It was a beautiful sunny day and we were treated to lots of aspen trees with leaves that had turned to yellow. Even though it stayed sunny it was still very windy and cold when we got close to 14,000 feet at the top of Mount Antero. It looks like winter is on its way, and we even had a little bit of fresh snow on the trail on the way up.
We aired down at a campsite on the way to the trail, then drove the last bit of road to get to the trailhead. A stranger fell in behind us so we let him pass us as soon as we had enough room to pass. He was in a hurry and took off up the mountain.
We were enjoying the trip up, though, so we took our time. The aspen trees were gorgeous and many places had leaves on the trail as well.
When we got to the crossroads for Baldwin Lake we turned left to cross the creek. Everyone had a good time splashing through it, especially Austin who made a big splash. We were grinning as we headed up to timberline.
It wasn't long before we were above the trees and starting our first set of two sets of switchbacks. The first set is much more mellow than the second set at the top, but they are long. We enjoyed the views of the mountains around us as we climbed.
A single Jeep Liberty could have seen us coming for a long time but he still headed down towards our group. That made passing difficult for everyone, but we managed to get around him.
When we got to the top of the switchbacks at the intersection with the spur to Browns Lake we stopped to have lunch. It was already very windy, making us wish we would have stopped for lunch a bit earlier in the trees. The views were amazing, though, so we enjoyed ourselves anyway. Walt got a little slap in the face from Gary's Jeep door but luckily it was a canvas one.
We continued on, making our way to the top of Mount Antero. The last bit of switchbacks were definitely improved since we were there in 2003, with the dicey parts much more even and stable. They were much easier to deal with, but still quite terrifying if you are afraid of heights.
We got to the top at just over 13,800 feet and found it was so windy we could barely get out of our vehicles. Walking around was even difficult. We took a few pictures but didn't stay long. It felt like winter!
We worked our way back to the valley and took the spur to go to the top of Mount White. It was chilly and windy up there too, but not nearly as bad. Mark found some snow and made a snowball.
We were going to go down to Browns Lake but we made sure to avoid the illegal tracks that join the Mount White spur to the Browns Lake spur. The two spurs are not directly connected. The forest service signs were down on both ends but it was pretty obvious that it was not legal.
The trip down to Browns Lake got low enough in elevation to get below timberline again, and the weather got very nice. The lake is gorgeous! We hiked a little way on a foot trail to a great place that was open and sandy, and we could get right up to the lake. The scenery was absolutely amazing, and it was worth the short and easy hike.
We worked our way back out and down the lower switchbacks, then out to the trailhead. We drove down the road a bit to go to the Mount Princeton trail before the sun went down.
This was a fantastic day!
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Mount Antero. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.