Mt. Bross, 4320m (14172 ft)
Mt. Bross & Mt. Lincoln seen from highway 9
Access (Roberts Road):
Please refer to the above books for more details and alternative routes
I was attempting to find my way to the Roberts Road trailhead, as described in the Colorado's Fourteeners Volume 1, but was thrown off route due to signs with "No trespassing beyond this point". The book says: "Obey Private Property signs, but don't let such signs confuse you". That's a very unclear statement. Either it's OK to drive a road, or it's not.
So I'll throw in my modification to the Roberts Road trailhead: Take Colorado 9 south from Frisco at I70 or Colorado 9 north from Fairplay. Exit onto Park County Road 6 0.2 miles north of the town of Alma sign. Follow Road 6 1,4 miles and turn left on Quartzville Road. After 0,7 miles you come to the Quartzville junction. Go left and continue for 1,4 miles. You will now see an unsigned gravel road to your left. You will find parking once you enter this road. Notice a creek on the other side of the road, and the remainder of an old tractor road.
The parking is at approx. 11,100ft. Follow the old tractor road up towards the mountain (west). After a while, the trail bends to the south, heading in the direction of an old mine. Follow the road until it ends, and you are at the foothills of Mt. Bross, at the gentle northeast ridge. There is no visible trail up the ridge!. As you climb the ridge, you have Mt. Lincoln to your right. You also see the Mt. Lincoln Road the Fourteeners book suggested as Mt. Bross trail from Roberts Road. At approx. 13,000ft the grassy slopes turn into talus. And if the grass slope didn't take your strengts away, the talus will. As you get higher, you see how Mt. Lincoln Road makes a bend into the Cameron Amphitheater, and this is where the book suggests you leave the road and climb up the slope towards Bross.
Once you've hit the talus, you have entered 4WD heaven. A multitude of trails switchback all over the ridge. Your feeling of being alone (people probably seldom take this route) might be devestated of a jeep coming down the mountain. Surrender to modern living, and catch one of the jeep trails and arrive Mt. Bross on it's northern side, at the junction between Bross and Lincoln.
You may now choose what to do. I hiked Bross first, then Lincoln (the route across the saddle is obvious) and stopped by Cameron on the way back. At Cameron, I was tempted to hike Mt. Democrat further west. This requires some decrease in elevation and a steep Democrat ascent, and you would have to come back the same way. But as I had been paying attention to the cumulus clouds gathering weight, I cancelled Democrat. As I reached the foothills of Bross on my way down, a thunderstorm set in just south of Bross. 10 minutes away from the car, the rain set in. Good timing!.
Mt. Lincoln is the 8th highest mountain in Colorado, while Mt. Bross is the 22th highest. Mt. Cameron used to be a fourteener, but due to it's less impressive contour, it has been taken off the list. It's now called Cameron Point, a more descriptive name.
Due to the high elevation of the trailhead, I decided to play hardball. In addition to walking off-trail, I packed my backpack full of gear. I decided to suffer on this trip. I started at 07:50AM and reached the summit of Mt. Bross 08:40AM. After some photography and Mt. Lincoln summiting, I arrived Cameron Point at 09:50AM. Encouraged by the thunderstorm, I was back at the car at 10:50AM.
Taking erosion and nature preservation into account, I really should not encourage a summit attempt outside the trail system. But as you can drive a car to the summits of Bross and Lincoln, I have a feeling they don't take erosion too seriously in this area.
Pictures: (move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version)
Other trail descriptions for this region: