Mount Antero

Buena Vista, Colorado (Chaffee County)

Last Updated: 05/16/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 16 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Partially Open
Typically Open: 06/01 - 10/31
Length: 7.08 miles
Highest Elevation: 13800 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 40 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Buena Vista
Nearest Town w/ Services: Buena Vista
Official Road Name: 277, 278, 278A
Management Agency: San Isabel National Forest
District: Salida Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Mount Antero
It's not everyday that a trail can take you within 500' of a 14er summit, but the Mount Antero Trail does just that! Starting low in the valley, the trail climbs through Conifer forests and Aspen groves before continuing above treeline up 9 spectacular switchbacks that will leave you wondering how anyone could have built a road up the side of the mountain. Once up the lower switchbacks the views of Cronin Peak (13,802') and the Baldwin Valley below are panoramic. The upper switchbacks take you near the summit of Mount Antero to an elevation of 13,800'. The views of the Arkansas River Valley here are amazing and the Mount Antero Summit is only 500' away should you choose to bag a 14er. The Mount Antero Trail is the main trail in the area with several other connecting trails allowing for a multi-day adventure. You can explore the Baldwin Lake Trail, Mount White Trail, Browns Lake Trail or the Boulder Mountain Trail, which are all part of the Mount Antero Trail System.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Mount Antero

Route Information

Technical Rating:
( MODERATE - DIFFICULT )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail starts where FS 277 departs from Chalk Creek Drive, turn uphill and left to start the Mount Antero Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.709998, -106.291603
From the Highway 24/Main Street stoplight in Buena Vista, head west on West Main Street. In .75 miles turn left onto Rodeo Road. Continue on Rodeo Road for 8 miles, you will descend a steep hill and take a right at the bottom of the hill onto County Road 162. Follow County Road 162 into Chalk Creek Canyon for 7.87 miles. Turn left onto FS 277 to begin the Mount Antero Trail. You will see a few larger turn out areas on the right side of the road just before the Mount Antero turnoff.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next 5 years. It is imperative that the OHV community lets their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there. Salida Forest Service District Office Leadville Forest Service District Office

Trail Reviews (24)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Only open for .5 miles, ice across the road and sloping downhill.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Could barely make it up the first stretch but was moving along until someone setup camp right in the middle of the trail before way point 2.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
An early fall snowstorm has made the trail impassable before you reach Waypoint 5. Users should turn around near the last lower switchback after Waypoint 4.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I really liked the road and alpine mountains. The end of the summit is extremely severe due to 4/3 of the road covered snow ice and the rest is loose rock. I would not recommend go up there when/if there is snow. Other than that everything was great and enjoyable

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is great, but I forgot when we ran it, I believe it was late August. Anyway, we had a Renegade, Frontier, Range Rover, and wrangler. All made it up but the renegade required skilled driving and maximum effort. The Rover required careful maneuvering on the switchbacks. Overall great trail! Verizon cell phone reception at the top.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The road seems a little more degraded from the last time I drove it in the sense that it looks like dirt has eroded from around some of the rocks and exposed them more, just making it more of a rougher ride the whole time. One other spot I dont remember from last time I drove this is in the middle of the switchbacks there is a spot that has suffered from erosion, making it a tight squeeze and off camber as some of the land from uphill has slid down onto the road. Nothing crazy, just makes it more uncomfortable and requires your attention to where your tires are in relation to the soft edge in that spot. Several sections have no passing room and would be uncomfortable to back up on for opposing traffic, so you really have to look ahead and make sure nobody else is coming. The last set of switchbacks to the very top are harder with their tight turns and general narrowness. This drive is definitely not for those who are uncomfortable with being on the edge of a shelf with a deadly drop!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Towards the top it gets a little worrisome due to washout spots. Be careful and you will enjoy a beautiful view!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail in good condition, but bottom section (below tree line) real rough and stock clearance needed. Needed to go around excavator near Mount White to get to top of Mount Antero. Views are excellent from the top and you are only 500 feet from completing a 14er.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail open to the top and in really good condition above timber line. Very rough from 162 on until you start the ascent to the lower switchbacks. Much wider at the upper switchbacks than it appears from below.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A fantastic trail! It is open to the pic below. I didn’t drive up some switch backs because I didn’t want to hit a snow drift. There is a big turn around where you will eventually have to stop. It’s a great spot for pictures. Stock SUV with good tries will make it...

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
The trail is open to just below Waypoint 4.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Clear Crisp Morning, about 48 degrees. The ride up was very easy and uneventful. The road/trail is very easy, minimal ground clearance is required. The views above the Tree Line are tremendous. Once we got to the top. We parked up about 13,800 ft and then hiked up the around 14,010. We were not in the condition for hiking to the Summit, that is why we Jeeped it. The switchbacks were not as tight as I was expecting, only one or two on the way down did I have to reverse for a better angle. Water was low on all the water crossings. No traffic on the way up and not much traffic on the way down which we found out was due to an excavator coming up the trail and had put cones out at the Trailhead.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Thanks to those who cleared the debris from this trail. No heavy wash outs, clear path and low water crossings all make this trail very approachable. Obviously exercise caution at switchbacks, but otherwise very smooth. Absolutely beautiful run. Must do.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The Mount Antero Trail is open and passable.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
If you have a vehicle that can cross the avalanche slides at 2 miles, then you can get to above timber line on this trail. Travel over the avalanche debris fields is not advised.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is blocked by avalanche debris at 2 miles. The trail status will be updated when the avalanche debris are removed/passable. This is before the Baldwin Lake trail.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Spoke to the Forest Service Ranger for this district today who reported they are actively clearing avalanche debris but the road is currently blocked around the intersection with the Baldwin Lake trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
This trail is only open for about a mile before avalanche debris and snow block the trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Snow has fallen closing this trail for the winter.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I traveled this in my stock full size Chevrolet as part of the Buena Vista 14erfest. This is a high elevation trail with tight switchbacks. I had no problem in my truck, but I do recommend you air down significantly and disconnect sway bars if possible. Otherwise you're in for a long, bumpy ride. There was another vehicle with a novice driver who didn't air down his 33's enough. He had trouble in a switchback and decided to proceed no farther. This day we encountered the local prospecting crew a number of times who are mining at the top of Antero. They have a tendency to act like they own the mountain. We were courteous, but stood our ground and it all worked out in the end. It was very windy at the top with a significant wind chill. Because of the wind and group size we stopped at the top saddle and called it a day.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great time going up Mt Antero. As other reviewers mentioned, the views above the treeline along the switchbacks are phenomenal. We actually got some snowflakes while at the top when a storm rolled in.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Open! Spectacular views above treeline, this rocky and bumpy 4x4 road is suitable for any stock-height Jeep or SUV. I observed two stock Jeep Cherokees (one XJ, one WJ) drive the full distance. Obviously, no trouble for my 1983 Toyota Land Cruiser. We hiked to the summit from the end point on the GPS track--took us 30 minutes up, and another 30 minutes down. The hiking trail is loose rock so use caution. Breathtaking views from the top!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is open almost to the top of the lower switchbacks. Should be less than two weeks before it is fully open.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Closed
Offroaded on:
Snow has fallen making this trail impassable until next season

Questions & Answers (7)

Q: Could a stock Ram 1500 make it up this trail?
–C (08/18/2020)
–Marcus Trusty (08/18/2020)
Q: Is it legal to access this trail from Saint Elmo in an unlicensed vehicle (ex: a RZR)?
–Trint Ladd (08/06/2020)
–Marcus Trusty (08/06/2020)
Q: Any word on the trail being 100% open?
–Peyton Lange (06/03/2020)
–Marcus Trusty (06/04/2020)
Q: Since there is no listing on here for Browns Lake (FR 278), does anyone know the current conditions and difficulty level of that road, going down the Antero saddle to Browns Lake? Is it clear?
–Patrick McKay (08/07/2019)
–Marcus Trusty (08/07/2019)
Q: In the first paragraph under ROUTE INFORMATION the description states "No shelves" while the rest of the info and video clearly show otherwise. Just FYI. Thanks for all you're doing!
–Neal A. Tew (09/11/2018)
–Neal A. Tew (09/11/2018)
Q: What's the lowest ground clearance recommended for this trail? I'm in a Liberty with 7.9 inches. Is this enough?
–Phil (08/13/2018)
–Marcus Trusty (08/14/2018)
Q: Is this trail approximately 2 hours one way, or 2 hours total round trip? Thank You.
–Brent Loomer (05/22/2018)
–Marcus Trusty (05/22/2018)

Writer Information

Marcus Trusty

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Marcus is a 3rd generation Buena Vista, Colorado native who grew up bouncing around the central Colorado mountains in the back of his dad's CJ5. During his younger years, Marcus grew to appreciate public lands and the recreation opportunities backroads and 4-wheel drive trails offer. Marcus has been wheeling for 20 years now and has wheeled in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. Until a few years ago Marcus had just been a participant in the wheeling community, but he has become much more active in preserving trails and working to make sure the wheeling community has their access maintained for future generations. Marcus helped to found Colorado Off Road Enterprise - CORE, based out of Buena Vista. CORE has worked with the Forest Service and BLM and has volunteer agreements in place with both organizations. CORE also has a Forest Service trail adoption agreement in place for Grizzly Lake, Pomeroy Lake, Hancock Lake, Hancock Pass, and Tincup Pass, Tomichi Pass, Williams Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Mineral Basin, Clohesy Lake, Lost Canyon, Champion Mill, Iron Mike Mine, and Slide Lake. If Marcus is not working you can generally find him somewhere out on the trails around Buena Vista.
For individual use only, not to be shared.