photo - Highline LakeState Park, 6/15/2014, Delta, Colorado.(Photo by Ken Papaleo)
Highline LakeState Park, 6/15/2014, Delta, Colorado.(Photo by Ken Papaleo) 

Mount Lincoln

Elevation: 14,291 feet

Range: Mosquito

Mount Lincoln once was known as Triaqua as it crowns the region that houses the source waters for three major rivers: the Platte, the Arkansas and the Colorado.

When it came time to name the peak officially, a group of miners met to make the decision. The only name that brought agreement was Lincoln, after the newly elected president. Easily seen from Hoosier Pass rising above the surrounding mountains, this summit bears the honor of this name well.

Lincoln is a peak that rarely is climbed alone. It stands at the midpoint of one of the more popular fourteener routes in Colorado. Nicknamed the triple crown of fourteeners, the route summits three 14,000-foot peaks and returns to the trailhead in a mere 71/4 miles. Even the total elevation gain is a reasonable 3,700 feet. As a bonus, the trail goes over the 14,238-foot summit of unranked Mount Cameron.

The standard route to Lincoln requires that hikers access it by coming off Mount Cameron or Mount Bross first. Lincoln is the most distant and most interesting mountain on this circuit with a narrow ridge to reach the small, stately summit.

It's also the highest of the three, making its summit the highest point in Park County and in the Tenmile/Mosquito range.

A rare, enjoyable feature of this trail is that it is a loop. Most fourteener routes are out-and-back, requiring you to return to the trailhead via the same trail you ascended. On this loop, there are only a couple of short sections where you will need to retrace steps.

The trail crosses quite a bit of private land. Thanks to the efforts of the town of Alma, access has been granted by land owners. The only unresolved issue is that the actual summit of Mount Bross (one of the three in the loop) is closed although the trail gets very close. Please help keep this agreement in place by staying on the trail and leaving no trace of your hike.