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DeCaliBron

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (73) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Summit four Fourteeners (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross) in one fell swoop.


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Map Key

7.0

Miles

11.3

KM

Loop

14,220' 4,334 m

High

12,025' 3,665 m

Low

3,003' 915 m

Up

3,003' 915 m

Down

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

77%

Max Grade (38°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Geological Significance · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln, Mount Cameron, and Mount Bross are all currently closed to access by private landowners. The closure is expected to be temporary, but please respect the closure for the time being.

Closure Status: fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/r…

Overview

"DeCaliBron" (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross) provides an awesome way to do four Fourteeners in one easy day. The linkup involves a fairly steep hike up Mt. Democrat, followed by a prolonged walk along several ridges.

Need to Know

Expect to be above 13,000 ft for the majority of the day, and bring plenty of water. Like with any other hike at this elevation, be prepared for alpine winds and weather. This route isn't all that long or technical, but if you aren't well adjusted to altitude you're likely to feel the effects of acute mountain sickness (AMS) more on this than on other easy Fourteeners.

Description

Get to Alma on CO 9, south from Breckenridge or north from Fairplay. From downtown Alma (the highest unincorporated town in the USA), drive west on the Kite Lake road. It is marked with a small sign and is right in the middle of town (which is only about six blocks long). Pass through a residential area and drive 6 miles on a good but washboarded dirt road to Kite Lake. 2WD cars should suffice.

Pay to camp at Kite Lake, or camp a few yards down the road along the stream and camp for free.

Starting at the Kite Lake parking lot, cross a small stream network on some rocks. Angle left and continue up a slight incline on an excellent dirt trail. After about half a mile the grade begins to kick up as the trail gets rockier and turns around some switchbacks. Once coming up the first headwall, the trail straightens out but remains rocky. After a few more switchbacks, reach the Democrat-Cameron Saddle at 13,400 ft. There is an abandoned mine shaft to the left right at the saddle.

Turn left here to continue to the Mt. Democrat summit. From here the trail is steep and rocky, but remains along the ridge and is easy to follow. Reach a plateau around 13,900 ft and walk about 100 yds before coming to the summit block. Continue about 200 vertical ft along some switchbacks to reach the summit. NOTE: at 13,600 ft there is a clear trail angling left before reaching the plateau mentioned above. This provides a less direct but more gradual alternative to the direct walk up the ridge, which is more popular with faster hikers or if any snow is present.

Descend back to the Democrat-Cameron Saddle, this time staying straight and heading up the clear trail to Mt. Cameron. This will be fairly steep to start, but is less rocky than the trail up Democrat. Once it flattens out at 14,000 ft, it's hard to tell where the actual summit is - the summit is basically one big, rocky football field. After this summit, you're just about done ascending for the day.

From here, hike down a gradual and clear trail before reaching the Cameron-Lincoln saddle. This is a slightly aggrandizing term, seeing as once you're here it's only about 200 vertical ft up over a rocky class 2 trail to the Mt. Lincoln summit. At 14,286, this is the high point of the trip.

Turn back down the trail from whence you came, this time angling to the left across a rocky flat area. Continue on a clear trail toward Mt. Bross. As this mountain is privately owned, the Lincoln-Bross Trail doesn't actually lead to the summit. Instead, it passes just below and to the south of the summit.

The descent from Bross is steep and unpleasant. Walk back to the Lincoln-Bross trail you were on, and continue to the right down towards Kite Lake. Walk along dirt trails covered with loose talus. As the grade gets steeper, you'll begin to hike parallel to a drainage to your left. Eventually, the switchbacks will become more gradual as you approach Kite Lake. Once you're finished, you can relish the fact that you just summited four 14ers in a single day!

Flora & Fauna

Starting above tree line, you'll see some wildflowers and willows down low and pika and marmots up high. Despite its proximity to Quandary Peak and its friendly mountain goats, you won't see many here.

History & Background

Mt. Bross, despite being little more than a molehill off of Mt. Lincoln, is one of only two privately owned Fourteeners (the other being Culebra Peak). Like other mountains in the area, it has a rich mining history, with the land being passed down for generations.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince with improvements by Zac Nixon and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 73 votes

#1

in Park County

#76

Overall
  4.4 from 73 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
38%
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3%
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Park County

#24

in Colorado

#76

Overall
508 Views Last Month
23,470 Since Mar 2, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Long shot at 07:30 am from 12,680' looking down southeast towards the beginning of the trail up to Mount Democrat. This shot shows the progression from a smooth, wide trail to start, to a steeper and rockier climb forward. This is halfway to the summit.
Sep 26, 2019 near Copper…, CO
Top of the false summit of Mount Democrat looking down at the saddle and trail up to Mount Cameron. That nice lady with a floppy hat is 79 years young and this was her fifth time to complete Decalibron Loop! For scale, zoom to center, below her.
Oct 12, 2019 near Copper…, CO
East towards Alma at halfway to the summit of Mount Democrat.
Oct 12, 2019 near Copper…, CO
A hiker/skier working toward the fun part of this climb: a spring ski descent.
Mar 4, 2015 near Fairplay, CO
Down we go
Mar 4, 2015 near Fairplay, CO
Mt Lincoln trail looking at Mt Cameron, Colorado
Feb 16, 2015 near Brecken…, CO

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Current Trail Conditions

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Bad / Closed 16 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2021
Chris R
Jun 24, 2021
Ryan Rossell
Jun 12, 2021
Tyler winders
First four 14ers! — 4h 17m
Nov 17, 2020
Jordon
the gate was closed to kite lake 10mi — 9h 30m
Oct 23, 2020
Justin Kiddy
Oct 10, 2020
Sam Harris
Oct 10, 2020
Brian Rishel
5h 30m
Oct 5, 2020
Jenny Brown
4:27 moving, ~6:25 total 7.9mi — 4h 27m