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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- Recapping Another Year of Work on Holy Cross
– November 24, 2014
The iconic “cross” that is etched on its face made Mount of the Holy Cross a historic mountain. Although the cross is not as prominent … Read More
- Damage Control on Bierstadt
– November 14, 2014
If you have ever decided to hike Mount Bierstadt on a summer weekend, you’ve seen it: hundreds of eager hikers marching up the trail in … Read More
- Successes and Lessons Learned on El Diente
– November 5, 2014
Our work on El Diente this year was a big undertaking for CFI. The project was led by two of our most talented and experienced … Read More
- Now Steena, you promised you wouldn’t get lost again…
– October 20, 2014
Mission: Collect Wilderness permits and check out potential hunter camps along Martin trail, hike out to West Grouse Mountain trailhead. This is the story about … Read More
- Elevation:14,064 feet (37th highest)
- Maps:USGS Quad: Crestone Peak Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map #138 Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
- Contact:US Forest Service, San Carlos Ranger District (719) 269-8500
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.