The DeCaLiBron

Fairplay

Salida

Climb four 14ers in one hike!

Hiking Severe

Distance
11 km
Ascent
1 km
Descent
1 km
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
3.7 km
High Point
4.4 km
Gradient
20˚
VIEW ON MAP
The DeCaLiBron Map

Description

This aesthetically-stunning loop hike summits three or four 14ers, depending on how you count them, in a mere 7 miles! The DeCaLiBron Loop summits Mount Lincoln, Mount Democrat, and Mount Cameron, and the route as mapped here skirts the upper reaches of Mount Bross, without quite hitting the summit. More on that below.

The opportunity to climb four 14ers in one 7-mile hike is an objective so attractive that few hikers or mountaineers can resist it! And with only about 3,400 feet of elevation gain, this hike is easier than many attempts on a single 14er. Thanks to the high number of summits that hikers can check off their list in a single go, the DeCaLiBron receives even more traffic than the average 14er. The only thing that keeps it from being absolutely swarmed with mobs of people is its distance from the Front Range. If this hike was situated in Rocky Mountain National Park like Longs Peak, it would be even more of a traffic jam than it already is!

The first mountain on the loop (as mapped) is Mount Bross. (Note: you can complete the loop in either direction.) The route as outlined here climbs straight up the scree-filled flanks of Bross, but stops short of the actual 14,178-foot summit. The summit of Mount Bross is one of the few 14er peaks that is located on private land. According to 14ers.com, “since 2007, the summit of Bross has been officially closed and trail work has not been performed to create a defined, sustainable trail to the summit.” Consequently, it is technically trespassing to summit this mountain. Do with that knowledge what you will.

After passing Bross, this route traverses a high ridge and the flanks of Cameron on the way to the summit of Lincoln. At 14,293 feet above sea level, reaching the peak of Lincoln marks the high point of the route. It’s all downhill from here! (Ha! If only that were true!)

From Lincoln, the route drops down and crosses the summit of Cameron. As mentioned above, whether or not Cameron counts as a 14er depends on which list you consult. If you’re consulting the full list of 58 14ers, then yes, Cameron qualifies. However, mountains are generally divided from each other based on rules of topographic prominence. The question that the rule of topographic prominence answers is, “is this peak its own mountain, or is it merely a sub-peak of a different mountain?” To determine topographic prominence, you must measure "how high a mountain rises above its highest connecting saddle to a higher mountain,” according to Josh Friesema on OutThereColorado.com. "A generally accepted rule in Colorado is that a point must have at least 300 feet of prominence to be considered a separate peak,” he continues. Mount Cameron, for example, only has 138 feet of topographic prominence from Mount Lincoln. Since Mount Lincoln is higher, "Cameron does not meet the rule of being its own summit,” Friesema concludes.

Regardless, take note of Cameron as you pass over it and head for Mount Democrat, the final summit of the day. Soaring to a height of 14,154 feet, you’ll definitely feel Democrat’s prominence: it rises 748 feet above its saddle, meaning that the final summit push of the day could be a tough one!

Once on the summit of Democrat, pop that beer open and enjoy the sweet feeling of victory: you just climbed four 14ers in one day! Just remember that you have to descend all the way back down to your car, and that descents can sometimes take even longer than the climb. To return to your car, you’ll retrace your steps back down from the summit of Democrat, but then veer right off the ridge at the low point of the saddle. This trail descends all the way back down to the trailhead at Kite Lake.

Sources: https://www.14ers.com/route.php?route=bros6&peak=Lincoln%2C+Democrat%2C+Cameron+and+Bross https://www.summitpost.org/the-decalibron/161368 https://www.theoutbound.com/colorado/hiking/hike-the-decalibron-loop https://www.outtherecolorado.com/52-fourteeners-in-colorado-or-is-it-74-well/

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area