Challenger Point

HARD 4 reviews
#11 of 30 trails in

Challenger Point is a 13.9 mile out and back trail located near Crestone, Colorado and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

13.9 miles
6,696 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


A long beautiful hike up to the summit named after the space shuttle Challenger. Follow the signs from the trailhead directing you to Willow Lake. After many switchbacks you will come to Willow Lake (see my report for Willow Lake) stay on the left (North) side of the lake and follow the trail up above the cliffs. The trail will now lead you directly up to the ridge to the South. It is a bit hard to follow for a while, but the key is to stay just to the right (West) of a couloir that also leads directly up to the ridge. When you reach the ridge follow it east to the summit of Challenger Point. A plaque on the summit will let you know you have arrived.

4 months ago

I did a one-day ascent and descent from trailhead to Kit Carson's summit, going over Challenger in between. It was a tough but rewarding hike! The slopes of Challenger are a little slippery in places and somewhat grueling. Be careful. Trekking poles help. When I was there late summer 2017, Rocky Mountain Field Institute was building a better trail up Challenger, so it might be better now. If you continue to Kit Carson, make sure when descending to come down the same way you went up, as it is very easy to miss the avenue and go too far down. There are cairns marking a trail that apparently goes over to Columbia Point. The upper part of this trail is tempting and will lead you astray. I and many other parties have made this mistake.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Great views and awesome climb to lake, but pitch to peak was horribly marked over very loose footing and spent an hour using hands and feet!

3 months ago

Saturday, May 20, 2017