Challenger Point

HARD 19 reviews

Challenger Point is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Crestone, Colorado that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.7 miles Elevation Gain: 5,298 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

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, 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing trail. We clocked 10.6 miles to get to the lake and back

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

TOUGH CLIMB. This was a class 2+ climb for the last 800'. The decent is quite tricky with very loose footing at times. The view offered by the ridge over the high valley is worth every bit of the climb. I began recording the assent where the trail became very steep.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail with friends on 8/11 and not able to summit. The day started overcast and we were hopeful the sun would burn off some of the clouds but it wasn't meant to be this time. At about 13,567 the clouds engulfed us and we made the collective decision to turn back and give it a shot another time. On the hike out a strong storm system came in and we were buffeted by hail. It rained on us pretty much the entire hike out. Still a beautiful trail and looking forward to doing it again.

hiking
4 months ago

7/4/19: hiked this trail on July 4th and was not able to summit. Snow was covering the trail for the last 1000-1500 feet, turning the Difficult Class 2 into a Class 4. The last bit is so steep that with snow it was way to slippery to do without significant gear and climbing experience. It made for an extremely long and exhausting day. That said, the rest of the trail is stunning! Willow Lake is one of the more beautiful alpine lakes I’ve ever visited. The trial runs through all the best parts of Colorado trails - single tracks through trees, meadows, rocky bits, lakes. 10/10 would do it again. BUT, the mosquitos this year were absolutely insane. We couldn’t even stop for water or breaks during the early parts of the trail without being swarmed.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

Made it to the top.. barely. Almost involuntarily glissaded into a rock meat-grinder. Fun Day. Amazing views. Real Calf Burner

hiking
Mon Oct 01 2018

great fall hike there was a little snow and ice towards the top be careful on the way down i slipped and fell a few times

hiking
Fri Aug 03 2018

Trail is a bit of a grind...head toward the notch on the left...beware rockfall. Once thru the notch its an easy ridge walk to Kit Carson over Challenger Point. We used our hands a lot on the way down to keep from sliding on the loose rock. Scenery is absolutely stunning!

hiking
Mon Feb 19 2018

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.

Wed Oct 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!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2018

hiking
Sat Jul 28 2018

hiking
Sat May 20 2017

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