Mount Bross

snow "Dolly Varden Gully"
Difficulty Class 2 
Snow Steepness: Easy 
Ski/Board: Novice, D2 / R1 / II  
Risk FactorsExposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Moderate  
Commitment: Moderate  
TrailheadMineral Park
Start11,400 feet
Summit14,178 feet
Total Gain2,900 feet
RT Length4.00 miles
Last UpdatedOct 2022
Show More
This route should only be climbed with consolidated snow, in spring or early summer. Climbing this route in mid-winter could put you in deadly avalanche conditions.
Currently, the summit of Mt. Bross is officially closed because the multitude of landowners have not given formal permission to allow hikers. If you don't have permission and you're set on reaching the true summit via this route, please consider waiting until it reopens.


Take Colorado 9 to the town of Alma. In the middle of town, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. Turn here, pass through a residential area. Drive 2.8 miles toward Kite Lake and turn right onto the Windy Ridge Road, also known as 787 or 415. Continue 2.75 miles to a parking area near the Mineral Park mine in Dolly Varden Gulch.


See 1 for an overview of the route. The winter (and usually spring) closure for the road to the Mineral Park trailhead is 3 miles below the trailhead at the Paris Mill location. Walk, ski or drive to the Mineral Park trailhead parking area. Continue northwest up the road, pass the mining area. After a short distance, reach a road junction that may not be visible due to snow. The main road goes off to the right and climbs to the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area and is the road used Bross' East Slopes route. Continue straight to enter the "Dolly Varden Gully" ( 2) which is really the upper portions of Dolly Varden Gulch and is a major drainage for Mt. Bross and "South Bross."

If the gully is not fully covered with snow, the climb may not be worth it or very much fun. Also, water can flow under the snow, so it's important make a safety decision if water can be seen or heard. Begin your ascent! The route is obvious - 3; Just follow the gully towards Bross. Ascend a few hundred feet and the gully turns slightly left near 12,000' - 4. Continue straight up the gully to see a right turn in the gully near 12,800' - 5. Once you reach the turn, most of the remaining route comes into view - 6. The gully continues up to about 13,600' and usually does not hold snow to the ridge between "South Bross" (left) and Mt. Bross (right).

Taken from just above the turn and south of the gully, 7 is a good look at the remaining route. Near 13,400', there's a road that crosses the gully. Above here, the gully gets a bit steeper and the snow may not last much longer. You can either leave the right side of the gully and climb directly up the slope below the summit or continue to the top of the gully before angling towards the summit. The best way to the summit is usually to pick the most continuous snow you can see and keep climbing north-northwest towards the top. 8 and 9 provide another look at the options. Generally, the direct route up the slope has snow higher up. 10, 11 and 12 were taken on the slope just below the summit. After finally topping out near 14,100', the summit comes into view - 13. Walk north across the broad summit area.

Since 2007, the summit of Bross has officially been closed because the multitude of landowners have not given formal permission to allow hikers. doesn't condone trespassing but if you have permission or intend to gain the summit regardless, please be respectful. The true summit pile isn't much higher than the center of the large summit area and the center is on public land so, in the grand scheme of things, hiking just to the center is good enough.


14 and 15 look down the gully. It holds continuous snow well into May and is usually an easy climb using crampons, snowshoes or skis with skins. If the snow is good, you may be able to ski from the summit all the way down to the Mineral Park trailhead.


#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15

The route Google Map can only be accessed by registered users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In_

The route profile can only be accessed by registered users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In_

The route photo stash can only be accessed by registered users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In_

Caution: The information contained in this route description 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 route description 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 route description 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.
Heading to a 14er soon? Don't forget the mobile app.
Google Play   Apple App Store