Mt. Lincoln - Lincoln Amphitheatre
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
(WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Even the "easy" 14ers (Quandary, Sherman, Grays & Torreys) can be deadly in winter.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
Ski: Advanced, D6 / R3 / II
|Total Gain:||3,400 feet|
|RT Length:||4.75 miles|
|County Sheriff:||Park: 719-836-2494
Less than 1 mile south of Hoosier Pass, take the County Road (CR) 4 west from Colorado 9. Start measuring mileage when you turn onto CR 4. At 0.3 miles, stay straight. At 0.6 miles, stay straight. At 0.8 miles, go right on the higher road. At 1.4 miles, reach the parking area at Montgomery Reservoir. Cross a small bridge and continue around the reservoir. Near 1.6 miles, the road gets a little rough. Climb the hill for a bit and locate a turn-off to the left - at 1.7 miles. Turn left and park near a water shed and concrete wall. This is the trailhead.
From the parking area, climb up onto the concrete wall and and cross a small bridge that spans Middle Fork of the South Platte River. Photo #1 shows the route from a distance. Hike up through the forest on a good trail. Weave up through pines and follow the trail as it eventually turns left (south). Continue to a large talus field. Be sure to bear left to get to this area - if you go straight from the bridge all the way to the hillside, you will be directly below cliffs north of your hiking route. Once you have entered the talus field, hop up through the boulders. Photo #2 and Photo #3 show the area. Extra care is required so you don't fall between the rocks. When you reach the base of the headwall, you can see the ice/water falls above to the left. Climb a few hundred feet up through the brush and along the slippery sides of the stream. Weave your way back and forth staying close to the stream. Don't go too far to the left or you will be too close to the ice/water falls - and don't go too far right or you will enter steep terrain.
About 1/2 way up, it may be easier to stay on the right side of the stream where there is a small trail that climbs up through the bushes. Near the top of the cliffs, locate an open area that may be filled with snow (through early summer). This is above the ice falls. Hike to the left side of the this area and up to a point just below the rock moraine at the end of the amphitheatre. The large rubble pile runs the length of the amphitheatre. Enter the amphitheatre at 11,700'. Stay to the right and hike on the side of the amphitheatre or hike up onto the rubble in the middle. Either way, you must hike without a trail. Continue 1/2 mile up the amphitheatre until you reach its end.
Photo #4 was taken near the center of the amphitheatre. Near 12,500', climb out of the amphitheatre by staying on the right side of a small stream. Climb steeply up to the right of some cliffs and a water fall and then hike left out of the amphitheatre - Photo #5 and Photo #6. At 13,200', angle left (southwest) to avoid the loose rock in the center of Lincoln's east slope. Continue up the loose face. Near 13,800', locate a road on Lincoln's southeast ridge and follow road segments toward the summit - Photo #7. Near 13,900', a road heads right (north) across the face. Follow this road to Lincoln's northeast ridge - Photo #8. Turn left and climb the remaining ridge to the summit - Photo #9.
The upper east slope holds snow through May. Pick your ski descent during the climb. The Amphitheatre is rough and will likely have areas that require travel without skis. By mid-spring, most of the Amphitheatre will be melted out.
This route is best done in the summer on a dry day. The return trip past the ice falls can be difficult in the rain.
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