| Mt Antero - Baldwin Gulch
Being a relatively fair weather hiker, I was a little concerned about going up Antero this early after what had been a very heavy snow season. The trip reports implied that the trail was mainly free of snow, but the Baldwin Gulch 4wd road 277 still had impassable snow. I left my home in Littleton about 3:40 AM, and had an uneventful trip to the start of the 4wd road. I found the road snow free.
FR 277 4wd road
My 4wd Dodge Ram truck was able to negotiate the FR 277 and the start of FR 278 4wd. It was a tough 45 min drive to Baldwin Creek crossing, but nothing too rough, just a narrow road with lots of big rocks to negotiate that required real slow going.
While the road was snow free, I became increasingly concerned that the recent heat and snow melt had caused the Baldwin Creek crossing at 10,850’ to not be passable. The stream was flowing well, but nothing extreme.
Baldwin Creek crossing 10,850' I crossed onto FR 278 without a problem and parked the truck shortly after the crossing.
RAM truck at 10,900' However, somewhere on the morning drive I lost a hub cap (ugh - $90 to replace it).
I started the hike at 7:10 AM with the air about 45 degrees. I was wearing gaiters because of the reports of snow at higher altitudes. After a couple of hours I took them off – after only one shallow 50’ section of snow at about 12,750’.
Only snow patch on FR 278
I decided on the standard route up the 4wd road, mainly because I was by myself, and I didn’t see a distinctive trail for the other option from FR 278. It did warm up especially as the trail circled to the SE side facing the sun. I did finally see a group ahead of me at about 13,000’ – the only people so far. I finally got a good view of the last section where we finally hike on a class 2 trail.
Antero Summit view from 13,800' point There was only a little snow left, and I could easily negotiate around the snow when the trail seemed to head into the snow field. The FR portion was relatively boring (as expected) but still with great views. The last 800’ climb was more interesting.
I reached the summit at 10:45 after 3h35m of hiking. I stayed on top for about 20 minutes took lots of pictures, and took a few for the group from Noah’s Ark (from Texas), then left at a little after 11 am.
Looking from the summit, I could see a trail on the northwest facing slope near the 13,800’ point.
Me on Antero Summit - view to down climb "trail" It seemed to be the top part of the other climb option described in the route description. So I took that option to downclimb. I guess it was a “trail”, but it petered out quickly, and I ended up just going straight down the semi-scree slope (where others seemed to have gone before me). I tried not to disturb any of the tundra growth, but it was difficult. Lots of sliding, but I at least could see where I would meet the road.
I got back to my truck at 1:48p (about 2h42m down). It was a total hike time of 6h36m. My GPS said it was about 8 miles with 4,050’ of gain. Then it was back in the truck, forded Baldwin Creek, another 45 minutes on the 4wd road (dodging the bigger rocks and ATVs), and home in Littleton at 5:20p. The total drive time of about 6h30m was about equal to the hike time.
This was my last single day 14er hike. My remaining 14ers will involve driving longer, staying close to the TH or hiking to camp near the 14er. This was my 37th 14er.
This is my 1st trail report, so, I hope it helps others plan their Antero hike. See you on the trail.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):