The Decalibron: Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail

HARD 726 reviews
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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, 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

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

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
no shade
scramble
5 hours ago

Loved it! We arrived at 6:30am and found a pretty close spot. Wasn’t able to do all 4 peaks which was disappointing, but Democrat was amazing and I’ll be back! The wind was intense and super gusty which made climbing a bit hard for our group, which had five 8-9 year olds. It was 3 of their first 14’er, and after coming back to the saddle after summiting they were ready to head out. My hiking poles decided to malfunction which made the hike down difficult. It was mostly loose dirt and gravel - I saw about a dozen people slip and fall so be careful. Overall an extremely great day!

Started at 6 am ended 1pm. Wind was brutal. The Bross descent people talk about is better descended than ascended. Bring poles. Even though it’s under 8 miles the repeated ascent/descent sequences make this significantly more exhausting than its Class or its distance.

hiking
private property
rocky
1 day ago

The wind today was intense, but that made it memorable. Learned some lessons today about coming a little better prepared for the weather up there. Otherwise I loved this hike. We came in Friday at 9:30 PM, lake sites were already full, pretty much expected that. Ended up in a dispersed site just a bit further down. Started up Mt. Bross at 4 AM. pretty good climb, just plan on some steep sections with some loose rock. Sunrise from the top was awesome. Continued on to the rest of the peaks. Views from Lincoln were probably my favorite, but great throughout. As others mentioned, save enough gas for the hike back down.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

Started at 4am went the Mt Bross side 1st. Super tough going up it but doable if you take your time. Reached the top for the sunrise! Really windy coming down Bross and over to Mt. Lincoln had to be 50mph gusts. Never thought I had to hike sideways because of the wind. But made it a fun hike. Mt. Lincoln to Mt. Cameron is super easy but again alot of wind. Mt. Cameron to Mt. Democrat was intense after doing the last 3. Took my time going up but very doable. Not to much wind going up Democrat. Overall I loved this hike and saw lots of people with there dogs on it.

hiking
1 day ago

Start 0545 Bross 0825 Lincoln 0945 Cameron 1010 Democrat 1210 Car 1330 This was particularly challenging today because of the wind. It was incredibly windy. I was blown over several times. Get to the trailhead early as the road for parking fills up very early. I was going to camp the night before to get an even earlier start, but couldn’t. This was not my favorite 14ner hike, but I got to bag 4 at once so hard to pass up on. Save something in the tank for the decent off Democrat because that is very mentally draining after hiking all day.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

I was stoked to do this hike. Was planning to do all 4 peaks. Had to park. .5 mile down. Full parking lot and many hikers. Started at 6:00 and decided to do Bross first due to reviews. BIG MISTAKE. Could not have known the wind conditions most of the hike and at the top. Bross was very steep and technically challenging. I thought once I got to the top it will be great to move on from this peak but that never happened. Once summited the wind and gust was so forceful I couldn’t even stand up. Everyone was turning back to head down. It was too dangerous to continue to the other 3 peaks. The reason I chose Bross first was to avoid having to hike down it but unfortunately I had no choice. Should have done Democrat first and suffered the hike down on Bross. Next year I’ll be back

hiking
blowdown
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

Great way to knock out four 14ers in one. Arrived at 430am with the parking lot full and about 20cars down the side of the road. Finished 4 summit's at 930am and the line of cars down the road was a good mile long. So arrive early! The whole trail is a class 1 other than maybe a mild class 2 on Democrat. All the reviews I saw on here said to go counter clockwise with Bross first. Met a local that said to do it the other way. So glad I listened! Democrat takes the most effort to get up, and it's a pretty stable walking service. Bross seemed steeper and isnt very stable. To me that would suck to walk up, but was easy to go down with controlled slides. I made it down a lot faster than everyone else. So make sure you're comfortable with your foot work. Today it was also extremely windy at the top. Bring a wind jacket, a tight cap that wont blow off, and gloves. I was walking sideways for a lot of it.

Failed attempt today :( The wind was absolutely relentless. My friend and I arrived at 6:00am and parked about .5 miles from the TH. Quite busy today. We summited Mount Democrat and we’re making our way to Mount Cameron, when the wind got so strong we decided to call it about .5 mile from the summit. Some were still muscling on but many groups were also turning around. I had never experienced gusts that strong and I was super grateful I had a trekking pole to assist with balancing / fighting the wind. I’ll totally be back to summit the other 3 peaks... redemption hike already being plotted. Side note: like a few others have mentioned below… stopping at the 1st fee ($3 cash or check) notice sign and grabbing a permit is a pro move, especially if you have to park down the road of the TH like I did today. You can deposit the fee at the top of the road by the TH but you won’t have to double back to your car to place the permit on your dash.

Made it to the top of Democrat but on the way down the wind was INSANE. We started up Cameron but the wind was too much. Definitely will be back to finish “calibron.” Bathrooms were restocked during the day with toilet paper and hand sani which was great.

hiking
2 days ago

Got to Kite Lake Trailhead at 20:00-ish the night before and camped there, which I'm glad I decided to do because the lot was pretty much full. Started out at 03:45 going up towards Bross as the first group, with another doing it the other direction. Got to the top before the sunrise and watched the sun come up. The wind was pretty relentless between Bross, Lincoln, Cameron, and down to the saddle before Democrat. The last stretch up Democrat wasn't too bad. Glad we went up Bross first instead of Democrat to avoid the sliding coming down Bross and catch the wind before it got too bad. Great loop though! Seriously recommend spending the night though before, especially if you're starting later than 03:30 and it's a weekend.

hiking
3 days ago

We completed this loop (sans Democrat) on 8/23/2019. We went counter-clockwise THANKS TO THE REVIEWS ON ALL TRAILS. I would HIGHLY recommend completing this loop counterclockwise. In 2017, we were planning to complete all 4 clockwise but after the intensiveness of Democrat we came back down. This time we did a lot of research and decided to do the other 3 counterclockwise. We also decided on a Friday to avoid the full parking lot and crowded trails - GREAT decision. We arrived at 6:30 and had front row parking. We started up Bross at 6:45 and submitted at 8:45 - our quickest summit of a 14er ever! It was also the easiest (slow and steady and would recommend poles and an outer wind breaking layer as the wind was intense in some spots). People had turned around on Bross because they were worried about the wind on the ridge but the ridge is actually protected in many areas (of course depends on where the wind is coming from, we were lucky) and is a quick and almost flat .7 miles. We headed over to Lincoln and submitted by 10:15 AMAZING views and very nice on summit (wind was being blocked by Cameron). We submitted Cameron by 10:45 and headed down, which took 2 hours and by the end we were very tired as the descent was the hardest, longest part. We did run into two mountain goats after Cameron and were somewhat concerned as it looked like a baby was with them...we got off the trail and let them pass. We ran into many people on Lincoln who were doing the loop clockwise and when we saw them at the bottom they wished they would have done it counterclockwise given the tough descent down Bross. Great hike and by far the best one we have done. As mentioned I would highly recommend completing counterclockwise, try to climb on a week day to avoid the crowds, and if you decide to do all 4 leave a lot of energy for Democrat or be prepared to bypass it. It might just be .6 up and .6 down but it will take a couple hours and is VERY intense and is still the most intense 14er we have climbed taking us over 6 hours in 2017.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail... did it today. Arrived at the trailhead at 6:30 and there were still plenty of spots. Decided to do Bross first given the reports of how loose the trail is and my wife has bad ankles. Glad we did. Once you get up Bross, Lincoln and Cameron are relatively easy but getting up Bross took us some time. We were pretty tired once we got half way up Democrat but made it to the summit. Had some bad hail on the way down. Overall great hike and a lot of fun and a lot of work.

hiking
4 days ago

Even though these peaks have a bit of a reputation for being "easy" 14ers, this is still a hard hike. We did the conventional direction (up Democrat, to Cameron and Lincoln, and then down Bross) and would definitely recommend going that way. Going down Bross wasn't too terrible for us, but it would be hell to walk up and also has the worst views of the four, so I'd personally prioritize the ones with higher payoff. Note that although the Bross summit is technically private property and off-limits to hikers, we (and many other people) had no issues summitting. Going the conventional direction, the hardest part is from the Democrat-Cameron split, when you first go up Democrat and then come back down and head up Cameron. These approaches are both long and steep but not really exposed or dangerous. The true Democrat summit is a few hundred yards after you emerge above the switchbacks. Cameron was the windiest of the bunch by far. Summiting Lincoln is pretty trivial once you're at Cameron. All three had awesome views. We got to the Kite Lake trailhead around 6:15 AM on a Thursday, and there was still a fair amount of parking. We got our Camry all the way to the top, and as long as you drive slowly and carefully, I think that most 2WD cars would be OK. There were 6-8 other sedans and even a Mini Cooper up there, so it's not impossible by any means. All in all, a fun adventure and a great opportunity to bag a bunch of 14ers in one trip.

hiking
4 days ago

Completed this loop counterclockwise starting with Bross. Arrived to trailhead around 4:15am and there were still spots. Bross is the easternmost mountain of the 4 and the sunrise was excellent. Took around 5 hours total with a few stops at the peaks

This is an epic hike! I went clockwise starting with Democrat and finishing with Bross. I know everyone hates the descent on Bross' gravely loose rock but I actually thought it was a fun ride down and loved it! I wore light gloves and used my hands often to help balance and went fast! It was awesome! I had a nice grippy pair of Solomon's that probably helped a little too. I did not have poles. I would go this direction again. Getting to the trailhead in my tiny 2wd rental car was doable but very dicey. There is the upper parking lot at the trailhead where 4wd vehicles park. Then a 1/4 mile before that is a lot where most 2wd vehicles park. Then other smaller 2wd vehicles even park before that on the side of the road maybe 1/2 mile before. This entire hike is above treeline. So be prepared for cold windy weather and go early! I went on a Wed and was completely alone on 3 of the peaks.

hiking
5 days ago

Did the loop clockwise. Coming down on Bross was pretty sketchy. Lots of loose rocks on a steep incline, id recommend doing it counter-clockwise and go up Bross first

hiking
6 days ago

Went and did Mt Cameron and Mt Lincoln today and i have no complaints about the hike! Views are awesome. However, not very dog friendly going downhill!! My poor baby’s paws got so blistered she could barely walk and saw another dog on the trail who also could not walk! His paws were actually bleeding pretty bad. Lots and lots and LOTS of rocks so please just be cautious with the fur babies here! Definitely need little hiking boots for them.

hiking
rocky
scramble
washed out
6 days ago

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