ElevationAscent: 3,003' 915 m
Descent: -3,003' -915 m
High: 14,220' 4,334 m
Low: 12,025' 3,665 m
GradeAvg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 77% (38°)
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“Summit four Fourteeners (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross) in one fell swoop.”— Tyler Prince
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!
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