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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- Pants, Parts, and Poles: A Cautionary Tale of Forgetfulness from an Intern’s First Foray into Fieldwork
– June 24, 2016
After a couple of weeks spent on fundraising research and crunching numbers on previous years’ Sustainable Trails data, last week I was beyond excited to … Read More
- Scrambling in Solitude
– June 20, 2016
I couldn’t figure out which part was worse; the fact it was 8 o’clock in the evening and darkness was already beginning to fall or … Read More
- Expanding the Sustainable Trails Program in 2016
– June 18, 2016
Phase II of the Sustainable Trails Program began in 2014 when CFI placed the first five TRAFx trail counters in the field. These compact, unobtrusive … Read More
- Bear Hangs’ “Bare Necessities”
– August 20, 2015
Yea, yea, yea. The Uncompahgre Wilderness isn’t exactly grizzly country, along with the rest of Colorado. But, despite their massive size, menacing strength and speed, … Read More
- Elevation:14,042 feet (43rd highest)
- Maps:USGS Quad: Blanca Peak & Twin Peaks
Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map #138 Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
- Contact:US Forest Service, Conejos Ranger District (719) 274-8971
Como Lake route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine environment. For detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.
Route Information and Additional Resources
Lake Como Trailhead is approximately five miles north and northeast of the junction of Colorado Highway 150 and US 160. This junction is seven miles west of Blanca, CO. The route follows Lake Como Road (County 975) from the trailhead, five miles to Lake Como. You start to hike where you chose to park your vehicle. Como Lake Road is considered one of the most challenging four wheel roads in the country. Passenger cars must park at the base of the route.
Limited camping is available east of the lake. From Como Lake follow a jeep trail northeast to its end near Blue Lakes. Stay on the clear trail to its end. The route gains the saddle between Blanca (right/east) and Ellingwood (left/west).
Blanca can also be climbed in conjunction with Little Bear Peak. The connecting ridge is considered by many to be one of the toughest connecting ridges between two Fourteeners in the state. Only experienced climbers should attempt this ridge.
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
Minimize Campfire Impacts. Users are encouraged to use camp stoves and minimize wood fires. The Como Lake area gets very heavy use, is close to timberline, and there is a shortage of available firewood.
Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces. There is a shortage of campsites in the limited area around Como Lake. It is in a narrow canyon with limited room and suitable locations for campsites.
Be Considerate of Other Users. Como Lake Road is very popular with 4wd clubs and individuals, and that multiple uses of the area co-exist.