Blanca Peak is a 19.6 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.
Deep remote valley with lots of lakes leading to a classic Colorado summit From wherever you park along this road, continue on it on foot. 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. I don't think there was ever much mining activity in the area so I'm not sure why all the buildings are here. The trail will reach Como Lake just before treeline. 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. Which path you choose is up to you as they all will get you above it. 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.
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.
Incredible hike, very rocky though
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!
"Apollo" Creede Wylie
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!
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.
Awesome trail.....did it in August of 2010. Beautiful views.
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.
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.