Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln and Mt Bross
- a high ridge scramble with awesome scenery and the summits of 4 peaks
A little road repair required for the
Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Bross trailhead to get the RAV4 and
D - Mt. Democrat C - Mt. Cameron
L - Mt. Lincoln B - Mt. Bross
This panorama is a quite foreshortened
view. The summit of Democrat isn't visible in this photo but lies a bit
Mt. Lincoln isn't visible either from
this panoramic view. The photos below will fill in the panorama.
Ah, now you can see, Mt. Lincoln and
Mt. Cameron from the summit of Mt. Democrat. Mt. Bross
is reached by heading right from Mt.
Victoria and Allan at the Mt. Democrat
Mt. Cameron col
Allan descending Mt. Bross with Mt.
Democrat in full view. What a good day!
Mt. Democrat Mt. Cameron Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross
Scramble: Class 1 and little bit of class 2 – Steep
Altitude: Democrat 14,148 / Lincoln 14,286 / Bross 14,172
Elevation Gain: Up Democrat 2,150 ft / 760 ft down to
Democrat Cameron saddle then up 850 ft to Mt. Cameron / then 160 ft down to
the Cameron Lincoln saddle then 210 ft up to the summit of Lincoln / back to
the Cameron Lincoln saddle then side trail over to the Cameron Bross saddle
then 500 ft up to the summit of Bross. Total elevation gain 3,700 ft.
Ascent Time: 4 – 5 hours / 7 miles round trip
Kite Lake campground is at 12,000 ft and provides access
to a group of three 14ers which can be done all at once with enjoyable ridge
walks in between.
Head west from Denver on I-70 for approx 70 miles and
take exit 203/201 and head south on Colorado highway 9 through Breckenridge
to Alma for about 30 miles. In the middle of Alma across from a general
store you head west on the unmarked Kite Lake dirt road for 6 miles to the
trailhead. The last mile of this road has some pretty rough spots especially
at the end near the lake. A high clearance vehicle is necessary to make it
all the way. Many park their cars down the road and walk up to the
trailhead. My RAV4 and a Suburu Outback made it to within 50 yards of the
trailhead. We then had to fill in a section of the road with piles of rocks
to make it passable all the way so as not to risk suspension damage.
From the trailhead you have a panorama of 14ers. There’s
Mt. Democrat to your left, then Mt. Cameron to the right of Democrat, then
far right is the tip of Mt. Lincoln, then to the immediate right of Kite
Lake is Mt. Bross.
The peaks are laid out like a "T" with Democrat left,
Cameron at the intersection of the T, Lincoln on the right and Bross at the
bottom of the T.
Head out for Democrat on a good trail, you’ll see a few
old mining structures up in the upper basin, the route curls around to the
left, once you arrive at the top of what you could see of Democrat from Kite
Lake you have to go another short distance up to the true summit. From the
summit of Democrat head North down to the Democrat / Cameron saddle. Then
the trail ascends 850 ft to the summit of Mt. Cameron at 14,238 ft. Straight
ahead from Cameron you can see the pointy Mt. Lincoln and to your right you
will see the rounded hump called Mt. Bross. From Cameron its .5 miles to
Lincoln on a good trail all the way. Backtrack to the saddle between Cameron
and Lincoln and take the side trail over to the Cameron Bross saddle
avoiding a climb back up to the summit of Mt. Cameron. Then its 500 ft up to
the summit of Mt. Bross on easy terrain. From the Bross summit rocks head
basically south onto a narrow trail that skirts the right side of the
southwest ridge. You should have Kite Lake to your right as you look down
and a great view of Democrat. About halfway down this narrow trail you will
come to a shoulder which reveals a big gully to your left. From here you
have to be careful as you descend a steep scree slope down into the gully
and link up with the trail on the left side. Stay on the left hillside trail
of the gully all the way to the meadows near Kite Lake. Do not enter the
gully as there are obstacles near the bottom. Alternatively if there is a
lot of snow on the southwest ridge it would be better to head basically east
until you can enter this big gully from the upper summit slopes.