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South Colony Lakes Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sangre de Cristo Range
14ers Served:  Humboldt Peak, Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 2WD dirt to the lowest trailhead. Easy 4WD (good-clearance required) dirt to the upper trailhead.
Directions:  Take Colorado 69 south from Westcliffe. Drive 4.5 miles and turn right on Colfax Lane. Drive 5.5 miles to the end of Colfax. Turn right and drive 1 mile on a dirt road to a junction. Continue straight up the 120 Road for 0.3 mile to the Lower 2WD Trailhead at 8,800’. To reach the Upper 4WD Trailhead, continue 2.7 miles to parking/camp spots before the first river crossing, near 9,900’. In 2009, the South Colony Lakes road was permanently closed here (gate) and this is the current trailhead. The trail starts next to the trailhead kiosk, in the parking area.
Winter Access:  Usually closed near the lower TH at the bottom of the road.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-01-26 No trouble getting to the lower 2wd TH but not beyond. Eagle Eye         
2014-01-11 Drove up to the Lower South Colony Lakes TH this morning in a Subaru Outback. The road is cleared except for the last 0.3 miles or so, which is snow covered and bumpy but packed down pretty well. After the lower TH, the road is more deeply snow-covered and only snowmobilers could drive to the upper TH. DanielL         
2013-11-10 The road to the South Colony Lakes TH is open and passable with some aggressive 4-wheeling. The Lower 2wd TH (~8,800‘) is free of snow but the upper 4wd TH (~9,900‘) has 8" of snow. Sections of the road are very icy in the morning becoming muddy in the afternoon. MonGoose         
2013-10-21 On this date and 10/7 drove a 4x4 xterra to the permanent gate closure/South Colony TH. Sections of deep, pooled water, mud & snow exist and as mentioned in below posts one section in particular has been presenting difficulty. There are plenty of places to park, right below this one spot. Eagle Eye         
2013-10-06 Clear all the way to 4x4 trailhead telemarkdude         
2013-09-08 We didn‘t have much trouble in a Subaru Forrester. There‘s one bad spot that required special attention, but there were a few cars parked just below it if you can‘t make it. Good luck! Jtjohnso24         
2013-08-30 Drove an Xterra to road closure- rocky but relatively easy- only one or two spots required close attention. EKassan         
2013-08-03 The 4WD road is rough in spots, but doable (I completed in a Honda Pilot). The worst section was approximately 1 mile until the new trailhead. I do not recommend this in a passenger car. buckeyejes    2      
2013-07-22 Three spots have become torn out and difficult to pass in the last two miles before you reach the upper 4wd trailhead. The first spot you will encounter is the worst. Going up it is tricky but passable in a truck-based SUV or pickup (XTerra, Jeep, pickup, etc). It is definitely not passable in passenger car. It would take considerable skill and a some luck to get up in a car-based CUV (Rav4, CRV, Pilot, etc). Going down is even more difficult because there are large (read oil pan penetrating) rocks to straddle and it‘s difficult to judge how deep the holes are on the back side of the rocks in the tire tracks. You will have to inch down to avoid hitting your underside on the downward bounce. The section was a handful even in an XTerra OR. zsmith    5      
2013-07-13 4 wheel drive road is in good shape. Was able to drive my F-150 to the trail head with no problems. I even saw an old Rav 4 up there (even though I would have been uncomfortable taking it up there, I am sure that person is a much better driver than I am!) michaelgrundy         
2013-06-22 There was no snow on the 4x4 road. There were many tents seen along the way. There was a lot of fire smoke on the way to the trail head, but I couldn‘t smell much there, and the smoke decreased visibility of the peaks a little. bradmacgregor  1       
2013-05-19 All clear to 4WD trailhead, no snow. bergsteigen    2      
2013-05-03 As of 5/3/13 you can drive within .8 miles of the upper trail head. With chains or a little more melting you could get within .4 miles of the TH. Snow is nearly continuous above the upper TH. Carl    1      
2013-04-27 I drove up on Friday 04/26/2013 to climb Humboldt from the East ridge on 4/27; in an 4v4 Xterra. I was able to make it within ~.15 mile of the national forest, before the snow became impassible. Its melting quick, but it could still be a week or more before you could drive up to the upper rainbow trailhead. I have photos but they are to big. PM me if you‘d like to see them. jmanner         
2013-04-14 Similar to LordHelmut‘s report from last week (4/7/2013) I drove to the same turn around in a 4wd pick-up today (stopped by snow drifts.) Easy hiking from there up to the summer road closure with only minimal post holing. Only minimal melting in this east facing, shady valley. Monte Meals         
2013-04-07 Road impassable to new upper summer TH. Got a 4runner to around 1 mile past lower TH. Took sled to wilderness boundary, just shy of old upper TH. Sled up was interesting. Bare spots were unavoidable at times, but short. Jerry rigged a bridge of boulders and snow a little past the new TH at a short creek crossing, which allowed the sled adventure to continue. Downed tree 50 yards past creek crossing, which was lift-able to get the sled under. lordhelmut         
2012-10-14 After the storm on 10/12 and 10/13, the South Colony Lakes road is totally clear of snow to the Rainbow Trail TH. Since the South Colony Lakes TH is just a short distance beyond, I can‘t imagine any snow whatsoever on the road. We didn‘t hit snow on Humboldt‘s East Ridge until almost 11,000 ft. Neil         
2012-10-11 Road and trail were ice and snow free to summit of Humbolt Peak. Beautiful conditions. Alpineair  1       
2012-09-09 The roller coaster ride that was ~1.5 to 2 miles from the 2WD parking has been smoothed out compared to earlier this summer. Seems like the lower portion of the 4WD road near the private property is in better shape/recently graded. The rest of the road is normal SCL 4WD. I think I saw a muffler along the side of the road if anybody needs one... dpage         
2012-09-02 CO 67 is OPEN. There‘s a temporary bridge in place with a restriction on vehicles wider than 11 feet. See CDOTs August 24th news release for further information ( MC.Ikema         
2012-08-19 As of 8/19, CO road 67 is closed and there is a detour in place. I believe that a bridge is out along the road. Regardless, for those of you coming North from Denver/The Springs, be advised that your cannot go through 67 South of Florence at this time. We took I-25 South to Pueblo, then West via 96. There may be other options, but this seemed like the easiest to us. Zambo         
2012-08-12 Lots of opinions about this road so I‘ll give mine. Long story short, my 4x4 Patriot made it just fine. More detailed: There were (for me) two tricky sections, the 2nd being more so than the 1st. The first rocky outcrop section is more about tire placement than power to get up. The 2nd is more about power and keeping traction. I put on 4x4 only for one spot - the 2nd steep rocky section which was almost too much for a 4 cylinder to handle without a running start. I don‘t have pictures of these rocky areas... my apologies. 9 inches of clearance was plenty. I‘d recommend at least a 6 inch clearance for vehicles that attempt this road. Of all the vehicles at the upper TH, mine was definitely on the lower side of capability there. Didn‘t see any passenger cars. Tony1    4      
2012-08-10 If arriving via I-25, there is a detour on co 67. You cannot get to 96 from 67. You need to reroute. Jtjohnso24         
2012-08-05 If anyone has the older version of the 14ers book, it says you can get up to within 3.8 miles of Humboldt by going to Colony Lakes. This was closed in ‘09...a fact I wish we had known about prior to going! jford    1      
2012-08-02 South Colony Rd is fine up until the lower 2 wheel lot. We parked there and hiked to the 4 wheel drive parking. Smart decision since there‘s now plenty of oil pan killers along the route. Someone drove an Accord to the top but it looked like it had some battle scars on the rocker panels. I wouldn‘t try it unless you have a good 12" clearance. You can make it without 4 wheel drive if it‘s dry, just need a high clearance. smuckerjams    1      

The lower 2WD trailhead and start of the SC Lakes road. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-07)The NEW trailhead (as of 2010), at the first creek crossing. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2011-04-03)

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