Blanca Peak, Colorado
Mt. Lindsey, Colorado

September 2014

Blanca Group with Blanca Peak (center)
14,351 Feet

Blanca Peak, Colorado is one of four of the fourteen-thousand foot peaks in the Sierra Blanca Massif located in the Sangre de Christo Range of southern Colorado.  Blanca is the tallest of the four peaks in the massif which also include:  Little Bear Peak, Ellingwood Point, and Mount Lindsey.  Blanca is a fairly moderate climb and rewards with spectacular views of southern Colorado, the Crestones, and the Huerfano Valley.  The crux of a Blanca trip is the infamous Como Lake Road (or Mount Blanca Road) which must be negotiated during the approach to Blanca Peak.   This road is considered the roughest four-wheel drive road in all of Colorado and has claimed at least one life.  The road is very popular with local 4x4 clubs and off-roaders from all over the area.   As a result, expect crowds and lots of off-roaders on a typical summer weekend.  If you have a sturdy (and properly modified) 4x4, you can cut about 6 miles off your approach to Blanca Peak.  If not, expect a long and boring hike up the road, while dodging off-road vehicles.   Two obstacles on this road...Jaws 1 and Jaws 2....require a modified vehicle.  At least 33" tires, a suspension lift, and recovery equipment is highly recommended for these obstacles.  Otherwise, Blanca is a fun climb in a beautiful setting.   Before Blanca Peak, we drove up the Huerfano Valley and climbed Mount Lindsey, another 14er in the massif.  Scroll down for photos of both great mountains.

On road to Mt. Lindsey in the spectacular Huerfano Valley.

Almost to the summit of Mt. Lindsey.  My first solo 14er and not a soul on the trail but me.

My new Jeep Rubicon made it about five miles up the road and parked just below Jaws 1.

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A Land Rover Defender negotiating Jaws 1.  Definitely not an obstacle for my new Jeep!

Shortly after Jaws 2, the road ends at Lake Como.
Good camping for climbers is past the lake (east) along the trail to Blanca.

At 5:00 am, Alan begins the approach up through the talus.  The trail is easy to follow using cairns.

My son, Andrew, on the summit of Blanca Peak!

Alan and Andrew on the summit.

Alan descends the mountain into the Como Lake basin.
Our plan was to also climb Ellingwood point, but bad weather moved in and we had to bail.

A summit pano taken from the top of Blanca Peak.  Fun trip with my son, Andrew!

Thanks to Andrew for use of his photos and for the great day in the mountains.