| Mt. Antero from Brown‘s Lake
I took the Baldwin Gulch Jeep Trail to camp at Brown's Lake then summitted Mt. Antero the following day. I did this for a few reasons:
1) I did not want to hike up the jeep trail with all of the switchbacks and vehicles on it.
2) I thought we would be pretty isolated camping at Brown's Lake.
3) I figured I'd be the only one on the trail from this direction.
4) I thought the views from this trail would be spectacular.
I was correct on all of these but one. I did not pass a single vehicle hiking up or down the mountain. There were more people than I expected camping at Brown's Lake, (what appeared to be a large fishing group), but when you sleep right next to the rushing water you can't hear anyone else around you. I did pass a couple of guys on the trail just starting out as I was heading down, but other than that I really didn't see anyone except for a few people on the saddle ridge on my way down. And this is one of the most beautiful areas that I've seen on a 14er.
Drive from 162 to Brown's Lake: just less than 10 miles, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 45 minutes, pretty slow going.
Roundtrip Hike: Just over 4 hours at a moderate pace going up (2.5 hours) but really moving on the way down (1.5 hours)
Take the Baldwin Gulch Jeep Trail (277) up past the Baldwin Crossing and head up the switch backs until you reach a junction on the southwest side of the mountain. The trail is pretty rough, passing people can be pretty hairy and it is slow going most of the way up and down. Here is 278 that takes you down into the valley on the south side of Antero.
278 does not seem to be as rough as 277 except for a few very steep and very rocky areas, you definitely need a 4WD with clearance, and a short wheel base would not hurt around some of the switchbacks. The road winds around quite a bit, but the views are spectacular and completely worth it. There are some great camp sites as you reach the first set of trees, one even crosses the creek for total isolation. But Brown's Lake is completely beautiful with the beaver dams and the mountains surrounding. There are probably half a dozen car camp sites located to the west of the lake and then 4 or 5 backpacking campsites located east of the lake near the main dam.
I woke up and got going just before 6 am to head up the trail from Brown's Lake. Walking along the jeep trail I was greeted with some light rain and this rainbow.
To find the beginning of the trial toward Antero is a little difficult, but from the east head up a long, steep, rocky slope heading northwest, at the top of the slope the road curves around to the southwest and there is an open area. From the west there is a water crossing soon before the open area. This picture shows the same one as in the route report at dusk. It's hard to make out, but the trail goes between the rocky hill in the foreground and the large mountain beyond, up and to the right.
From here head towards the base of a rocky hill that leads to the creek that will be followed up until it dives under the rocks. The trail is faint and difficult to follow; the creek is a good guide to follow until it disappears.
After the water disappears there is a high valley that if kept to the right ends up in a rocky slope as shown in the route report.
The rocky slope ends on the high plains. From here Mt. White can be seen to the right (east) and the southern Talus of Mt. Antero will be to the left (north). There are also a couple of jeep roads crossing the path from here to Antero.
From here I made the gradual climb to the northeast around the base of the Talus until I reached the jeep road. On my way down I came straight from the talus, it was challenging, but may be some fun boldering for some hikers up or down.
Around the base of the talus to the jeep trail
Jeep Trail Ahead
Jeep Trail Back
Alternate route looking down from the Talus
From here, follow the jeep route up to the end, then as the trip report says, cross the ridgeline and head up to the mountain.
On the way down I was fortunate notice a large patch of snow to the east of where I came out of the rocky slope on the plains that is shown in the second to last picture. I used this to guide myself back to the path so that I did not wander too far to the right or left going across the plains.
This was one of the most beautiful areas that I have been to on a 14er and very nice and secluded place to stay and enjoy. If anyone needs to do Antero or wants to do it again, I highly suggest this route to get you there.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):