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Humboldt Peak Trail is a 10.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 10.7 mi Elevation gain 4,222 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Backpacking Camping Fishing Hiking Nature trips Rock climbing River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Snow No shade
Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips

This 14er has unbelievable views of alpine lakes and the neighboring Crestone Needles. This is a beautiful overnight of just over 10 miles with amazing views of the neighboring Crestone Needles which are some of the most difficult to climb. Make sure to bring a fishing pole as the South Colony Lakes are stocked with trout where you will be camping.

Directions to South Colony Lakes Trailhead: From Westcliffe, Colorado drive southwest on highway 69 4.5 miles to Colfax Lane (CO119) where there is a Forest Service sign. Turn right (south) and go another 5.5 miles until the road ends, then turn right on South Colony Road (Forest Service Road 120) for another 1.5 miles where you will find a parking lot. The road generally gets worse from here but you can test your luck with a 4x4. Stop whenever you can't go further or the road is closed by a gate. There are no fees or permits to park here.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (228)
Photos (411)
Recordings (197)
Completed (457)
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Martin Marshall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Easy to follow

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Sarat Eruvuru
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking
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Nick Steinmetz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Did this on 9-5-20. As others have said, if you don’t have a rugged high clearance vehicle, plan on adding an extra 5 miles round trip to this distance. The hike up the 4WD road and up until the split with the Crestone trail is a bit monotonous. We camped at the Upper Lake and it was absolutely stunning. Didn’t use hiking poles, but I think they would have been very helpful for the hike from the upper lake to the summit and back. Logged 17.1 miles total, but did some walking around the lake which probably accounts for that extra mile or so.

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Emma Clingenpeel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

My first 14er! The views are completely breathtaking I cannot stress that enough. We parked at the lower lot and clocked about 2.75 miles to the trail head/upper lot and then an additional 4.25 miles to the middle upper lake where we set up camp. Got going the next morning at 5:45 and summited at 8:40, clocking about 3 miles from the campsite to the summit. I am not going to lie to you this was extremely difficult, physically and mentally, but then again it was my first 14er! Once you start the rock scramble the trail becomes hard to follow, but there are cairns you can spot out to help. Usually the climb down for me is harder than the climb up, however it was pretty much a breeze getting down! Again, it was pretty freaking hard but so beyond worth it! In total, we clocked 20 miles round trip.

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Jeff Van Dellen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Beautiful trail but a grind at the top. Slept at the 4wd trailhead which required a 4wd vehicle. I highly recommend getting to that point. Lower section of trail was steep and rocky so have solid footwear. At the split to Humboldt from the road/Crestone trail it goes further into the woods and up to the lakes. The paths are very clearly marked but only moderately difficult. Once you switchback up to the saddle/ridge from the lakes it gets much more difficult. The cairns are small and sometimes slightly hidden but stay hikers right at the top to the false summit. I mistakenly went to the hikers left/back side and it was a much harder scramble/climb. Once you false summit its very easy to the true summit with unbelievable views of all the surrounding mountains. I did it all in one day, starting at 6:30 and my phone app said it was a little more than 11 miles total. It took me 3 hours to summit, 30 mins at the top and 2 hours to get back down where you can soak yourself in the creek and get cleaned up. I think anyone serious about hiking 14ers should definitely do this one. Was my 14th of the year, 15 overall.

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Tiffany Trunnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

this was one of my favorite 14ers so far. the walk up the road is long, and the first part of the trail is an old road, but after that it was better. the 4wd road is very rough. my CRV couldn't make it past a spot .75 mile up the road. only jeeps, trucks and big SUVs like xterras made it. glad I did it as an overnight because with the extra miles on the road it's 16 miles total I think. someone pooped on the mountain. very gross. bring bags and clean up after yourself. don't pollute the streams and lakes!

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David Marcus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Paul Brusca
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Caitlin Ferrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

Like most everyone, I highly recommend making this an overnight trip and camping at one of the lakes! I scored a spot by the upper lake, which is essentially at the foot of Humboldt. This was my first 14-er beyond a Class 1, and I was honestly expecting worse! The scrambling wasn’t terrible, you could usually find some sort of trail, or cairns, on the way up. Definitely super super steep. I am VERY sore a full day later from that descent. The top is very cool, sheer drops so be careful. If it was a windy day I would absolutely not have summited. Amazing views, even with some smoke and haze. Just stunning. Don’t plan on driving the forest road unless you have 4WD, high clearance AND experience on very rough roads.

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Kate Cavenaugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

Stunning hike from the lakes up to the summit. We camped just below the tree line which made for a much easier hike up to the summit (though still plenty challenging!). I have completed several 14ers and still find this to be far and away the most beautiful with the Crestone Needles in view the whole time. Can’t recommend this enough!!!

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Classified Noneoffyourbusiness
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

This is pretty terrible if you dont have 4 wheel drive.

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Heather Laski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingMuddy

This was a tough one! Just due to the length, of you’re not camping overnight at the lake. I highly recommend camping the night before your hike, and watching the sunrise on the lake. We wished we had gotten there earlier to do so. All in all, super beautiful. It’s like walking through a fairytale.

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Ryan Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
CampingGreat!Rocky

The forest road to the upper parking lot is a difficult one. If you don’t have good spotters to direct you around the large rocks and deep holes it will make it a stressful start. We did however make it to the upper parking lot in an Outback. The trail leading all the way up to Humboldt is easy as long as you’re paying attention. We camped at the lower lake then hiked up the following morning. It took about 3 hours with a good 45 minutes on top enjoying the views. AllTrails mentions no dogs but the USDA Forest Service site says they’re allowed. We had two of our dogs with us who did great the entire trail.

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Lauren Speichinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

The road up to the trailhead is difficult, we had a large truck that had easy clearance, but be careful with any mid-sized SUVs. A sprinter van was stuck in a ditch within the first 200 ft of the road, so be weary. The hike was great, gradual incline to the lakes on a wide path. Once you got to South Colony Lake, it was a big uphill ascent. Towards the top was more of a rock scramble, follow the cairns and you should find the easiest route up. Pass the false summit and ride a nice, easy saddle to the peak at the far edge. Watch the cliff line to the left though! All in all, great day trip, and you’ll definitely deserve a big bowl of pasta or nice juicy burger after.

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Chris Curran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

We reached the 4wd trailhead at 5 AM and got one of the last parking spots. I think most of the vehicles there were folks who drove up the day before and camped at the lakes. Great trail from the parking lot all the way to the summit. Only required route finding was in the scrambling sections from the ridge up to the summit

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AJ Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

My first 14er and it was tough but worth it! The first 5ish miles are a gentle uphill and end with an intense climb on switchbacks followed by a steep scramble. The views were incredible and the marmots were adorable. Do it!

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JANET MEYERS
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Hiking
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Dalton Vetter
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HikingMuddyRocky
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AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble
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