High in the Mosquito Range above Alma, it’s possible to hike four 14ers in one morning, known as the “Triple Crown of 14ers.” Since most hikers do it clockwise, Mount Bross, a mostly unpleasant 14,172-foot slag heap, is the last one. After so much time above the clouds, most hikers don’t stop to enjoy the mountain but continue down the steep, scree-covered trail to Kite Lake below. Because of legal issues around old mining claims on the summit, being on the summit may be trespassing on private property, but that doesn’t stop thousands from doing so each summer.
After summiting Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln all in the span of a few hours, this reporter has no memory of being on top of Mount Bross.
- Acclimate yourself and ensure an early start by camping at Kite Lake, a small campground at the trailhead. At 12,000 feet it won’t be the warmest night of your life, but you’ll be right there to get going.
- Don’t stray too far from the trail on the descent back to Kite Lake. The area is littered with old mines and you really don’t want to fall down one.
- Unless you’re headed north into Summit County, the South Park Brewing Co. in Fairplay is on the way home. Stop and enjoy a cold craft beer after such a long day.
Recommended season(s): Summer – early fall.
—R. Scott Rappold