continued all the way to the top of Mount Lincoln. We did, however, find some cover on the east side of Lincoln, which game us some time to rest and escape the harsh blows. Although Mount Bross is technically on "private land", we still decided to complete the loop, along with a few others, and go down it's backside. Coming down the backside of Bross can be somewhat treacherous, as it is incredibly steep and covered in scree. This is where the route garners it's Class 2 difficulty. This is also where my hiking poles came in handy, as I was able to scale down the side of the mountain with relative ease. The tracker on my phone said our round trip route was 8.2 miles, even though the trailhead says it only 7.6. This was by far and away one of the best 14ers I've done and would highly recommend it for any 14er noobies (much like my friend who tackled his 1st four in one day)!

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