Hike Mt. Democrat

Colorado Kite Lake Trailhead

Added by Will McKay

Mt. Democrat is in the summit county area of Colorado. With that comes sloping peaks, colorful aspens, and fresh mountain air.

To begin this wonderful hike, drive from the town of Alma, Colorado and head up Buckskin Street for about 6 miles. I would highly recommend a a vehicle with some clearance. Consider even a 4x4 vehicle if rain/snow is in the forecast!

Upon arriving to the Kite Lake parking lot, proceed to pay the $3 for the day parking. I would even suggest getting to the lake a day early and camping overnight, mostly so you can start before sunrise. Trust me, the sunrise will not disappoint you.

So you're ready to hike... where do ya go?

Head East of the lake and follow the trail up the east face of Mt. Democrat (should be on your left). You'll head up for a mile up to a small pass that sits between the summit of Mt. Democrat and and the unofficial fourteener, Mt. Cameron.

Make sure you look over the ridge, its a pretty spectacular view. Also it's very windy, VERY windy.

From the pass you'll head up a field of moderately stable scree. This is will be about another mile to the summit. As you reach the top you'll be slightly disappointed because it is indeed a false summit. Have no fear, the real summit is only about another 10 minutes up the trail.

Once you hit the summit, take your camera out to prove to your friends that you hiked a mountain. Also be sure to find the summit sign otherwise your summit won't technically count. 

After you've enjoyed the views, head back down the trail the same way you came up. Just be careful with the scree on the departure. 

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Rain jacket
  • Layers
  • Water
  • Extra water
  • Down Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Snacks
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2150 Feet



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

A great first 14er and amazing views.

I remember once I reached the pass and looked over I thought to myself, "My god there must be 20 years worth of adventures just in this area". It's truly an incredible viewpoint. The hike is easy and pretty short, but still pace yourself especially if it's your first 14er. The false summit indeed is some trickery!

26 days ago

27 days ago

Super Solid and Easy Hike

We started before sunrise for this one since we were planning on doing all 4 Summits that day. After our summit of Democrat weather got bad and we went back to the trail head. A couple got engaged on top just before we summited.

27 days ago

Added by Will McKay

Environmentalist and Photographer. Follow my endeavors @wills_stills

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