Mt. Antero - From Browns Creek
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|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
|Total Gain:||2,785 feet|
|RT Length:||6.5 miles|
|USGS Quad.:||Mount Antero|
|County Sheriff:||Chaffee: 719-539-2596
|National Forest:||San Isabel|
About 10 miles south of Buena Vista, turn west onto County Road (CR) 270 and set your tripometer here. Drive 1.5 miles west on CR 270 and continue straight on CR 272 to 3.5 miles at an intersection. Stay on CR 272 by turning left (south) and driving to the trailhead after another 1.5 miles - approx. 5 miles from U.S. 285.
This route description begins from the west side of Brown's Lake (the large, unnamed lake labeled with 11286 on most USGS Topo Quads, nestled in between Tabeguache Peak and Mount White). There are two ways to reach this area: one is to follow the jeep road from CO 162 up and over the shoulder of Mt. Antero down into this valley (9.5 miles - approximately a two hour drive requiring 4WD and high clearance). The other is to hike 6 miles in from the Brown's Creek trailhead, which is located about half way between Buena Vista and Salida, off County Road 261C. There are ample camping spots in this valley.
From the beginning of jeep road #278 by Brown's Lake, hike or drive up the road for about half a mile until you reach a large meadow area above a small stream crossing at 11,600' - Photo #1. Head north towards the opening of the gully, between the trees and the stream. With luck, a faint trail can be found to lead you up to towards the upper portion of the gully, otherwise, just continue to head north up the grass Photo #2. The stream disappears beneath the rocks near treeline, which is about 12,000', and the gully opens up and becomes much easier to hike through Photo #3. Continue to climb up through the valley following the right side drainage (northeast), which eventually becomes rocky Photo #4. Photo #5 shows the ascent up the gully from the jeep road higher up in the valley.
The gully pops you up on the south meadow of Antero at 12,700'. Don't confuse the summit of Mount White, to the west (right) with Antero. The summit of Antero is still not visible, as it's blocked by Point 13,800' (an unnamed sub-peak of Antero); Mount White. From the meadow, there's no shortage of routes one can take. The easiest route is to angle to the right to pick up the shoulder of Point 13,800' and follow it to the #278 jeep road, then follow the road as it switchbacks up to 13,700', as shown in Photo #6. Photo #7 shows this route, looking back from the jeep road at 13,200'. Alternatively, you can take a more direct attack and head straight for Point 13,800', ascending the talus. Either way, both routes lead to the same place - a large flat jeep parking area at about 13,700' offering the first view of the summit Photo #8.
From here on, the route is the same as the standard route. A trail leads you along the ridgeline with a few minor scrambles on very solid rock until you reach the final pitch towards the summit at about 13,950' Photo #9. From here, a faint trail leads off to the right to switchback up to the summit, or you can simply scramble up the talus directly. Photo #10 shows the ridgeline from just below the summit.
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