Recommended Route Willow Lake Route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine environment. For more detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.
Route Information and Additional Resources Willow Creek Trail is approximately 2 miles southeast of the town of Crestone, CO. and is accessible by passenger car. Willow Creek Trail #865 leads to Willow Lake and is approximately five miles from the trailhead. From Willow Lake the climbing route goes around the north side of Willow Lake and above Willow Falls. From the high valley, you climb steeply west and gain Kit’s Northeast Ridge (which is Challenger Point). This route takes you over Challenger Point to the west side of Kit Carson which has a broad shelf known as “Kit Carson Avenue”. The “Avenue” leads around the west face and the route goes up the south side of Kit Carson Peak.
The above information does not replace the need to consult additional maps and Colorado Fourteener Guidebooks for more detailed route descriptions. We suggest checking multiple resources before departing on any hike. Keep in mind that not all guidebooks list this recommended route and that each guidebook’s description or route name may vary slightly.
Peak Specific Environmental and Safety Concerns Kit Carson is scarred by numerous unnecessary braided trails. Always travel on the most worn trail, avoid walking on vegetation, and travel on durable surfaces such as rock and snow.