Blanca Peak is a 19.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Alamosa, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

19.2 miles
6,640 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


horseback riding

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers


The road works its way up several switchbacks before entering the valley floor. Along the way you will pass by several ruins of old buildings. The trail will reach Como Lake just before the tree line. This is where motorized vehicles must stop. The trail continues its climb up the valley and passes several more beautiful alpine lakes. Above you to your right will be the imposing face of Little Bear Peak. As the trail nears the end of the valley it ascends a small headwall where many paths break off. After passing the head wall head toward the ridge just to the right of the saddle first. The views from this ridge are breathtaking and a little scary. Follow the ridge the rest of the way to the summit.

12 days ago

Very good conditions for a winter hike!

4 months ago

First: I have tried summing Blanca before, also in the middle of October. The first time we weren't quite prepared enough and didn't feel safe without spikes or crampons. Also, Lake Como Road is a bit of an ankle breaker and it really killed my knees. So, this year we thought we'd be clever and try to mountain bike the road and had enough snow gear to do the summit. What we had forgotten: the majority of the road is not even bikeable on the way up, so we ended up walking our flipping bikes up 4k of gain to Lake Como. They were sort of worth it on the way down, but a large portion still was too sketchy to bike down until the halfway point of the road.
We ended up not being able to summit (again.....) due to weather blowing in about 6 hours earlier than we had previously been told. We did see a herd of big horn sheep, which was great. The rest was pretty meh considering we still didn't bag the peak. If we had I'm sure it would have been 5 stars.

off road driving
5 months ago

Broke a rear locker and still worth it!

6 months ago

Amazing trail. Very easy for a fourteener, however the road in is very bad. We made it in about 3 miles in a Chevy Silverado. However, most people had to park further down the mountain. The trail was very nice though. Our little shepherd even made it to the peak.

7 months ago

Was pretty easy combo w ellingwood. (I like southwest ridge(class 3) of ellingwood do Blanca for combo..Really hard day if u don’t get to or close enough to Lake Como... need a MONSTER truck to make it up.

7 months ago

most beautiful backpacking trip ive ever done. would do it again. spend an extra day at lake como, its worth it just soaking in its beauty.

10 months ago


Monday, February 19, 2018

I've lived in the SLV most of my life, and Blanca's summit had been calling for a while. I finally decided to get in shape to do it, starting by regularly hiking Limekiln Hill, west of Monte Vista, sometimes doing time trials, sometimes adding 50lbs of weight, and then proceeding to hiking ever larger hills and mountains: Pup, Dog, Horseshoe, Windy, Bennett, Handies, West Spanish Peak, Twin Peaks, etc. Then, on a nice day, I finally went for it, thinking I'd just see how far I could get before weather or fatigue made continuing seem unwise. I was hurrying, trying to beat the usual afternoon thunderstorms. I started at 8700 feet at 7am. To my surprise, I made it to the summit at 11:20am without any real difficulty! It was easier than I expected!

The area around Como and the upper basin below Blanca and Ellingwood are gorgeous! And the views from the summit are hard to beat.

I had been concerned about how I'd do with the exposure on the ridge, looking down Blanca's north face, but I found that I was fine with it. But most of it, aside from a spot or two near the summit, is entirely avoidable if it makes you uncomfortable.

The scrambling near the top is easy if you have even a little scrambling/climbing experience.

I found trekking poles very helpful, as always, especially for the descent. Bring some tape to treat hot spots before they turn into blisters. The long descent can be grueling. Make sure your shoes or boots fit properly and leave a little space in front of your toes.

I don't recommend this hike, especially in one day, unless you are very fit and understand the weather risks. Afternoon thunderstorms are the norm in summer and can be very dangerous up above treeline.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Started at 7 and I expected it to be an easy hike. But the road you hike on is fist sized round rocks that make walking terrible. The wind on top was 15 mph and it was manageable but the 7 degrees plus wind chill made it extremely cold. I would totally do it again though. Ended up taking 11 hours and ended up two miles from my car in the dark. PS: if you want at about 13000 ft on the left their is an old mine shaft 300 yards from the trail and it’s only 20 feet deep but it’s a nice relief from the wind and snow drifts.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Excellent hike. Wish I would have pushed my jeep a little further, at least until the switchbacks started. Nonetheless we got to tack on an additional few miles of hiking. Getting to coma lake, summiting Blanca the next morning, breathtaking views of neighboring peaks, all made it worth it. Tough hike, good challenge.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Been here for over a week and dont plan on leaving yet

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Very rocky trail, first couple of miles to Lake Como are rough. After that a very easy climb.
Bears are present so make sure to hang your food.
Views are unbeatable.
Note: This is one of the most challenging off road trails in all of Colorado. Do not push your vehicles. You will know when its time to quit, and it will be very challenging to turn around if you go too far.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Incredible hike, very rocky though

Monday, July 18, 2016

It was super fun for my very first 14er! I recorded a video please check it out. If you are an Elton John fan you are gonna love it!
With love,
"Apollo" Creede Wylie

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This hike was my first backpacking trip ever! I am an avid outdoorsman but I had never been backcountry backpacking before until my friend planned this trip for us while I was away with the Army in 2010. We did the trip in early October of 2010. We were able to drive my standard F150 4X4 up Lake Como road to around 8500 feet. I did not want to push my truck up much further than that, mainly since it had to still take us to the Grand Canyon and back home to Tennessee. We budgeted a whole day of hanging out around Lake Como and adapting to the altitude before we hit the three summits. We took some pills for two weeks prior to our trip which seemed to help pre-adjust for the gain from our Middle Tennessee altitude. I packed up a light-weight Diawa spinning rod set up to catch some trout in Lake Como. I did manage to catch and release several 8-10" trout in the crystal clear lake. I was throwing a small 1/16th oz Little Cleo spoon and different colors of 1/16th oz RoosterTail brand spinners on a 4 lb Mono line. The weather changed significantly throughout our accent up the main trail. It was around 80 degrees at the truck at 4:00 PM and by the time we made it to Lake Como it was around 9:00 PM and it was snowing a little. This was a demanding trail and I would recommend training and conditioning before attacking a trip like this one. The hikes up to Little Bear and Blanca were very challenging for a greenhorn like myself at the time. However, I managed to keep up and make it happen. The hour-glass was pretty sketchy headed up to Little Bear but it was a view and memory that we will never forget!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summit ed Blanca after Little Bear and found the whole experience to be quite exhilarating. The climb up Little Bear and the knife edge ridge traverse to Blanca made for the best 3 hours ever.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Awesome trail.....did it in August of 2010. Beautiful views.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Incredibly hard trail. I you don't have a major 4wd then you can add several miles to get to the trailhead. I tried to to get to the peak but only made it to Lake Como, which is the prettiest site I've ever seen. Even in October people on the trail said there were winter conditions on the peak, including 2.5 feet of snow. I saw several bighorn rams, but no other wildlife. Be very cautious of altitude sickness because you gain elevation so fast.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Deep snow in March will hinder you a bit even if you have snowshoes as you will need to continually put them on and take them off between shady parts of the trail. Overall, spectacular views and an awesome climb up Little Bear Peak and Ellingwood Point as well as to Mt. Lindsey. It is certainly a tough hike, so make sure you are acclimatized well and in good shape for the trip.

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