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

HARD 554 reviews
#92 of 173 trails in

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.

5 days 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
7 days 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!

8 days 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
9 days 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

12 days 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
13 days 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
15 days 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.

16 days 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
18 days 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
20 days ago

Colder than I anticipated, but still awesome.

hiking
20 days 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
20 days 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!

22 days ago

Very fun, a bit tricky going down Mount Bross

23 days 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.

The views are worth every step!

hiking
27 days ago

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

hiking
27 days ago

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

hiking
29 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

- 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

We started at 6:00 AM back down by noon on a Saturday. Had to park a little ways down from the lot but not too far. We started with Bross which was tough but I think it’s easier coming down the trail from Democrat with larger rocks than the scree on Bross. It had snowed the night before and was still frozen over when we summited Bross, I can imagine it was muddy coming down as the day wore on. This direction also made the Cameron summit feel very easy coming from Lincoln. There were a couple of guys that ran up behind us coming down Democrat with no warning, nearly knocking us over, with their headphones in. Don’t be those guys. It gets crowded so be courteous and aware of your surroundings.

1 month ago

Excellent bang for the buck. We decided to hike the loop backwards starting on mount Bross. Certainly glad we did. Started at 4 AM and finished right around 1130. 35° at the top with lots of wind and amazing views. Next time I’ll be sure to bring my hand warmers and gloves.

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