South Colony Lake Route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine environment. Click on the following link for detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles.
Route Information and Additional Resources
South Colony Lake Road leaves CO Hwy 69 approximately 4 miles south of Westcliffe, CO. Follow South Colony Lake Road to the lower parking area on the open flats at the base of the mountain. Park passenger vehicles at the lower parking area. Four-wheel drive vehicles are required to travel the road beyond that point. It is 6 miles from the lower parking area to the trailhead at the end of the 4X4 road. The road is extremely rough and requires a full hour to drive.
From the trailhead go west, still following the old road, for approximately 1.2 miles to South Colony Lake. Ford the stream below Lower Colony Lake and follow the trail northwesterly toward the saddle on the west flank of Humboldt Peak. From the saddle follow cairns easterly along the ridgeline, over a false summit, until the true summit is reached.
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
Do not leave vehicles or camp on the 1.2 miles of private property between the lower parking area and the National Forest boundary.
An extreme amount of effort has gone into rebuilding the route to Humboldt saddle, and restoring alpine slopes damaged by the many climbers on this popular peak. Please stay on the route and stay off restoration areas.
Please camp near the trailhead at the end of the 4×4 road, or at one of the already impacted sites below S. Colony Lakes. Remember, there is no camping within 300 feet of lakes in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.