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Old 07-04-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
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Mount Antero

So me and my buddy will be headed to Mount Antero this Thursday night, and plan to wheel to the top of the road and hike to the summit on Friday. We are both avid peak baggers, and I just got my Jeep, so this run looks pretty appealing. I have been doing a bit of reading on the area, and I haven't been able to find much confirmation on a good spot to camp. Ideally, we would be reaching the road around 9:30 pm on Thursday night, so it'll be dark when we are looking for a campsite. Is there a good spot to stop on the road to catch some sleep? I wouldn't mind driving up the road in the dark as long as it isn't too crazy, I just don't want to get into trouble searching for a camp site in the dark. Anyone know of good sites that are easily reached in the dark?

Also, the invitation is always out there for anyone who would like to join. We can meet Thursday night, or on the road Friday morning.

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Old 07-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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There's actually a couple really good spots just below timber line, as far as actually driving up antero itself and camping off the road, I think that would be pretty difficult unless you pulled off on one of the switchbacks and maybe slept in your jeep? Are you planning on hiking to the top from the base, or just the couple hundred feet from where you can't drive any further?



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That's pretty much what you'd be dealing with towards the top a far as camping. But in any case have fun! This is one of my favorite trails.

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Old 07-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Oh, no! I was not planning on camping after the switchbacks... just off the road below timberline. There isn't much shelter above there! We plan to find a spot to pull off and pitch a small tent for the night, then come morning, we would wheel up the rest of the way (as far as my Jeep will make it) and then hike the remainder. Should be an easy hike, and some fun wheeling from what I've heard. Are the campsites off the Baldwin Gulch Jeep road (#277) before I reach the Baldwin creek crossing and road #278? I'm just trying to get an idea as to where I can camp before we get there...
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Oh ok haha, you had me worried you were going to try driving up the switchbacks at night! Right after you cross the creek there are a lot of camping spots, you could camp right by the creek if you wanted to. On the actual trail to get to the creek there are a couple of narrow shelf type areas also so keep that in mind if you get there kind of late. Once you get to the creek you're in good camping spots all around, and the next morning it should only take you about 45 mins to an hr to drive to the top. This year we all had lockers and it was real easy to drive to the summit right beside Antero where you have to stop driving. The year before none of us had lockers, and it was a little more difficult, but by no means impossible, just a lot if shale to deal with.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Cool, I appreciate the info! I have a pretty much stock TJ without lockers, is it just the loose rock that makes it difficult, or are there actually obstacles that need to be tackled to get to the top? From what I've read, I should be fine as long as I watch my wheel placement, is this true, or should I plan on stopping before the final switchbacks?

I'm actually kinda excited to do part of this run in the dark... I just got my Truck-lite LED headlights, so this will be a great test for them!
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Oh ok haha, you had me worried you were going to try driving up the switchbacks at night! Right after you cross the creek there are a lot of camping spots, you could camp right by the creek if you wanted to. On the actual trail to get to the creek there are a couple of narrow shelf type areas also so keep that in mind if you get there kind of late. Once you get to the creek you're in good camping spots all around, and the next morning it should only take you about 45 mins to an hr to drive to the top. This year we all had lockers and it was real easy to drive to the summit right beside Antero where you have to stop driving. The year before none of us had lockers, and it was a little more difficult, but by no means impossible, just a lot if shale to deal with.
be careful if you camping by a creek. in theory everything has to be 100 feet from the water. but most forest rangers let you go as long as your crapper isn't within the 100 feet. they can give you a pretty hefty fine if they find anything floating down stream.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Just the loose rock, there's no obstacles to speak of, we ran it in a stock tj the first time with no issues. There's a couple of loose larger rocks at the top you can just move out of your way if you want but you should have no trouble. I've never driven a trail in the dark, sounds like a lot of fun/scary haha. Have fun take pics!
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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be careful if you camping by a creek. in theory everything has to be 100 feet from the water. but most forest rangers let you go as long as your crapper isn't within the 100 feet. they can give you a pretty hefty fine if they find anything floating down stream.
Thanks for the heads up; we learned this the hard way once before in the Elk's... Hiking to Snowmass lake from the parking area in the dark. We found a site that wasn't occupied and quickly set up our tent in the dark. We got woken up in the morning by a Ranger who told us we were too close to the lake. We weren't even sure that the lake was nearby when we were setting up camp, but when we got out of the tent, the first thing we saw was the lake 30 feet from our tent. We explained the situation to the Ranger and he just gave us a warning.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Just the loose rock, there's no obstacles to speak of, we ran it in a stock tj the first time with no issues. There's a couple of loose larger rocks at the top you can just move out of your way if you want but you should have no trouble. I've never driven a trail in the dark, sounds like a lot of fun/scary haha. Have fun take pics!
Thanks again for all the info! I will certainly take a bunch of pics to share with you all!
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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sounds like an awesome idea, too bad I have to work on Friday. Guess you're not a proponent of the 3,000 ft rule for 14ers..... That trail would be much more fun in jeep cause walking up it was pretty boring.
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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Haha, yeah... so not everyone will count it as a 14er bagged, I guess. All the other ones I've done have been more than 3k, but the last one we did (Mount Lindsey) that involved a Jeep road was extremely boring... Most of the road was above treeline, and the sun was brutal for several miles of walking. How many have you got under your belt?
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #12
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Whoops, I forgot to add some pics from the trip... Everything went well, we hit road 277 in the dark, and took it a few miles up before taking the first campsite we saw. I woke up around 4am to another vehicle taking the road up, but figured it was too early for our start, so I passed back out. We packed up camp and hit the trail again just before sunrise, and made it to the stream crossing at road 278 right as the sun was coming up. We passed a few other campers shortly before timberline, but the area wasn't as busy as I expected. Once we hit the lower parking area, we saw the Expedition that woke us up earlier that morning, they must have decided that the final stretch was a bit much for their Ford. My stock TJ had little problem reaching the upper parking area at 13,800, though I did have it in 4lo for most of the last part; those last switchbacks sure are tight!

Once we reached the parking area, we saw the hikers who parked below, just starting the final pitch of Antero's summit. We parked the Jeep, gathered a bit of water and gear, and set out after them. One of the other hikers was a guy who was one month away from turning 80! He told us this was his 8th 14er, and likely his last as he was moving to Texas later this year. He was accompanied by his son who had climbed 14ers over 100 times, this was his 4th time climbing Antero. We quickly passed them, and made the summit around 8:30 am; the clouds were just starting to form, and rain was in the forecast for later, so we only hung out on the top for 10 minutes or so.

Overall, it was a great trip; that area is spectacular, and the road is pretty fun, too! Now for some pics!

Arriving at the campsite in the dark, using my new Truck-lite headlights to set-up the tent.


Stream crossing


Timberline


Good morning, mountains!


Photo op!


At the upper parking area, Antero in the background.


Found this American flag on the summit. America, the beautiful!


Headed back down the switchbacks


Clouds covering Antero's summit.


An overview of the first switchbacks
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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Great pics!
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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That's a cool trail




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Old 07-20-2012, 08:55 PM   #15
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stellar pics! like the stream crossing one.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:47 AM   #16
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that awesome, thanks for the pix! The one with all of the switchbacks could be in a jeep magazine (if there were a jeep in the pic )
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:01 PM   #17
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We're going up this week sometime, but in my older books it says the very last few hundred feet (up to 13,800) are dicey. However, I also read they improved that part of the road in 2005 or so. It looks like you had no problem? I have a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. I've been up to Bill Moore lake this year, and have done other tough roads. From the pics I've seen it looks pretty tame, but I wanted to get an opinion before I go. Any tough tipping points on the last switchbacks? Did you have to do any 3 point turns?

Thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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You should have absolutely no problems, you might have to make a couple 3 point turns, my friend was in an unlimited tj (no extra doors but longer wheel base) and he made a couple three pointers on the way back down, since you're in an unlimited I would imagine the same would be the case for you. The switchbacks are all fairly wide, and not too scary. And you have an awesome photo opp at the top.


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Old 07-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #19
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Awesome, thanks for the help!

We're also going over to Mt. White, and then as far up Cronin (a centennial 13er I think) you can get. We'll be tagging all 3 summits.

And no, I'm not into that 3000ft rule. If there's a road I'm driving it!
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #20
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No prob. Nope no walking for me either haha, that's why I bought a jeep!

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