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How to Reach Mount Antero?

Conquer the Heights: Your Ultimate Guide to Reaching Mount Antero

Reach Mount Antero

Reach Mount Antero

Mount Antero, standing at a towering 14,276 feet (4,351.4 meters), is the highest summit of the southern Sawatch Range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. This prominent fourteener, located in the San Isabel National Forest, lies approximately 12.2 miles (19.6 kilometers) southwest by south of Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado. Known for its challenging hiking trails, breathtaking vistas, and rich deposits of aquamarine crystals, Mount Antero is a sought-after destination for outdoor enthusiasts and gem collectors alike. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to reach Mount Antero, whether you are planning a hiking expedition, a gem-hunting adventure, or a leisurely visit to soak in the natural beauty.

Planning Your Trip to Reach Mount Antero

Before embarking on your journey to Reach Mount Antero, it’s essential to plan your trip thoroughly. This includes understanding the best time to visit, preparing the necessary gear, and knowing the route options.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mount Antero is during the summer months, from late June to early September. During this period, the weather is relatively mild, and the snow has melted, making the trails more accessible. Early summer may still have some snow patches, while late summer offers the clearest trails. However, afternoon thunderstorms are common, so it’s advisable to start your hike early in the morning.

Essential Gear

Preparing the right gear is crucial for a safe and enjoyable trip to Reach Mount Antero. Here’s a checklist of essential items:

  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support.
  • Clothing: Layered clothing suitable for changing weather conditions, including a moisture-wicking base layer, insulating mid-layer, and waterproof outer layer.
  • Backpack: A durable backpack to carry all your gear.
  • Navigation Tools: Topographic maps, a compass, and a GPS device.
  • Safety Gear: First-aid kit, multi-tool, emergency whistle, and headlamp.
  • Food and Water: High-energy snacks and at least 2 liters of water per person.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Camping Gear: If you plan to camp, bring a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking supplies.

Route Options to Reach Mount Antero

There are several routes to reach Mount Antero, each offering different levels of difficulty and scenery. The most popular route is the Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road, which is accessible to both hikers and off-road vehicles.

Getting to the Trailhead

The starting point for most routes to Reach Mount Antero is the Baldwin Gulch Trailhead. Here’s how to get there:

By Car

From Buena Vista, Colorado, take U.S. Highway 24 south for about 12 miles to County Road 162 (Chalk Creek Drive). Turn right onto County Road 162 and follow it west for approximately 12 miles to the Baldwin Gulch Road (Forest Road 277) on the right. The trailhead is located at the beginning of Baldwin Gulch Road.


There is limited parking available at the Baldwin Gulch Trailhead, so it’s advisable to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays. If the parking lot is full, you may need to park along County Road 162 and hike an additional distance to the trailhead. Just as we know How to Reach Mount Williamson?

Hiking to the Summit

Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road Route

The Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road Route is the most common path to the summit of Mount Antero. This route is approximately 16 miles round trip and gains over 5,200 feet in elevation. It is suitable for both hikers and high-clearance, 4WD vehicles.

Hike Description

  1. Starting Point: The hike begins at the Baldwin Gulch Trailhead, following the jeep road as it climbs steadily through the forest.
  2. Baldwin Creek: After about 2 miles, you’ll reach Baldwin Creek. This is a good spot to take a break and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
  3. Switchbacks: The road continues to climb, with numerous switchbacks offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
  4. Treeline: At around 12,000 feet, you’ll emerge above the treeline. From here, the terrain becomes more rugged, with loose rocks and scree.
  5. South Ridge: Continue following the road until you reach a high saddle. From this point, leave the road and follow the south ridge to the summit. This final ascent involves some scrambling and careful navigation.
  6. Summit: The summit of Mount Antero offers panoramic views of the Sawatch Range, the Arkansas River Valley, and distant peaks. Take time to rest, refuel, and take in the breathtaking scenery before beginning your descent.

Alternative Routes

For those seeking a more challenging or less crowded route, there are alternative paths to the summit of Mount Antero:

Little Brown’s Creek Route

This route is approximately 14 miles round trip and is considered more challenging due to its steep and rugged terrain. It starts at the Little Brown’s Creek Trailhead, located off County Road 272, and follows the creek up to a high basin before ascending to the summit.

East Slopes Route

The East Slopes Route is a shorter but steeper option, starting from the 4WD road that branches off Baldwin Gulch Road. This route is around 12 miles round trip and requires careful navigation through loose scree and boulders.

Safety Tips and Considerations to Reach Mount Antero


Weather in the Rocky Mountains can change rapidly. Always check the forecast before your trip and be prepared for sudden changes. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, so plan to summit and descend early in the day.

Altitude Sickness

At elevations above 10,000 feet, altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of fitness level. Symptoms include headache, nausea, and dizziness. To minimize the risk, spend a few days acclimatizing at higher elevations before attempting the climb and stay hydrated.


Mount Antero is home to various wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, and elk. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Make noise while hiking to avoid surprising wildlife and store food properly to prevent attracting animals.

Leave No Trace

To preserve the natural beauty of Mount Antero, practice Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all trash, stay on designated trails, and respect wildlife and other hikers.

Gem Hunting on Mount Antero

Mount Antero is famous for its aquamarine crystals, attracting gem hunters from around the world. If you’re interested in gem hunting, here’s what you need to know:


A permit is required for mineral collecting in the San Isabel National Forest. Check with the local ranger district for specific regulations and permit requirements.

Best Areas

The best areas for finding aquamarine are high on the slopes of Mount Antero, particularly near the summit and in the talus fields. Bring appropriate tools, such as rock hammers and chisels, and be prepared for rugged terrain.

Respecting Claims

Some areas on Mount Antero are claimed by professional miners. Respect these claims by not trespassing and adhering to all posted signs.

Conclusion: Your Ultimate Guide to Reach Mount Antero

Reach Mount Antero is a rewarding experience, offering stunning views, challenging trails, and the possibility of finding beautiful aquamarine crystals. Whether you’re an experienced hiker, an off-road enthusiast, or a gem hunter, this guide provides all the information you need to plan a successful trip to Reach Mount Antero. Remember to prepare adequately, respect the natural environment, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of one of Colorado’s most magnificent peaks.

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