Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak is part of the Crestones in the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Crestones are a cluster of 14er’s comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point.

The peak was named after German mountaineer Alexander von Humboldt by locals in the Wet Mountain Valley.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes

Trailhead: Upper or lower South Colony Lakes Trail
Round trip: Upper TH (high clearance vehicles) – 13 miles / 21 km
Lower TH ( passenger cars) – 18.5 miles / 30 km
Elevation: Upper TH 9,950′ – 14,064′ (4,114′) / 3,033m – 4,287m (1,254m)
Lower TH 8,800′ – 14,064′ (5,264′) / 2,682m – 4,287m (1,605m)

The trail climbs the peak from the South Colony Lakes basin, accessed from the east side of the range. This basin is a popular site that is also the base for most climbs of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. You start the hike on a very rugged four-wheel drive road that was closed in 2009 as it follows the South Colony drainage.

Once near the lakes there will be Forest Service signs providing information on the area. Going NW (Humboldt Peak cutoff trail) at the junction, takes you to the Upper South Colony Lake.

The trail climbs steeply to the ridge from the upper lake. Once on the ridge stay to the center for the safest scramble to the summit. The northern side is treacherous with a steep drop for most of the remaining route.

Once on the false summit, head to the northeast to the true summit along large talus.

This is an extremely long and exhausting hike to do in a single day. I would recommend camping at the lakes and breaking it up, especially if parking at the lower trailhead.

The road conditions to the upper trailhead on 9/5/20 were terrible. I would not recommend driving to the upper trailhead without a high clearance vehicle.

No camping within 300′ of the lakes.

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