The Decalibron: Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Alma, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and snowboarding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,412 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely incredible. This will test you, but it is worth it.
We did the loop counterclockwise. Started late...I suggest sun rise.
We had cold, wind, snow, hail, sunshine, no wind, warmth, clouds, misty rain, and sun.
We had to skip Democrat due to rain and time of day running down.
In other words... be prepared and enjoy every minute. You don't know if you will ever be back here!

hiking
3 months ago

One of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done - we made the mistake of doing it in late November, high winds & low temperatures. Most of the last section of the loop was a steep downhill on loose shale or iced over.

3 months ago

Outstanding test of physical conditioning. Great views!

The usual; bring water, food, clothing for really cold and wind, and warm.

We skipped Democrat for another day. 3 out 4 ain't bad, as Meatloaf sings.

Took us 7 hours to make the circle. Counter clockwise, Bross first, Lincoln, Cameron.

hiking
3 months ago

Did Bross Lincoln and Cameron yesterday. The town of alma is limiting camping and made kite lake a fee area now. On the other hand the road up is much improved compared with 3 years ago. I would much rather go up Bross and down the other side then down Bross I E go counter clockwise around the loop. Going down the Bross side is slippery gravel etc. Pikas are just insane now and fun to watch

hiking
3 months ago

Colder than I anticipated, but still awesome.

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoy this trail more than any other hike, especially if you are training for something else, like Mt. Whitney in California. It starts at 12000, I have gone both ways, clock wise and counter clock wise and counter is easier, but if you are not sure footed then coming down Bross can be nerve racking. The trail from the saddle to Democrat is all rock and scramble, not dangerous, but many places are just a scramble, coming down especially. Both times I have been, the trail is busy. I enjoyed Lincoln the best and it is also the highest.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail! Did this on 9/1 and summited all 3 (4 if you include Cameron, some people don't but all the folks we talked to on the trail said they counted it). Did Democrat first and we are glad we did, going up the loose rock on Bross would have been brutal and steep. Samsung health marked the loop at 11 miles from Kite Lake. Democrat was 2 hrs up, then another hour to Cameron and then 30 mins to Lincoln and an hour to Bross. Weather was on and off with some flurries and then warm Sun. Started at 5:30am and ended at 12:15pm. Awesome hike and best views of the 14ers we hit this summer!

3 months ago

Very fun, a bit tricky going down Mount Bross

3 months ago

Started with Democrat and skipped Bross. Views are outstanding. The top of Mt Lincoln is unbeatable. 8.5mi. 6.5hrs round trip. Parking at kite lake is $3 but they were out of envelopes.

3 months ago

The views are worth every step!

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful weather!! We went up Bross first finishing with Democrat.

hiking
3 months ago

A perfect circular hike where you summit three 14ers. I highly recommend this hike

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike. Start early! Monsoon season is no joke, especially at these altitudes. Began hike going up Mt. Democrat and would recommend this route because when coming down Mt. Bross (which is technically the 4th 14er, but the peak is “private”), it gets rather steep with a lot of loose rock, much easier going down then coming up.

hiking
3 months ago

Such an awesome hike! A pretty easy way to get 4 (3 official) 14ers in one shot. Hiked on 8/19/18 and there was snow about 12,500 ft and up. Wind was crazy and just got worse until Bross where it chilled out. Super glad I brought winter clothes, otherwise I would have froze. Idk why so many people say go up Bross first. If you want a soul crushing route with lots of scree and loose rocks, then heading up Bross is for you. I thought it was actually easier going down it than it would be going up. Trekking poles helped for sure. Climbing Democrat first is so much more stable and that’s where you gain the majority of the elevation anyways. Overall, beautiful hike and amazing place! Start before 5am if you’re going on a weekend.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

Load More