West Ridge

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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West Ridge
Created On: Oct 20, 2004
Last Edited On: Mar 16, 2005


The West Ridge is the standard route on Lincoln. It is a fun and easy class 2 hike to an enjoyable summit. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative recommends this approach, because it "will help to reduce impacts to these Fourteener's Fragile Alpine Environments. "

Distance, round-trip: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet

Photo by ogonzoo


Use Kite Lake Trailhead, which can be reached via the dirt "Kite Lake Road." The trailhead is six miles from the junction of Colorado 9 and Kite Lake Road in the town of Alma. Most of the road is passable for passenger cars, but the last mile or so to Kite Lake is a bit rougher.

Route Description

To begin, follow the trail around Kite Lake's right (east) side uphill and north through the large basin, then turn left and follow the well-defined westward-leading switchbacks to the Democrat-Cameron saddle at 13,400 feet. From there, turn northeast and follow the ridge crest, either summitting or bypassing Cameron's summit to get to the next gentle saddle between Mount Cameron and Mount Lincoln. From there it is an easy talus ascent to Lincoln's summit.

If you are feeling ambitious, you may also summit two other fourteeners on either side of Lincoln, Mount Democrat and Mount Bross. This rounds out a great day of fourteeners, known as the "Decalibron" (DEmocrat, CAmeron, LIncoln, BRoss).

Essential Gear

Nothing special in the summer. Be sure to have snowshoes in any other season, unless you enjoy post-holing!

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Alpinist - Dec 20, 2012 8:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Winter access

Do you know if the road to Kite Lake is typically open in late winter? If not, where is the winter trailhead? Thanks...

Brad Snider

Brad Snider - Dec 20, 2012 9:03 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Winter access

Alpinist, in my experience the road is open to about within one mile of the trailhead. At least as of 2004, it was not plowed all the way.


Alpinist - Dec 20, 2012 9:16 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Winter access

Thanks for the quick reply!

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