Mount Antero

Buena Vista

Salida

Ride one of Colorado's few bike-legal 14ers with this massive loop ride.

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
40 km
Ascent
2 km
Descent
2 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
2.6 km
High Point
4.3 km
Gradient
14˚
Mount Antero Map

Only a few of Colorado's famous 14,000-foot mountain peaks are bike-legal, and of those bike-legal 14ers, Antero is one of the most rideable. At least, for the most part...

Description

Antero can either be ridden as a massive loop as mapped, or you can choose to self-shuttle part of Chalk Creek Road to save some road climbing. Theoretically, if you have a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle you could shuttle all the way up the backside of the mountain to 13,600 feet as well.

However, if you choose to earn your turns, the climb up the 4x4 road is quite achievable. The lower portion to the river crossing is steep but rideable.

After the river crossing, the road gets much steeper and very loose—a mandatory hike-a-bike for most people.

Surprisingly, the upper portion of the road where it begins to switchback back and forth across the mountainside is much more rideable due to the more moderate grade, despite being well over 12,000 feet.

At the end of the 4x4 road a technical ridgeline scramble delivers you to the final pitch—a climb up a scree field. Since Antero isn't climbed nearly as much as other 14ers in the Sawatch Range, the route up the final scree field can be faint in places, and multiple route options exist.

For most riders, the scree field will be unrideable even downhill, so I recommend ditching your bike at the end of the 4x4 road and simply hiking to the summit. The effort is worth it though because once on top of the 14,275-foot peak, the view is absolutely unreal.

After returning to your bike, the fun part is finally about to begin! After picking up the faint Little Brown's Creek Trail in the alpine tundra in the saddle between Mount Antero and Mount White, the singletrack gets more and more defined as you begin descending, turning into an absolute riot of a downhill rip!

The upper portion of Little Brown's is steep, dropping straight down the fall line through some brutally-technical rock features. Lower down, the grade mellows out, but the big rock features continue, with some optional drops, rock rolls, and alt lines.

Little Brown's Creek doesn't see much traffic or maintenance, so depending on the year you may encounter downed trees or other obstacles and debris. The tradeoff for the lack of maintenance is a beautiful sense of complete and total isolation. That isolation can be a euphoric relief from the stresses of modern life, but one crash on this trail, far from cell phone service, could prove deadly.

After finishing Little Brown's Creek, the route joins the Colorado Trail, following it across the Raspberry Gulch section, and then dropping down the sweet switchbacks toward Mount Princeton Hot Springs and Chalk Creek.

Mountain biking 14,275-foot Mount Antero is definitely not for the faint of heart. Hours of hike-a-biking, eventually hiking with no bike, and finishing with a brutally-technical fall line descent, means that you’ll need to both be an expert-level bike handler and an extremely fit rider to complete this route. But for those who accept the challenge, the surreal views and rowdy ripping will make you want to come back for more!

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

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

  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

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Guidebooks in this area