Mount Democrat (Elevation 14148 Feet) - Alma, Colorado

A Mountain Ascent In The Mosquito Range
This was my second hike of Mount Democrat. The first time was when I did the Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Bross loop eleven years ago. Generally speaking, Mount Democrat is considered an "easy" 14er, as the standard route begins above timberline at Kite Lake on a well-marked Class II trail.

Directions: From the main highway in Alma, turn west on Buckskin Gulch Road. This cross street is near the South Park Saloon, where there's a street sign for Kite Lake. Travel six miles to Kite Lake. (NOTE: The road is on the rough side. I made it most of the way in my Honda Civic, but high clearance and 4WD would be helpful.)

Mount Democrat, Colorado
The grand view of Mount Democrat from Buckskin Gulch Road.

Photos and videos by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Click any image to view it at a larger size.


Mike Vernon and I began our expedition from Buena Vista. My first photo was of the sunrise at Trout Creek Pass.
Kite Lake, CO The sky was overcast as we arrived at Kite Lake around 6 a.m. There was a lot of snow in the mountains. In fact, Kite Lake is still thawing; you can faintly see it in the adjacent photo.

This was my first photo on the trail as we looked back at the trailhead.

Mt. Democrat Hike

Colorado Mountains

TOP: Much farther up the mountain, a look back at the saddle and Cameron Point. (Sometimes this peak is referred to as Mount Cameron.) This is an unranked 14er because the saddle between it and Mount Lincoln is less than 300 feet in elevation.

SECOND: The stunning view unfolds to the west. That beautiful basin is part of Platte Gulch.

Mount Democrat, Colorado Getting closer to the summit. More hiking on snow.
Steve Garufi and Mike Vernon

The Summit

Mike and I at the summit.
Mount Democrat Summit

Mount Democrat & Fremont Pass

Mount Democrat Summit

Mt. Democrat, CO

So many mountains!

TOP: 14ers Mount Elbert and Mount Massive in the distance. One of the closer peaks is Mount Arkansas.

SECOND: A perfect view of Fremont Pass and the Climax Mine.

THIRD: So much snow on those mountains.

FOURTH: Facing north. The Platte Gulch Basin below with Quandary Peak as that biggest peak ahead. And I do believe that is Torreys Peak and Grays Peak in the distance on the right.

Other hikes in the Mosquito Range:
  • Mount Sherman
  • Horsehoe Mountain
  • Mount Sheridan
  • Weston Peak
  • South Peak

  • Mt. Lincoln Cameron Bross Mount Lincoln shows its summit with Cameron Point on the left. Mount Bross is on the right.
    Buckskin Gulch, Colorado A birdseye view of Buckskin Gulch and road.
    Facing southwest, I could faintly see Mount Princeton. This image made it on my Mt. Princeton photo journal: :)
    Jake The Dog

    Jake on Mount Democrat

    Jake, The Dog of Buckskin Gulch

    As we were driving on Buckskin Gulch Road, this energetic dog ran beside my car. He went for miles with us and made it to Kite Lake. Then he began to hike the trail like he was the ambassador of the mountains!

    When he reached the summit, I read on his tag that his name is Jake. The tag read, "I am friendly and live at the dome home on Buckskin Road."

    This dog made my day. He was so fun and friendly.

    Steve Garufi on Mount Democrat I hiked down to this large patch of snow that stubbornly refuses to melt, and Jake joined me. :)
    Snow Sledding We did some sledding! Okay, we didn't have actual sleds, but at a snow field we found it was easiest just to put our butts down and slide. Here are other hikers doing it. Today was June 21. What a great way to celebrate the first day of summer.


    Near the beginning.

    Getting higher.

    On the ridge.

    A skier comes down.

    On the summit.

    Jake is not a shabby canine! :)

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