South Colony Lakes (12,000′), Sangre de Cristo Range

South Colony Lakes Basin lies in the heart of southern Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Range. Surrounded by Crestone Needle (14,197′), Humboldt Peak (14,064′) and Broken Hand Peak (13,573′), the basin is one of the most beautiful alpine settings in the Southern Rockies.  It was once possible to drive a vehicle to within a half-mile of the lakes, where most climbers set up a camp. Today, low-clearance drivers walk 2.75 miles up the road to the upper trailhead. It’s another 2.5 miles from there along the closed road to the old trailhead, where the trail bends to the right and heads into the basin.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes

Trailhead:  Upper South Colony Lakes
Round trip: 9.2 miles / 14.8 km
Elevation: 9,816′ -12,123′ (2,307′)/ 2,992m-3,695m (703m)

The first 2.5 miles follows the permanently closed old 4×4 road. At about 2.6 miles you reach a trail junction and turn right, leaving the road and continuing west along a single track trail. After a mile on this trail, you reach tree line and continue through willows to the north of the creek and Lower South Colony Lake. Follow the trail northwest up the hillside above to the upper lake.

This is the most popular basin in the southern Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Range





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