West Slope/Mining Road
The Antero mining road stays steep, rocky, and impassible by most 4×4 vehicles. The mining road will cross a stream in the first couple hundred yards and your feet will likely get wet. Near mile 2.7 you’ll reach a fork. Right goes to Baldwin Lake. Left crosses a wide stream which may be a couple of feet deep at times, and the road continues from there. Go left, crossing the stream. Near mile 4.25 the road begins to switchback. Keep the mountain beautiful by staying on the road and not cutting switchbacks.
Near mile 5.8, 13,000ft, the mining road splits at a post/sign. Stay left again, and then left once more quickly thereafter. The summit is straight down this mining road. The final few hundred feet will be the only single track of the day. Return back the way you came.
Climbing your first mountain or 14er is an exciting and rewarding experience! You’ll get the achievement of seeing the world from above and the feel-goods of the endorphins from the exercise. However, the mountains aren’t a walk in the park, and getting down is mandatory. Some situations require extra caution and a little know how. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to get to the summit and back safely.
Whether you are training for a race or simply indulging in all the wilderness has to offer, there are a variety of factors, some constant, and some changing, that are likely to have an impact on your journey. Knowing these factors can help ensure your safety and get you back to the trailhead safely.