Mount Antero is one of only a handful of 14,000′ peaks that has a road that travels to within a short distance of the summit. The road up the mountain is rough and rocky, requiring four-wheel drive, topping out at 13,800′. From the end of the road at point 13,800 it’s a 1/2 mile and 470′ climb to the summit.
In 1881, a Salida man by the name of Nelson Wanemaker discovered gems high on Mt Antero. His discovery was publicized a few years later, and Mount Antero became a famous collecting area for aquamarine, phenacite, fluorite, topaz, and smoky quartz crystals. It has the highest concentration of minerals anywhere in the US. With findings far above timberline, this is the highest known gem locality in the United States.
4×4 Road: Road 277, 278, 278A
Round trip: 18.8 miles / 30.3 km (Mt Antero and Mt White)
Elevation: 9,400′ – 13,800′ (+4,400′)/ 2,865m – 4,206m (+1,341m)
2. Turn left on the #278 road and cross Baldwin Creek.
3. Continue another mile to tree line as it climb’s Mt Antero’s west slopes.
4. Stay left on 278A at the next 2 junction’s, reaching 13,200′.
5. From 13,200′ to 13,800′, the road becomes extremely steep with hairpin
switchbacks. You may want to consider parking here as most vehicles
wont make it.
6. Continue up the steep south side to reach the end of the road, Point
From the end of the road at 13,800′ it’s a 1/2 mile, 470′ climb to the summit.