Analysing terrain data
7 - 8
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
By most measures, Mount Antero isn't the most enticing of 14ers.
A road runs up the side of the mountain to 13,600 feet, meaning that people in 4x4s and other offroad vehicles can easily get almost to the mountain's summit.
While the easiest hiking route does follow the 4x4 road up the backside of the mountain, a more adventurous—and secluded—option begins at Brown's Creek Trailhead and follows the Little Brown's Creek Trail up a narrow valley between Antero and Mount White. The hike begins with the steep, rocky stair-stepped lower portion of the popular Brown's Creek Trail.
Bear right at the Colorado Trail and then left onto the Little Brown's Creek Trail to reach the main ascent up the narrow valley. The lower portion of Little Brown's Creek is quite dry, until it drops down into the creek valley and crosses the stream that it's named after.
From here, this little-used trail roughly follows the stream uphill.
Depending on the year, this trail may not receive much maintenance or traffic.
While the Brown's Creek Trailhead is extremely popular, once on the Little Brown's Creek Trail a sense of complete and total isolation sets in.
That isolation can be a euphoric relief from the stresses of modern life, but a misstep and an injury on this trail, far from cell phone service, could prove deadly. As the trail climbs, the vegetation gets lusher, and the singletrack eventually breaks out into a high meadow with gorgeous views of the towering mountains on either side.
From here, the route gets much steeper, climbing straight up an eroded fall line trail filled with loose rocks and debris.
As the trail breaks out above treeline, the views back down toward the Arkansas Valley are simply breathtaking.
The singletrack continues to climb, and the trail gets fainter and fainter until it disappears into the alpine tundra.
Continue straight uphill to gain the 4x4 road, turn right, and continue to follow the dirt road until it dead ends. 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.
The effort is worth it though because once on top of the 14,275-foot peak, the view is absolutely unreal.