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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

Finding Hidden Gems in the Mosquito Range

Updated: May 12, 2023

June, 13, 2020

Ptarmigan Peak & Weston Peak (13,739 feet & 13,572 feet)

Route: 14ers.com route (from Weston Pass)

4.46 miles; 2127 feet elevation gain

Total time: 2 hours 52 minutes


We spent the weekend camping on the west side of Weston Pass in a beautiful secluded campsite. As expected in June, we experienced every type of weather; snow, thunderstorms and sunshine! We started this hike a little later than usual as we kept an eye on the storm clouds. We only saw one group that were descending as we went up the initial incline. This hike is an extremely steep start from Weston Pass straight up to the saddle. We headed to Weston first as Ptarmigan was hidden in the clouds. By the time we made our way back to the saddle between the two the clouds had lifted and the storm clouds were looking much better and further away. A beautiful quiet June day followed by a relaxing night at the campsite.



 

June 17, 2020

Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron & Mt. Lincoln (14,154 feet, 14,238 feet & 14,295 feet)

Route: Alltrails

*we altered the route slightly to skip Mt. Bross; we descended Lincoln and headed back over Cameron to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron and back down the ascent route

7.31 miles; 3268 feet elevation gain

Total time: 5 hours 10 minutes


We camped the night before at Kite Lake. We arrived around 6pm and there were about 10 other groups camping, mostly car camping. Bonus: there is a bathroom at the trailhead. We started around 5am and were the second group to start. The wind going up Democrat was brutal, it was so cold and there was still a lot of snow remaining. I won't lie, we almost quit before finishing Democrat. As we headed down Democrat the sun gained some heat and the wind died down a little so we continued up Cameron, very slowly! Cameron is a weird mountain, completely flat on top. Then we headed on to Lincoln which is beautiful from afar! At this point we decided to bail on Bross based on the wind picking up again and mostly tired legs dreading the thought of coming down the scree. We doubled back to Cameron and down to the saddle in between Democrat and Cameron where we headed back down the route we came up earlier in the day. At this point we wished we had continued to Bross because it was insanely busy and we were pulling off to let people pass every few minutes. It seemed like a long way down. We arrived back at the parking lot at the same time as the group who left the top of Lincoln with us, only they headed to Bross. So it is about equal time, I would personally do Bross if I did it again.



 

July 8, 2020

Kuss Peak, Mosquito Peak & Treasurevault Mountain (13,548 feet, 13,781 feet & 13,701 feet) Route: 14ers.com (Loop)

6.47 miles; 2753 feet elevation gain

Total time: 4 hours 2 minutes


We camped the night prior basically where the route starts, there are just a couple pull offs and we were the only ones there. We started just before sunrise and were still the only ones there. The first 1.5-2 miles are on the mining road then you start the rocky ascent to Kuss Peak. Between each peak there is a lot of descent and then re-ascent making it a tough day on the legs! We did not do the complete loop on this route, after Treasurevault we descended off the ridge into the valley to the alpine lake for a little break and snack. We didn't see a single person all day, which is always a lovely surprise. You can also add London Mountain and Mt. Tweeto onto this loop if you want an extra long day!



 

October 7, 2020

Horseshoe Mountain & Peerless Mountain (13,898 feet & 13,348 feet)

Route: 14ers.com route (East Slopes)

6.47 miles; 1945 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours 13 minutes


Since we were heading into fall we started a little later, around 7:30am. We were the only ones there when we arrived, based on other trip reports we parked on the side of the road around 11,800 feet. The first 2 miles, until you reach the saddle between Horseshoe and Peerless, are on a mining road. Horseshoe is straightforward but fairly loose scree. Peerless is a very quick add on, basically a freebie! The views were absolutely stunning in every direction and we got very lucky with a perfect October day; there was not a cloud in the sky and we ended the hike in a tank top it was so warm. We didn't see anyone all day, always a bonus!



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