This route intrigued me, especially because I needed to increase my 14ers that I’ve “bagged” as it isn’t as much as it should be for someone like me. I have hiked a lot of the same mountains multiple times – example, I’ve hiked Longs Peak 11 times as of December 2018…time to summit others at this point!
This well-known 14’er hike is about 15 miles outside of Fairplay. To get to Kite Lake, where the trailhead is located, you must rock and shake your way up a dirt path. I definitely suggest driving a 4×4 high-clearance vehicle because it does get a bit hairy in some places. I had my Dodge Avenger, which barely made it in some of the sketchy areas you are simply needed more clearance. You know you’ve made it to the end of the driving trail when you see the lake and can park by the outhouse.
At the trailhead, after a short walk, you’re faced with a decision. There are two ways to tackle the loop. You can head off to the left, where a mild ascent through a gorgeous meadow, some (extremely) light bouldering, and past a large bowl brings you to the saddle between Mt. Democrat and Mt. Cameron. The other way, you can take a right by the lake and the trail sends you up to the other side nestling you between Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross.
At the end of the day, I went “left to right” with this loop and summited these in this sequential order: Mount Bross (my shadow did, that is…), Mount Democrat, Mount Cameron, Mount Lincoln. My phone died about 30 minutes into it, so apologies for only having a few photos here. I will summit this again in the Summer of 2019!
Click on photo for lightbox viewing with caption (all photos taken by Ryan with iPhone and edited in Adobe Lightroom)