DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,008 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

no dogs

hiking
2 months ago

Crestone Needle was my 10th 14er and favorite one to date. We camped at South Colony Lake, did Crestone Peak the day before (fantastic as well!) and started this hike around 7am. Since we did Broken Hand pass the day before and our bodies were well-adjusted to the altitude and grade, it took us a little less than an hour to get to the top of Broken Hand Pass. Getting to the first gully wasn’t bad at all, but from there on it was definitely a challenge. Found myself very thankful for the rudimentary climbing experience I’ve gotten the last few months as it was by far more of a rock climb (~85-90% grade at times) than a hike. Took another 1.5 hrs to summit, then another 2ish to get back down to the lake. If you enjoy a true challenge and rock climbing, you’ll love this peak but make sure weather isn’t an issue. Descending down the incredibly steep grades would be very dangerous in the rain/snow. And DEFINITELY wear a helmet. We had handful of 1-2 ft rocks fly down extremely close to us which was very scary so be alert and stay safe! Round trip took about 5 hrs (from the lake) . As an adrenaline junkie, it was an awesome awesome climb - will absolutely go back again!