Peak(s):  Mt. Bross  -  14,172 feet
Mt. Cameron  -  14,238 feet
Mt. Democrat  -  14,148 feet
Mt. Lincoln  -  14,286 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2014
Modified:  07/01/2015
Date Climbed:   06/27/2014
Author:  MitchellS

This is my first trip report on here! I would appreciate advice!

I hiked the Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross loop this morning. Last year I hiked Democrat with a friend, but he got altitude sickness at the Democrat/Cameron saddle so we decided to call it a day. I decided to start this season off with this loop to get back into hiking. Anyway, without further ado...

I left my house in Aurora at 3:15am. I was making great time until Morrison where I was stopped for going 60 in a 45... Watch out on 285, the speed limit changes a bunch. I got to the Kite Lake trail head at 5:50am. The road was clear and in decent condition. I laced up my shoes and hit the trail at 6AM. The sun was visible, but had not hit the valley yet. Temperature was roughly 45degrees with no wind to start. Run off covers the trail initially, and the rocks in the river have ice on them, so tread carefully. I gained altitude quickly as the weather was ideal. I was in shorts and a t shirt all the way up Democrat. Either the trail is obscured below the saddle, or my eyesight isn't good because I did some of my own trail finding on the way up. I made good time and gained the summit of Democrat in about an hour and a half. Summit was nice, with a slight wind from the west no more than 5-10mph.

Some Snow Left at the Democrat Saddle

I have all the data on my GPS watch, so I will see if I can upload parts of that data.

The temperature decreased as I descended to the saddle, I'm not sure by how much. The ascent to Cameron was easy and clear. There is some snow along the ridge, but the trail is clear. I hit the summit in just over 2 hours time. Off to Lincoln! I'm jogged the trail towards Lincoln because I was feeling the sugar from the 2 gatorades and cliff bar I had eaten at Democrat and Cameron... Lincoln was by far my favorite peak. The wind picked up as I jogged the ridge, so I ended up putting on another layer. The cornices are still intact along the ridge as you approach Lincoln. By the time I summitted, the wind was a steady 15-20mph. I paused on the summit of Lincoln for some water.

View from Lincoln

I descended towards the trail split and moved towards Bross. The wind was really whipping at this point and the clouds were beginning to move in. I met another hiker moving the opposite way on the loop. Besides for the wind, Bross was uneventful.
Moving Towards Bross

More Bross

Another View

Looking Toward Democrat

I started my final descent began after 3 hours and 13 minutes. The steady headwind motivated me to descend quickly. I came down Bross near a mostly intact snow field.
The Beginning of the Descent

Another Shot of Descent

I jogged when I could and did some of my own trailblazing to make a direct line towards the Kite Lake campground. I made it to my car in 3 hours and 57 minutes total. As I drove out of the parking lot, some dark clouds were sailing in, which made me glad for my early start.

Last year I hiked Bierstadt, Grays, Torrets and Democrat. I really enjoyed this new loop, especially to get my legs into hiking mode. None of the hiking is very difficult, although there is very minor scrambling on Lincoln. I completed the hike in some low cut Merrell hiking shoes and they were more than adequate.

I will upload pictures and hopefully some GPS data once I have everything on my computer! I look forward to any pointers!

Edit: I've added pictures. I uploaded the GPS data to my computer, and I don't think the elevation gain calculator is accurate. It claims that the hike ascends a total of 7500ft throughout the loop which I found very hard to believe. It's useful for distance and time, but apparently not ascent/descent! Good to know!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Comments or Questions
06/29/2014 14:07
Thank you so much for the post! I am doing the 4 of them tomorrow morning by myself and was hoping to find some good info on them. Was there much snow you had to hike through? I'm just curious if I should wear my waterproof hiking boots or if I will be good wearing my regular hiking shoes (the shoes are more comfortable for long hikes).
Thanks again,

Also. . .
06/29/2014 14:10
Hey, I saw a review from a month ago that shows the road to Kite Lake being covered in snow still. I have a sort of low clearance 2wd car. Will I be good to get to the trailhead?

thanks for report
06/29/2014 19:32
looks like fun

06/30/2014 04:36
There is not very much snow on the trail, and when there is, it can be easily avoided. The most dangerous part for getting wet is actually the very first few feet because the runoff creates a river that covers the trail. If you pick your way through that, you're golden. I hiked a little on the snow instead of taking the rock trial because it was more direct, and the snow was still firm because it was early. Your regular hiking shoes will do just fine. Also, the road to Kite Lake no longer has snow on it. Your low clearance might be an issue, as the road is rather bumpy. I saw some very not trail worthy vehicles in the lot though, so it can be done! When I was there last year, I saw some rear wheel drive, low clearance cars parked there, so it can be done. Just choose your route wisely to avoid scraping! Good luck! Hopefully that answered your questions!

2WD cars are fine
07/03/2014 07:23
My siblings and I went up there a week ago in a Toyota Corolla and were fine for the most part. We did get stuck in a dusty part when we stopped on a small hill to let a 4WD Jeep drive around us but had we not stopped we would have been fine. What was left of the snow on the road at the time was easy to avoid and it's probably all the way off the road by now.

Reverse route?
07/07/2014 18:17
I saw you commented that someone was going the reverse route (starting at Bross). Did you happen to ask how it was? I'm considering reversing the route this weekend but am trying to get more insight! Thanks!

Reverse Route
07/09/2014 14:07
It was a woman maybe 40 years old. I descended down the route, so I've seen it! You turn right at the stream instead of staying on the main trail. Then you head towards the gully/snowfield off of Bross. The ridge that you must take to reach bross is steep, but not to the point of serious difficulty. Once you reach Bross, you should be able to see people and/or the trail from there. When I hiked it, there was no snow on the route, and there definitely won't be any now! Hopefully that helps!

Summit of Bross?
07/25/2014 06:35
Were you deterred at all by the summit of Bross being ”closed?”

07/26/2014 20:04
I felt bad about doing it, but it's not like there's someone sitting up there wth a shotgun. If I go through the loop again, I will definitely not go up Bross, one time is enough for me. I have my own opinions about the private property rights that I'll keep to myself.

07/26/2014 21:50
No worries I am thinking i will probably go for it just this once just to check it off of the list haha. Were there other people other than yourself that decided to ascend Bross?

07/26/2014 23:13
No one when I was ascending. However, there was one lady ascending the Bross trail so I'm assuming she was heading to the summit.

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2022®, 14ers Inc.