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Ellingwood Point and Blanca Peak is a 14 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alamosa, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Length 14.0 mi Elevation gain 5,971 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Views Wildlife Rocky Snow
Description
Waypoints (0)

This trailhead is best reached with a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. If you have a high clearance 4x4 then you can begin the path at the trailhead by Lake Como. The off line map is recommended to get oriented as several users have reported that the trail is not marked well.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (60)
Photos (369)
Recordings (55)
Completed (158)
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Keith Carrieri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2020
Hiking

Drove a couple miles up pretty easy in a stock Tacoma, defiantly saved some crucial miles on the legs. Did Blanca peak and the viewers were unreal, a few lakes on the way up makes up for the ankle breaker of a trail. 10 mile round trip, karins lead us to the peak

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Oscar Perez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 6, 2020
HikingRockyScramble
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Aislinn Fitzgerald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Backpacking

The hike was great! But the map on AllTrails is not very accurate. There is a road that leads up to Lake Como so I suggest driving with a 4WD and high clearance as far up as you can go. We camped at the far end of Lake Como, there’s a good amount of camping spots. It took 3.5 hours to summit Ellingwood and tren 1.5 to summit Blanca from there

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Damian Lawler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
Backpacking

This is hardly a walking trail until you get about 6 miles in. Tough trail. Mountains were terrific though.

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David Marcus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking
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Matt Yeoman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Dan Kubitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking
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Jason Controy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020

What an experience. I did as others recommended, camped overnight at Lake Como, then summited the next morning. I did Blanca, then Ellingwood. From Como you get to the base of these two really quick, but then the fun part starts. The difficulty of the scramble to Blanca can vary depending on your route. I stuck to the ridge, and it was FUN. Took ~2hr to summit Blanca from Como. As for getting to Ellingwood...I didn’t have the stones to attempt the ridge traverse, so came down a smidge then headed up. Never found a trail, and not sure the cairns really had a purpose. When you found one, it seemed any direction could’ve been as good as the next. Checked the AllTrails map once or twice, then said “f’it”. Eventually found my way up to the ridge with some awesome class 3, and followed that to the summit. What a blast. Now for the hike to/from Lake Como...fun going up, miserable coming down. The misery is probably because it was after all the scrambling from the two peaks, or it could just be because that road really does suck! So many rocks. I would love to do these 14ers again, but only if I could drive closer to Como. Parking 5+ miles away from the lake wasn’t ideal.

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Edward Janus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Kevin Kevin Wickart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2020
Hiking
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Simon Guérard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

Great 14ers! Both are class 2, but clearly not the easiest with all the lose rocks and a fair amount of pathfinding (especially up Ellingwood). I didn't do the full traverse but that was a mistake. It's class 3 but clearly not much harder than the normal route to Ellingwood. Also, road is pretty bad - drove my 2WD to like 8-9k.

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Zach Jensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 20, 2020
Hiking

The 4x4 road approach hike killed it for me

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Greg Lane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!
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steve smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

The climb up Blanca is not nearly as intimidating as it looks. If you do the traverse from Ellingwood, cross parallel to the low point in saddle and then follow the ridge; otherwise you'll end up in some tricky terrain. The climb is a blast, but beware the Como Road. It's an SOB that chews up ankles and low clearance SUV's. Don't bother with your passenger car. Hike the whole way in.

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Scott Richards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Extremely long, rewarding hike. Best done in two days, took me over 12 hours. Easy dirt road for a mile, fairly easy 4x4 to ~4.6 miles, rough after that. I parked 2 miles in with 2wd. Plenty of egress at switchbacks. Hiked on Friday, busy on weekends. Great views all the way up. Mist at top never lifted, have to catch the view from top another day. Saw a small black bear near summit, bighorn near upper lake. Worn out from super long day!

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Nancy Leblond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this trail 7/17 (it was my 7th 14ers in 2 weeks) and probably my less favorite 14ers. (very very challenging) Started at 6am with a nice sunrise and happy to start the hike, the first 3 miles are somewhat through a forest and shaded especially at 6am, it was nice and cool. You do start the elevation gain from the start of the trail. so by the time you get to Zapata Lake, you are almost at 5 miles into the hike and have gain 3500ft + elevation gain. To me that was somewhat an easy walk/portion of the hike. Lake is very pretty to see and if you are a family or someone not as active, I would recommend to make the lake you final stop for this hike and return to the car. It took me about 2.5h to hike to the lake (about 5 miles, so your round trip would be about 10h from the start to TH to lake and back to car) If you choose to continue, please be VERY VERY prepared, the next portion is NOT a joke. If you have children less than 15 years old. do NOT do this trail. If you have a dog who isn't good with rock climbing, do NOT do this trail. From the lake to the top of Ellingwood, it's about only 2 miles. Warning, it's almost 3000 ft gain elevation in those 2 miles. Which mean you are climbing almost at vertical at time. From the lake to summit, you have 2 options if you look at all trail app, a shorter, straight options, or a longer (kind if the triangle option on the map) I choose the direct option, it was about 1 miles and true rock climbing. lot of loose rocks. on 7/17 there was no more icy spot, minus 1 spot that was fairly easy to avoid. then the last mile was less vertical but still a lot of loose rocks, some edge trail, definitely difficult. I reach summit ay 1pm, yes... 1pm, I had started at 6am, was relaxing for maybe 30 minutes at the lake from about 8h45 to 9h15am and then struggled those last 2 miles and it took me over 3h to hike then. Luckily that was it was a great weather all day and it never rain or hailed. Going back down was also very challenging, first off, make sure you record this hike. I was on my way to hike down the wrong edge. It's very confusing and not well of marked. Luckily since I was recording it, I managed to find my trail back. to then almost lost myself 1 more time, and when I turned back around, I saw this man who had came down the point 1 hour before me, who I though would be done long time ago who was Not recording the trail and he said, I took the wrong edge and was totally on the way to the wrong parking when I realized you were going to a different edge/trail. So if it wasn't from my recording, he would have been lost and I would have too.... We choose to go back down the straight vertical way down, but it was pretty much a me sitting on my butt and sliding down trail. Finally back at the Lake, the last 5 miles down were somewhat easier but by than you are so tired and exhausted from this long hike that I am not sure I enjoyed those last 5 miles.... I ended up getting back to the car at 8pm, yes I saw sunset on my way down.... Total it ended up being 14 miles trail in 14hours. My worse time ever but I won't be too hard on myself considering it's 5700ft gain elevation I did in 1 day. The top of Ellingwood Point was very nice, it was special to see Blanca Peak and little bear and Lindsey Peak. There is an options apparantly to hike from Ellingwood to blanca peak and then come back to Ellingwood and then go back to car, but I didn't do it. According to my app it was about only .5 miles more, but you could see how edgy it was and there was definitely a lot more elevation incline so I decided not to do it and I am glad I didn't because who know what time I would have gotten back to the car if I did Blanca as well. At the end I am glad I did Ellingwood and got my 7th 14ers, but in all the one I did, it was NOT my favorite for sure.

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Haslam Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Great backpacking trip if you are going to bag some peaks! Lake Como road is a beast to drive up, but there are lots of places to pull off. Like others have said, if you’re backpacking in on the road It is very sunny and a tough climb with a heavy pack and there isn’t anywhere to stop for water to refill until about 1.5 miles from the lake, so prepare for that. I thought the approach trail through the valley from Lake Como was beautiful and a nice steady incline to get you warmed up. There are cairns everywhere so when you’re not looking down at where you’re stepping, try to keep track of those. There are some parts on Blanca where you might use your hands and I’d recommend staying a little right of the ridge, again there are cairns marking the way. If you are heading over to Ellingwood over the saddle, drop down a little bit to avoid some steeper class 3 stuff. There are some slightly sketchy parts in the trail up, but again pretty clearly marked if you keep an eye out. It seemed like everyone on the way down just kind of found their own scramble route to meet up with the approach trail in. There are some cairns but they were harder to follow on the way down. Just take It slow and watch out for any sliding rocks. Overall a great day with some gorgeous weather!

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Shayla Frederick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Amazing option for a 14er backpacking trip! Hardest part was the hike in - 6 miles of incline in the sun on the rocky road with heavy packs, but then the views at Lake Como are SO rewarding! We camped out here and then summited Blanca and Ellingwood the next day. The scrambling up both was super fun - just remain alert and cautious. The cairns up Ellingwood were fairly helpful but definitely a bit harder to see at times. Overall a wonderful time and the views were spectacular! Bring bug spray - as a group we passed by on the trail perfectly described it, “it’s a mosquito tornado” at lake Como!

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Marissa Binkoski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingScramble

I’ve never left a review but this route was AMAZING and hopefully my experience helps someone out. You’ll see everything from big horns to fat marmots and migrating moths in the green, lake filled valley. Also epic views. I did this yesterday from only a mile up the dirt road. IT IS NOT 14 MILES RT. My watch died but it was about 19. It only took me 3 hours to go the uphill 6 miles to Lake Como (head out before 7am and you’ll be in the shade!) but the scramble to the top of Ellingwood, the traverse and then up Blanca and back down takes a LONG time. Luckily I had a clear day and there were no afternoon storms so I could do this in one day- but it took over 12 hours. NOTE ON SCRAMBLE ROUTE: I screen shotted trail photos and directions from 14ners.com and they were insanely helpful. I saw so many people just crawling all over the place or end up on the saddle when they were just trying to make their way down. If I hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have ended up staying too high on the saddle which turns into a difficult class 4. I saw some mentions of incorrect carins but I didn’t see any- there are a lot of “trails” up there so you just need to know what your looking for direction wise.

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Abigail Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingScramble
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Davis Linden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

Drive as far as you are comfortable up this road. It’s a rough go and really needs high clearance and off road tires. The lake on is amazing. Three peaks in the valley.

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Tanner Knight
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingScramble
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Emma Katz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
Hiking

Highly recommend. First 5-6 miles to lake are no joke especially with hot sun out and packs on. The lake is well worth the hike! Did Blanca the next morning, which was great. Small sketchy area near the top but stay high on ridge. Great weather, hardly any wind! Would definitely recommend.

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Chris Ripple
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

5/31/20 Able to make it up a decent amount of the 4wd road to Lake Como. We stopped and camped about 5 miles from the lake. Woke up around 3:45am and started walking around 4:15am. Trail is very easy to follow in the dark considering the trail is essentially a road. Made it to Lake Como a few minutes after sunrise where we were treated with fantastic views of the valley and Little Bear. Continue following the trail around Lake Como and further into the valley, passing multiple small lakes and waterfalls as you work your way up to the saddle. The trail we followed took us up to the ridge traverse which we then followed to summit Blanca. Fairly straightforward class 2 scrambling to reach the peak. You can pretty much choose how exposed you’d like to be. From Blanca peak we made our way back to the ridge traverse to make it over to Ellingwood. The traverse is listed as class 3 but it was definitely not. Maybe a class 2+, not difficult to navigate at all but the trail is hard to follow. It’s easy enough to pick and choose your own way to get up Ellingwood for the last couple hundred feet. Submitted Ellingwood then attempted to follow a trail that All Trails has listed as the route up Ellingwood. However, there was no trail and no cairns to mark a way up or down. We ended up just scrambling down Ellingwood’s loose rock just fine (no real cliffs to worry about getting caught at) and then took the fun way down (butt sliding on snow) until we met back up with the main trail. Straightforward walk back to camp. Check the recording to see stats but it was about 17 miles with 6.2K vert. Overall a super fun, scenic hike that’s also challenging and hard on the body. One of my favorites in the Rocky’s so far!

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