register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Four Score Trail - DeCaLiBron Loop, CO

Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
  5 of 5 
78 8 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 7.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 12,013 feet
Elevation Gain 2,278 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,476 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 25.03
Interest Historic, Perennial Waterfall, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
29  2020-09-02 DixieFlyer
4  2020-08-20
Bross Lincoln Cameron Democrat
7  2020-08-20
Bross Lincoln Cameron Democrat
14  2019-09-14
16  2016-07-06
Cameron Lincoln Democrat and that other one
8  2014-07-12 The King Reigns
Author LindaAnn
author avatar Guides 60
Routes 401
Photos 4,338
Trips 1,343 map ( 9,687 miles )
Age 41 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep → 5 AM
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  4:59am - 7:23pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Quadruple Tally
by LindaAnn

Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
DeCaLiBron is a steep and challenging hike, with the entire trail above 12,000'. Be on the lookout for thunderstorms during the summer.

Loop hike encompassing the summits of four 14ers--three ranked, one unranked. DeCaLiBron features spectacular views in all directions, with a lot of nearby mining history. This loop hike can be done in either direction but is commonly hiked clockwise. It can also be done as a T shape out & back by skipping Bross entirely.

Starting from the Kite Lake Trailhead at the north end of the parking lot, take the signed trail north. After a short distance, the trail splits (signed) near where it crosses the Kite Lake outlet stream. Stay left to head towards Democrat. Shortly after that, the trail splits again, stay to the right to continue straight uphill. Accidentally taking the left split leads down towards the lake, but it is easy to get back up to the correct trail. At first, the trail has a relatively gradual incline up to the Kentucky Belle Mine area. There is a lot of old mining buildings and equipment alongside the route. After passing the mine, the trail becomes steeper and begins to enter the talus slopes.

The trail switchbacks through the talus as it steeply climbs up to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron. Democrat is looming above you to the left. At times, it can be mildly challenging to discern the correct trail from the paths cutting some of the switchbacks. Paying attention to the cairns can keep you on the actual course, but it is always easy to find if you get off track. Once at the saddle (at 13,400'), there are more mining remnants to look at while you catch your breath. Views to the north begin to open up, and the views of the cirque behind you are excellent too.

Head west from the saddle to make your way up Democrat. The trail is initially just barely to the left of the ridge, then directly on top of the ridge for a few moments before heading back to the left side. Cairns again help in the rockier spots, but it's pretty easy to navigate through. As you ascend, the trail becomes steeper, eventually switchbacking in a few places up the east side of Democrat. The path becomes very steep and loose just before the false summit. Once you reach the false summit, the true summit becomes evident to your right, and it's a pretty easy hike up to it. Democrat sits at 14,148' and is the 28th highest of the 53 ranked Colorado 14ers. The views all around are spectacular. Once you've had your fill, retrace your steps back down to the Democrat-Cameron saddle, carefully through the steeper portions.

Once back at the saddle, head east towards Cameron. The trail is generally not as steep as what you just dealt with, but you still have to regain 800' in just under a mile. The trail is mostly easy to follow, with cairns helping along the way. Looking ahead and above is usually enough to stay on the correct track. Cameron is an unranked 14er but sits at 14,238', and after all that work you did, you will consider it to be a peak. Cameron is a broad, flat summit, with a definite moonscape feel to it. Lincoln is visible to the northeast.

From Cameron, head down to the Cameron-Lincoln saddle (you'll lose less than 150') and continue to follow the trail northeast up to Lincoln. The trail is clearly defined, and you will regain about 170' on your way to the summit at 14,286', which is the 8th highest Colorado 14er, and the highest in Park County. Again, views in all directions are great, and you can also see numerous mining roads on the surrounding mountain slopes. Lincoln may be my favorite of the four peaks on this loop. Retrace your steps back down to the Cameron-Lincoln saddle. If you are making a T of the three peaks, retrace your steps back over Cameron and to the trailhead. If you are completing the loop, continue reading.

Once back at the saddle, head south towards Bross. You will be traversing the east slope of Cameron for a while, and this is the most leisurely hiking of the entire loop. After you leave Cameron behind, you will be on the edge of a ridge with the Cameron Amphitheater to your left and the cirque you are looping to your right. As you approach Bross, the trail begins to ascend again gently. Here you have a choice--legally, Bross is on private property and is off-limits to hikers. There is a signed trail that points you to your right and traverses Bross below the summit before descending; there is one fork on this traverse, stay left. This is the legal option. However, it seems that most people continue up to the true summit anyway. If you choose to summit, continue heading uphill, choosing the mining roads or trails that keep leading upward. A GPS track can be helpful here. Once at the summit, you are at 14,172' and on the 22nd highest ranked Colorado 14er. The summit is broad and flat, massive actually, and also has a moonscape feel. Out of respect for the private property, I did not hang around on the summit; I took a few pictures and headed downhill on the trail leading to the southwest.

Shortly after beginning my descent, the legal trail merges in from the right. So far, the drop has not been too steep, but that is about to change soon. Suddenly, the trail becomes extremely steep. With sandy gravel, with makes for terrible footing. Trekking poles are invaluable here, and a lot of people choose to scoot down in places. If you take your time, you will be okay. After the worst of the footing, the trail doesn't become any less steep but does move back into the talus, where the rocks are stable, and it feels more manageable. The route is easy to follow as you carefully pick your way down the rocks. Once curving left off the ridge, the steepness lessens up a bit and isn't as tedious, gradually becoming less steep as you descend.

Eventually, you are out of the talus and alongside a creek and waterfall as you make your way west back to the trailhead. At this point, the hike is almost over, and you should be feeling a sense of accomplishment for not rolling down a huge mountain slope. DeCaLiBron is a great loop to knock out several 14ers at once, and the views are worth the pain.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2019-09-17 LindaAnn
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Parking at the Kite Lake Campground & Trailhead is $3.00 per vehicle. $10.00 for camping or large passenger vans.

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To Kite Lake Trailhead
    From the town of Alma (Hwy 9), head west on Buckskin Rd/County Road 8. It can be challenging to see the road, as it is not clearly marked. It is a dirt road just north of the Al-Mart, or south of the South Park Saloon. There may be a sign on the side of the road that simply says 'Buckskin.'

    Once on Buckskin Rd/County Road 8, continue to head west for about 5-6 miles. The road is nicely graded at first, eventually becoming rougher. Most vehicles can make it close to 5 miles. The road becomes considerably rougher at the two hairpin turns. Lower clearance vehicles may want to park here (and avoid the fee), but medium clearance should be able to make it to the trailhead. Parking fills up quickly. You may end up parking on the road anyway.

    From Denver (I-25 & I-70) - 2 h 3 min (97.4 miles)
    From Pueblo (I-25 & US 50) - 2 h 28 min (123 miles)
    From Grand Junction (I-70 & US 6) - 3 h 31 min (198 miles)
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Sep 17 2019 8:28 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker