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Route #1) Mt. Antero - West Slopes  


Difficulty:  Class 2 
Exposure: Mild exposure very close to the route. Route options may be limited but you should be able to walk past the exposure area.
Summit Elev.: 14,269 feet
Trailhead Elev.: 9,400 feet
Elevation Gain: 5,200 feet from the 2WD trailhead
2,400 feet if you drive a 4WD to 12,000'
RT Length: 16 miles from the 2WD trailhead
7 miles if you drive a 4WD to 12,000'
Trailhead: Baldwin Gulch New Update
Quad. Maps: Log in to view 
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated: 2/2014
 
Weather Info: NOAA Link
Condition Reports:  View (61 reports) New Reports
Cell Reception?:  View (9 reports) 
County Sheriff: Chaffee: 719-539-2596
National Forest:  San Isabel
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User Climb Times: View
Campgrounds: View on Google Maps
Restaurants: View on Google Maps
Trip Reports (163)
Ski/Snowboard Trip Reports (8)
14erology
 

TH:  

From the junction of U.S. 285 and U.S. 24, south of Buena Vista, drive 5.5 miles south on U.S. 285 and turn right (west) on Chaffee County Road 162 - towards Mt. Princeton. Drive almost 12.5 miles on this road (dirt after 10 miles) to reach the signed Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road on the left (also listed as the 277 Road). If you plan on parking here, there are plenty of pull-offs along the road. This is the lower trailhead. Short, high-clearance 4WD vehicles can drive up the 277 road. Above the river crossing (10,850'), there are dispersed camping spots along the side of the road.

Route:

Start up the #277 jeep road - Photo #1. Snow usually covers portions of this road in early June. Even in mid-June, you may not be able to drive above 11,500‘. The road is fairly steep in portions but can be driven with a small 4WD vehicle. Hike/drive 3 miles to a road junction at 10,850‘ - Photo #2. Turn left on the #278 road and cross the stream in Baldwin Creek - Photo #3. Continue another mile to tree line (Photo #4) on this rough road. You can now see the road as it climbs the slopes west of Antero. Taken from the northwest, Photo #5 and Photo #6 show the area. Above tree line, and near 12,000‘, continue on the road as it switchbacks up a slope southwest of Antero.

Hike up the road as zigzags up the west side of Point 13,800‘ - Photo #7, Photo #8 and Photo #9. Near 12,800‘, there is a long section of the road that heads south and gradually ascends (Photo #10) to 13,100‘ on the crest of a ridge - Photo #11. Once on the ridge, your next goal is to reach the top of Point 13,800‘, and you have two options:
1) Leave the road, and hike 500‘ east/northeast directly to the top of Point 13,800 - Photo #12: If you intend to use the shortcut option, it‘s important to leave the road while still on the SW ridge - Photo #14.
2) Follow the road to the top of Point 13,800‘: For this option, simply hike east on what is now the 278A road - Photo #13, Photo #14 and Photo #15. Continue to 13,200‘ and stay left on 278A at another junction - Photo #16. Follow the road as it zigzags up the south side of Point 13,800‘ - Photo #17 and Photo #18. Near 13,700‘, reach the end of the road, near the top of Point 13,800‘ - Photo #19 and Photo #20.

It may be slightly longer, but Option #2 is easier.

From the top of Point 13,800‘, Antero‘s summit is visible, but you must first cross the ridge between Point 13,800‘ and Antero - Photo #21 and Photo #22. Begin hiking along the ridge - Photo #23. In late spring, snow may cover the small trail along the east side of this area. Hike along the ridge to reach the final, 400-foot summit pitch - Photo #24. As seen in the photo, there‘s a trail that ascends right of the ridge crest and then traverses across the upper south slope before turning left to climb to the summit. The start of this trail is a bit rugged, washed out and braided, but gets better near the middle of the slope. Your other option is to stay near the ridge crest and climb directly toward the summit. The trail may disappear a few times but the route is fairly obvious - Photo #25. Since the initial section of the old trail (on the right) has become more confusing over the years, many climbers use the more direct route, straight up the ridge. Photo #26 and Photo #27 look down the pitch. Photo #28 looks north from the summit.

Notes:   

If you are hiking in May or early June, you may not be able to drive far on the jeep road.

 

Photo #1Photo #2Photo #3Photo #4Photo #5Photo #6Photo #7Photo #8Photo #9Photo #10Photo #11Photo #12Photo #13Photo #14Photo #15Photo #16Photo #17Photo #18Photo #19Photo #20Photo #21Photo #22Photo #23Photo #24Photo #25Photo #26Photo #27Photo #28

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