14er Peak Rank #8/53

Featured on Colorado 14ers Series Map 4 of 16 – Mount Lincoln is the highest peak in the Mosquito Range and the 8th highest peak in Colorado. Part of the popular Decalibron hiking loop mentioned in the last few blog entries, Mount Lincoln shares many of the features of its Mosquito Range 14ers neighbors: gentle slopes, broad summits, historical mining activity and private property all around.

Mount Lincoln, Colorado

Mount Lincoln was named for Abraham Lincoln just after his election, and was soon thereafter swarmed with mining prospectors staking claims in the area rich in silver deposits. Over time, other deposits of metals would be discovered in the area including zinc, lead and molybdenum. On the west side of the Mosquito Range, the sprawling Climax Mine still mines molybdenum in a vast open-pit mine to this day. This pit has excavated a large section of the west flank Mosquito range 2.5 miles northwest of Mount Lincoln today.

Mount Lincoln in the late 1800s

Mount Lincoln as photographed by William Chamberlain in late 1800s

As with the other peaks of the Decalibron, Mount Lincoln can be accessed from the Kite Lake Trailhead, as described in previous posts on Mount Democrat, Mount Cameron, and Mount Bross. However, Lincoln is also often accessed via the Quartzville trailhead (11,680′ elevation) to the east of the peak. This route can also be driven by 4×4-equipped vehicles for 1.9 miles further up the mountain to a 4×4 trailhead just before a gate closure on the old road.  After the closure, the old roads continue up the east flank of the peak following it up to the summit after 1.4 miles from the 4×4 trailhead.

Trail to Mount Lincoln from the west
Trail to Mount Lincoln from the west

Trail to Mount Lincoln from the west, by Matt Vincent at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

With all of the private property in this area, including the summit area of Mount Lincoln, as well as the old mine workings, please keep to any old roads or established trails in this area for safety reasons as well as to ensure on-going access to these areas. By respecting access restrictions and keeping to established routes, hopefully access issues like those that happened in 2005 (where Mount Lincoln, along with the other 14ers in this area were closed to the public) can be avoided.

All visits to the Colorado 14ers require safety precautions and vigilance due to quickly changing weather conditions, the thin air and lack of water, so please plan your trip wisely and be prepared. Remember to know and respect your limitations, carefully watch the weather, drink lots of water, and as always don’t forget your 14ers Map. Mount Lincoln is one of six fourteeners featured on Outdoor Trail Maps Colorado 14ers Series Map 4 of 16.

Directions to Trailhead:

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 Quartzville Trailhead, just north of Alma, take a left turn onto River Drive (County Road 6) and follow this 3.3 miles (almost to the end of this road) to Roberts Road. Take a left onto Roberts Road and drive 1.75 miles up a series of switch backs to a small road on the right called Crest Drive.  About a half mile up on the right is a parking area.  Be sure to respect other closed parking areas on private property in this area as there have been issues with landowners in the past.