We left my house in Frisco at 6 AM and were ready to start hiking at the Kite Lake trail head by about 7. The road up was only bumpy and should be good for most cars until a switchback about 1/2 mile from the parking lot. There is a pretty deep rut running across the road at an angle. 2wd can get by with a little clearance and good wheel placement.
I have family in town that wanted to do their second 14er. This fit the bill. Prettier than Sherman but still short and quick. More people should think of Democrat on its own for a first time 14er hike.
Anyway...the snow started pretty quick but it was all easy to deal with. The first patch was pretty long. You could see a trail sign at the top edge of it, we just aimed at that.
first and second snow bits
top of first snow looking toward Kite lake
In first picture you can see the second patch of snow to be dealt with. Its short but a bit steep and the trail was hard to find in that area. We just hung a left straight up it and found the trail pretty easy once we were above the snow.
Once above that patch the trail was dry for a quite a while. There was one patch maybe 30 Ft long that had an easy boot packed path across it.
At the saddle the trail became pretty broken. However you could pick your way up the ridge fairly easy.
Quandary and the saddle
ridge and snow
ridge and snow closer
Once at the false summit the snow was constant until the final little pitch to the summit. However, the snow made for an easy walk across the flats.
Total time was around 4ish hours car to car with my 3 family members that don't get to hike much from MN. Good choice I think for first timers. Shorter and less vertical than Sherman(same vertical), Bierstadt, Grays, Quandary. If you want "easy"...this is as close to that as it comes.