Mount Antero

Mount Antero, one of the highest roads in North America

Mount Antero is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 4.189m (13,743ft) above the sea level, located in Chaffee County, Colorado, USA. The road to the summit is rock, rough and requires four-wheel drive. Expect a dramatic set of switchbacks ascending up to the summit. It's one of the highest roads of the USA.

Located within the Santa Isabel National Forest, the road to Mount Antero is rocky, rough and requires four-wheel drive. It’s called Baldwin Gulch Road (County Road 277). Expect a dramatic set of switchbacks ascending up to the summit. Remember this is is a mountainous area, climbing up a high mountain, with a notorius absence of oxygen. Altitude and extreme weather are always a factor. Bring plenty of water, food, clothing, and be off the summit early.

The pass is named for Chief Antero of the Uintah band of Utes. The trail itself is fairly easy until you get very close to the top. It is a little scary, however, as you are on very narrow shelf roads for most of the trip. There are several narrow switchback shelf roads with steep drop-offs, but the road is very solid with little or no off-camber sections. Passing another vehicle is impossible in most places. The trail here is made of loose rock and some dirt areas. The trail follows numerous remnants of Colorado's mining heritage. The road is closed by heavy snow until June and sometimes even July. Always stay on marked trails as it is easy to get lost and meet the wildlife if you decide to wander. The road to the summit was built in the early 1950's by a company that hoped to mine beryl.

The peak sits in the southern Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America, between the towns of Buena Vista and Salida. This area is rich in gemstones and semiprecious metals. It is a great place to look at and gather rocks, and make a lot of money if you're lucky. The mountain itself is prized for its gemstone deposits and has one of the highest concentrations of aquamarine in the country. This route has heavy mining and tourist traffic in fair weather during the summer months. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.
The road to the summit is steep. Starting from Chalk Creek Drive, the ascent is 11.09km (6.89mi) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.312 meters. The average gradient is 11.83%. The summit provides great views of the Sawatch range. At the summit, a 360 degree panorama.
Pic: Adam Klopp