Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in San Isabel National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
12 days ago

Hiked Humboldt Peak in July. It was my first true 14er. It was definitely difficult in some areas near the top of the peak. Overall it was achievable and very beautiful. You get a good view of the Crestones though the hike as well.

parked at upper lot. have a Toyota highlander (lower clearance) and had a few sketchy spots driving. georgous views on the ridge around 13,000. last 1,000+ was steep, but so worth it. Beautiful, beautiful 360 views at the top. lots of boulders and rocks, steep in places. took me just under 3 hrs to the top. the soak in mt. Princeton hot springs after helped soothe the bones!

If you have a vehicle that will make it up the 4WD road, I’d 100% recommend this route! The trail is beautiful, with amazing views over Twin Lakes, and of course the summit views were also great. We even saw a wedding ceremony being performed at the top! There were some other hikers on the trail, but it didn’t look nearly as busy as the north route, which you could see at parts from this east ridge trail. Long but not technical at all, I would absolutely recommend hiking poles for the descent for people with bad knees like me, they were lifesavers. Took us about 6.5 hours RT. Hiked 7/21/18

Hiked from the bottom lot, roughly 5200' vertical & 14 miles RT. I agree w/ Kurt below, the road isn't that bad, definitely doable in 4WD higher clearance. The last two miles of the hike are intense - around 2250' vertical.. of boulders & scree. The trail is well marked despite some of the negative comments below.. and certainly not dreadful. I second what Annie M says below.

Did this yesterday from the paved road at the bottom, 5200' vertical. Didn't drive the road because of the scary descriptions, but the road is not bad. AWD (subaru) would be fine. Don't need a jeep. There is just one spot at 10,500 that won't allow a 2WD to make it to the parking at 10800. A gorgeous day with lots of hikers. Hope you like lots of bouldering! More of that here than any other 14er I have done so far. What a workout!

1 month ago

Some scrambling needed at the top, otherwise great hike

Ok the review below mine says you boulder to the top of Tabeguache... NOT true. Do not be discouraged as there is NO bouldering on this route. The most difficult hiking is class 2 and the route up Tab is scrambling at MOST.

This was a beautiful trail, not too difficult for bagging two peaks. The most challenging part is planning for weather. I saw SO many people on their way down Shavano and over to Tab as I was descending and it was thundering and raining. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE SECOND PEAK IF ITS STORMY. I spoke with someone at the bottom who descended 30 min after me and was almost struck by lightening on the top of Shavano. Be smart people, please!!!!

Dreadful in all respects. If you don't have a Jeep to get you three miles up the dirt "road" to the radio towers, forget about it. Four fifths of the route is slabs and boulders, with a very ill defined route. After the first mile through the meadow it is not even a "trail". Last two hours from the ridge is all loose, and would be totally impossible in rain. Unless you are attempting to bag them all, give this one a miss.

Despite the rough road to the trailhead, this peak was still mighty busy on a Saturday morning in August. Parked my stock wrangler at ~11,200’ and camped the night so I could start early and avoid the crowds. Very few parking spots available above the power lines, so keep that in mind if you get there late. Had no trouble navigating the trail in the dark/early morning. The trail itself isn’t overly interesting, but the views improve once at ridge line.

hiking
1 month ago

This could be one of the worst 14ers in different ways. Trail poorly marked. The hardest part is the last 2 miles when the rocks and boulders kick in. You are constantly looking down, some rocks slip and cause others to move quickly. I almost had a rock hit me from another hiker above. No meadows, creeks, or water of any kind. The view at the top was great but so are most of them. One and done and wouldn’t recommend it.

Great trail hike, beautiful views. Trail is perfect and well maintained. Good easy hike straight up. I drove up the 4wd upper trail head road in my Subaru outback with no issues. Starting at the upper trail head I still recorded 10.5 miles up and back so prepare for a long hike, but it is worth it!

Not sure what to rate it against but it was my first 14er. I am old and out of shape so feeling a bit accomplished right now, outside of the fact I can’t feel my legs. My wife fared better she was a champ. And truly the only reason I considered making it down.

So I would say this is probably one of the technically easiest hikes I have done. But don't let that fool you its a long day hike and the elevation will challenge you if you're not used to it. We drove up as far as we could go in our civic up the 4 wheel drive route (about 1.2 miles). Don't do this if you're scared about scraping a little here and there. We also made sure to navigate the road during daylight the evening before to be sure I could make it. Anyway, we left the lodge at 5am and drove up the 4 wheel road and parked at the spot I picked out the day before. Got to the 4 wheel parking lot on foot around 6am (trail head). Reached the peak at 12ish (us low landers were sucking wind). We saw a few people turn back on the way up but most made it up. we got back to the car around 6pm. Again, technically easy, but still a tough day hike. Not the nicest views when you get up there but still really cool to say you've been to the highest peak in Colorado.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views, but the trails needs work. Coming down after the summit is really difficult and would be easier with smaller steps. Avoid summitting and leaving same day - the trails will not be favourable conditions.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike!! A lot of the negative comments below can be overcome by good alpine practices. The peak is very obviously exposed, you can see this easily from 285. An early alpine start helps with sun too. We started at 5:30 and summited 2.5 hours later. The trail is wonderfully marked, just look for the next 2-3 cairns, not only the one ahead. The trail moves through a scree field, not sure what the references to “huge boulders” are. There are some but it is more scree than scramble. All in all, be ready for a beautiful and engaging hike. Definitely worth driving the Jeep road if you have the car.

This was my husband and my first 14er. Granted we have nothing to compare it to and the views were awesome at the top, but I don’t think we will ever do this one again. It is 95% straight rock scramble with a very poorly marked trail. It took us 9 hours to do 7 miles, and we are not slow hikers. It just takes that much concentration that by the end you are not only physically exhausted, but mentally exhausted. Good time, but beware it’s all rocks.

Be prepared to make three summits on this trip- shavanno, tabagueche, and then shag again. Bring plenty of snacks and water. No real good trail to the summit for Tab, but it’s easiest to just boulder straight up! My Apple Watch tracked this entire route at 14 miles from the parking lot.

Quite difficult, but worth it when you get to the top. Bring warm clothes!

This was such a gorgeous hike! These were my 12th and 13th fourteeners. The hike up Shavano was well defined and relatively easy. However, there was no well defined trail that lead over to Tabeguache but it was easy to see where you needed to go. There’s also a lot of loose rock on Tabeguache so be careful on that one. The hike up it was short but strenuous and the only way to return is back over Shavano which was hard. If you plan on doing Tabeguache, make sure the weather looks good and be prepared to summit a total of 3 times since you’ll hit Shavano twice. Tracker logged 10.6 miles and the elevation gain is over 5000 for both so plan on getting your workout on if you summit both!

We did this on July 5th. It was 2 of our friend’s first 14ers (one her first week living in CO). All 6 of us did fine. Minimal long breaks and a decent amount of short stop, go stop go breaks. All avid hikers, but the last mile is brutal. There is no trail lots of rock climbing. A helicopter landed down the trail above treelike while we were approaching the top...be cautious and leave early! A storm came in fast around noon, it stayed away but still! Beautiful hike and a great 14er to make 11 down!

Great hike. Relatively easy trail. Storms rolled in by the time we topped Shavano so didn't reach Tabeguache. The crossover to Tabeguache looked like a very rocky descent. Only realistic return is back over Shavano.

We went up the 4wd road 3.2 to the towers and the road is very narrow and you need a truck or Jeep, it it pretty deep rollers and dips. We parked there and walked up the road close to 2 miles before you even get on the trail. It was not our favorite it’s very exposed no trees to start and it’s basically boulders the whole way. It raps around the valley and then you get up to summit and it’s all loose rocks and dirt. Not well maintained at all.
Not our most memorable and no wild flowers just stinky weeds.

hiking
3 months ago

Drove my lifted wrangler up the four wheel drive round as far as you could go (to the gate and giant cairn where the trail starts) nothing technical about the road but you definitely want a high clearance 4wd vehicle. Not my favorite 14er. The whole trail is just huge boulders the whole way up. The views are nice at the top. Wasn’t very hard compared to other ones I’ve done.

hiking
3 months ago

I started at the bottom parking lot as there is no way I would drive up that road. Lots of others do with the right vehicles and I still wouldn’t do it, then there are those that attempt with a low clearance vehicle, nuts! Because of the road it is fairly easy to hike, steep but okay. This is my first Fourteener so it will take me more than once to reach the top, especially from the lower parking lot. I sort of feel those that drive up are just cheating. I could do it in a heartbeat if I did that. I made it up about 5.5 miles today at 11500’ still had two more miles to go but was tired and hot. I started at 830am but will start at sunrise the next time to stay cool and more shaded. I did a total of a little over 11 miles so the total for this round trip would probably be just over 15.

hiking
3 months ago

This was my 19th 14er and by far my least favorite. The trail was well marked to the ridge but non-existent after that. The first 1.5 miles or so was nice, up the road then switchbacks and a traverse through alpine meadow. After that it was a long traverse through boulders on a well marked trail, not difficult. Then two huge cairns marked the beginning of switch backs through alpine meadow to obtain the ridge. Up to this point I enjoyed the trail and my dog was doing great. From this point to the summit it was around 1 mile with still about 1500 feet gain to go. There were scattered cairns along the ridge but very far apart. We'd walk towards one to see another one directly below us by 50ft. It seems they were randomly placed, perhaps by other hikers who were trying to mark their own route. We just tried to stay close to the ridge. After 2 hours of hiking through this having to pay attention to every step and stop to plan the direction of travel with some scrambling we were mentally tired. Not the best first 14er for my 11 month old dog! We finally got to the base of the summit and again, no trail. The train was loose talus and scree. At several points we were on all fours trying to get traction scrambling up with anything we could hold on to. It felt like trying to climb up a rock pile at a quarry. On the way down skid so much we finally just sat down and slid on our butts. The whole trail of 6.8 miles took us 9 hours! Compare that to Mt Elbert where we hiked 10 miles in 5 hours. This was too technical for my taste. I enjoy scrambling, I liked Mt Yale and Pikes Peak, but this was not fun for me. Part of it was I was just unprepared for so much of it to be so rocky and I would not have brought my dog. I will not be doing this 14er again!

We rode ATV on this trail. We loved it! Rocky towards the top, but beautiful!!

hiking
3 months ago

Driving up to the radio towers (or even further) is definitely worth doing if your vehicle can handle it. It seemed like most of the hike was through the boulder fields (which is really all of it once you get above tree line). It’s rated as difficult, and I’m guessing that’s because of the lack of actual trail. You’re mostly scrambling through rocks. However, it was still one of the easier 14ers I’ve done because you can drive so high up and the trail is a road up until tree line.

hiking
3 months ago

4wd trail clear but you need high clearance to make it to the Princeton trail. Trail is easy to follow until 13,000 feet then it becomes a scramble to the top with defined trail!!! Made it in 2 1/2 hours to the top

06/2018 Standard 14er with lots of rocks. Route changed so it was a bit confusing. Helped to track the hike. Good views on the way up. Caught the sunrise - worth it!

We slept in the jeep at the 4wd parking area (high clearance needed) and started at 3 a.m. You start out in a beautiful aspen forest, then through a small meadow and soon reach treeline. The trail is very easy to follow, and is a pretty steady uphill. We were alone at the summit for about 45 minutes, and the views were possibly the best in Colorado. Took us about 3.5 hours to summit, 1.5 back to the trailhead. My 8 y/o shephard also hiked with us and had no problems.

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