Peak(s):  Mt. Antero  -  14,269 feet
Date Posted:  08/08/2020
Modified:  08/09/2020
Date Climbed:   08/07/2020
Author:  lifewithcare
 Backpacking Little Brown's Creek & Mt Antero   

Mt Antero via Little Brown's Creek

TH: Brown's Creek

Trip length: 2 days. Day 1 - backpacked in 4.2 miles - camped at 11,400'. Day 2 - summited Antero, returned to camp, packed out to TH.

First off - I don't know why this isn't the standard route on Antero. Having the choice between hiking up a well maintained, defined trail through forests with the magnificent sound of a creek or hiking on a 4wd road - it's a no brainer!

I got to the TH on Thursday late afternoon - and started hiking around 5:00pm. There were about 7 other vehicles parked there and it still felt pretty hot in the sun. I was very grateful for the trees providing some shade as I begin hiking. I only saw 10 other people on the trail - 7 coming down and 3 hiking up. Very grateful for trkl9's trip report earlier this month ~ so much good info and so easy to follow along!

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Brown's Creek TH. I had cell service here and there is a restroom as well. Camping is NOT allowed at the trailhead, but there are numerous spots to camp on the roads to the trailhead.

After passing through the gate, turned right onto the Colorado trail at this junction and thought it was pretty cool to be hiking a ((small)) portion of the Colorado Trail. I did happen upon one CT hiker here. =)

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This is the first junction - make a hard right turn onto the Colorado Trail.


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At the next junction (1.67 miles) you will turn left onto Little Brown's Creek Trail. The Colorado Trail continues to the right.

Definitely some rolling hills - the trail climbs and descends as you continue along. I could hear the creek intermittently. Some portions of the trail were rocky but for the most part it was a great trail. A few photos:


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trail view


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trail view


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Around 11,100 the trail flattens out a bit and there were spots to camp on both sides. I continued hiking up to around 11,400' and found a great camp spot on the right side of the trail (pretty close to the trail), but with the creek nearby on the opposite side - I found it to be perfect!

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Home sweet home for the night. Camp spot : 38.66487°N 106.21989°W (approx)
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Creek running close to camping spot - provided the perfect amount of noise all night!

The next morning I awoke around 5am and started hiking at 5:40am. The skies were clear and although it had been quite windy through the night, the weather was perfect. The trail was easy to follow.

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The sun beginning to rise as I looked back down the valley.
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Morning alpenglow + the moon was super cool to see.

Little Browns Creek trail continues all the way to the saddle between Mt White and Antero. However, I chose to leave the trail and head up steeper terrain on the right. A faint trail was visible heading up to another trail that clearly connected to the 4wd trail (to rejoin the route) so I dropped down a tiny bit, crossed the creek and hiked up. For reference - i left the trail at 38.66187°N 106.24149°W. The overview map below shows my route (in red) vs the standard route to the saddle (shown in yellow). The standard route was definitely less steep, but I found the way I hiked to be totally doable as well. I descended the same way with no problem.


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My route (in red). Standard route (in yellow). I left the route at point 38.66187°N 106.24149°W.
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Looking down onto the standard trail from a portion of the steeper route I took. You can see two cars parked on the saddle in the photo.


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Heading up the slope to join the 4WD road. Trail is clear once you are on it. From Little Brown's Creek trail it is faint but visible.

Once I joined the 4WD road it was a few switchbacks to reach the end of the road. There is some work being done at the top - and it is fenced off due to a mining claim. There was a sign directing hikers to "Stay on the trail to the right." It was a fun class 2 scramble up the ridge. Then for the final pitch I went to the right and followed a rough trail up to the summit. It appeared there were several cairned "routes" all of which lead to the summit.


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Fencing notifying hikers of the mining claim. Walk right through the opening in the fence and begin hiking the ridge.


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It was a fun class 2 scramble along the ridge line. For the majority of it stay just right of the ridge.

I got to the summit at 8:10am - only saw one other hiker just below the summit who was on her way down. My garmin clocked 3.19 miles from my camping spot to the summit.


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super cool to see an airplane up here given I was solo on the summit & i'm an aviation nerd!

Incredible views and not much wind on the summit despite it being quite windy for parts of the hike up. I spent about 30 minutes hanging out before beginning the descent. On the way down I saw 9 people and two dogs between the summit and the 4WD road! Saw two bikes parked at the fenceline. I can't imagine biking down - more power to those guys!!


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Caption Here

Wildflowers along the trail:


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Caption Here


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Caption Here


Few camping spots I noticed on my hike back down:

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Camping spot near 11,600'


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Camping spot near 11,500'

Back to my campsite by 10:30am. Packed up and hit the trail at 11:15am. I arrived back to the trailhead at 1:05pm. Total mileage was 15.18. Soaked my tired feet in the creek near the TH. Such an amazing trip. I'd highly recommend this route - as well as backpacking in - to anyone looking to summit Mt Antero.


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Soaking my feet in the creek at the trailhead. =)





Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
CaptCO

Great report
08/08/2020 13:41
I enjoyed this route, how they got a bulldozer up there is beyond me though


ltlFish99
Excellent report
08/08/2020 23:06
This sounds like a wonderful way to hike Antero. The last thing I want to do is hike a road for miles.
Thank you for posting this.


rgsaxman

A great way to go
08/09/2020 08:29
My brother and I did this route a few years ago camping at the site you captioned around 11,600'. We had a great time and didn't see anyone after the CT turnoff all the way to the summit the next day and back down. Nice report!



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