Part of the popluar Decalibron hiking loop, Mount Bross - featured on Colorado 14ers Map 4 of 16 - is another 14er that has been the subject of limited access due to private property in the area over the years. The summit - private land - is still officially closed at the time of this writing due to safety concerns of mining activity in the area.
Clustered with three other 14ers in a small section of the Mosquito Range (further north than the other Mosquito 14er Mount Sherman), Mount Bross forms the "bron" part of De-Ca-Li-Bron (a mash-up of Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross - the four fourteeners in the area). Hikers will very often hike each of these peaks as part of a loop from the Kite Lake Trailhead and claim a few 14er peaks in a day.
Named for William Bross - a mine owner from the nearby town of Alma just east of Mount Bross in the period after the Civil War - this area was rife with mining activity due to the rich mineral deposits all over the Mosquito Range. The picture below from 1872 shows evidence of mining activity (roads) around the higher flanks of Mount Bross even then.
The most common trail taken by hikers directly to Mount Bross is via the Kite Lake Trailhead (12,035' elevation). From there, the trail climbs steeply east (though it is only a Class 2 route - more difficult hiking) 1.4 miles up to the summit closure sign where hikers are directed northwest towards the saddle between Mount Lincoln and Mount Cameron.
Others choose to hike the Decalibron loop clockwise starting at Kite Lake and hiking along Mount Bross as the last leg of the loop before the descent to Kite Lake.
There is also a pair of 4WD roads leading up from Dolly Varden Gulch accessible from Mineral Park Road that lead all the way to the summit (again, please respect access restrictions) that can also be hiked.
As with all visits to the Colorado 14ers - even the gentle trails and summits of the Decalibron: be prepared, know your limitations, watch the weather, drink plenty of water, and as always don't forget your 14ers Maps. Mount Bross is one of six fourteeners featured on Outdoor Trail Maps Colorado 14ers Series Map 4 of 16.
Directions to Trailheads:
To access the Kite Lake Trailhead (camping allowed), follow County Road 8 (Buckskin St) west from Alma, CO off CO Hwy 9 for 5.5 miles to the Kite Lake Trailhead at 12,035' elevation. Low clearance vehicles can make it most of the way, but small water crossings may mean parking these vehicles lower on the road.
For the 4WD roads to Mount Bross, take County Road 8 (Buckskin St) west from Alma, CO off CO Hwy 9 for 2.8 miles to a hard right turn onto Mineral Park Road (County Road 783). Follow this road for 3 miles and bear left towards a parking area off private property.