Lake Como (Blanca Pk) Trailhead


Road Difficulty

Difficult 4WD, requires modified 4WD vehicle (not stock) 6   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD access to 8,000' from the west via the Lake Como Road (off of Colorado 150). 4WD access to approx. 9,000' via the Lake Como Road. Severe 4WD (heavy modified vehicles or ATV only) access to 12,000' above Lake Como (via the Lake Como Road).

Driving Directions

From Colorado 160, east of Alamosa, turn north onto Colorado 150 toward Great Sand Dunes National Park. Drive over 3 miles and turn right onto Lake Como road (aka Blanca Peak road). The type of vehicle you are driving will determine how high you can park on Lake Como road. Most cars can drive about 1.5 miles up before it gets rough. 4WD SUVs and trucks can slowly make it 3.25 miles to several pull-offs at 8,800', before the road turns nasty. This is a popular parking spot and gets you within 4 miles of Lake Como. If you have a high-clearance, small, 4WD vehicle you might be able to drive to approximately 10,000'. An ATV or modified jeep/crawler can get to Lake Como but it depends on the driver.

Winter Access

Closed near 8,800 feet.
Status Updates 
Posted By: gakefo
Info: Here are two photos of the rubble piles from the Wolfe Hut.
Posted By: ridergirl
Info: In case you’re wondering about your Subaru...I drove 2.8 miles up Como road in a 2012 Outback. My car has an aluminum skid plate underneath. We stopped here because the rock was sliding underneath and it was a lot of effort for the car. I would not recommend it unless you have an after market skid plate...we heard and felt the rocks banging against it.
Posted By: Scotty21
Info: The road to Lake Como are very dry.
Posted By: WildWanderer
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: From SH-150 to approximately 10,000’ the road is dry. I’d park around that level. A couple of inches of snow the night of 2018/04/07 brought snow down to somewhere between 10,000-10,500’. Once it melts out you’ll find several very muddy spots with standing water in them. From approximately 10,500’ to Lake Como there are large patches of ice that are pretty easy to walk around, until immediately before the lake and camping area where the snow/ice becomes more or less permanent.
Posted By: grahampa
Info: The infamous Lake Como road is easily passable without snowshoes currently. There was a trench I followed from 10k elevation up providing relief from any postholing. Did not use microspikes but they may be useful after myself packing down some the fresh snow.
Posted By: mikefromcraig
Info: Up to the little 4.5 mile sign snow is really not an issue. Between that sign and the first switchback where you turn to the left (pic 2), there are some snowy segments (pic 1). Between that first switchback (pic 2) and the second one it’s perfectly fine and then it picks back up again. That first picture is probably the worst part up until that second switchback. My camera died there and I can’t remember exactly where it started to get worse. Hope this helps!
Posted By: andrewhamilton
Info: Lots of snow from the previous storm. I drove about 2.5 miles up to 8800 in my pathfinder. That part was almost easier than normal because the snow packed in with the rocks. At that point I didn’t want to take any chances so I walked, but a determined person could probably make it to 10,000 feet. That was as far as two sets of ATV tracks made it. From there and below it looked like it would melt out quickly. Above 10000 feet the snow gets quite deep on the road.
Posted By: Alan Ellis
Info: Road is clear and basically snow free until the big switchback at 10,200 ft. Its the last switchback before the road gets super steep and technical. Parking is available at the switchback. After that, the road is snow covered. From there, the road is covered in about 3 inches of snow and climber feet have made a nice path. Flotation or traction is not needed until above Lake Como.
Posted By: Giant hills
Posted By: Sglm14
Info: Trail was completely dry all the way to Jaws 1 and our truck made it about a quarter mile to Jaws 1.
Posted By: mtn_clmbr
Info: Parked at 10K at last pull off before the road gets cruddy. I wouldn’t drive much past this due to snow and ice on the road not far up.
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: Drove to Right Switch Back near 10,000... most 4x4 can make it this far. Parking space for 3 vehicles here. I thought the bottom sections of the road was rough driving on the "rocky" road. Once you start with the switchbacks the road is more smooth with gravel and some rocks. No major obstacles or large rocks before 10,000.
There were two "large rock" obstacles in the road right after the switchback at 10,000, before the next left turn. This section of road was fairly steep, but I probably could have made it over them and gotten closer to Jaws 1. But as someone once said... the farther you go up this road... "diminishing returns"... Another vehicle was parked here, driver probably made the same call.
From our parking spot it was about a 30-minute hike and less than a mile to Jaws 1 near 10,500, and a 90-minute hike to the lake at about 2.4 miles.
Posted By: dleighto
Info: To add my two cents - I drove my 4WD 2012 Ram 1500 (the longest wheelbase version) to 10,000’ without trouble. Bumpy, but nothing to stop you. Beyond 10,000’ there are several large, fixed boulders that would be difficult to pass with most stock 4x4’s. If you could pass this section you could likely get to Jaws 1. If you have a 4x4 vehicle it is well worth the drive to 10,000’ to save the mileage/elevation on the backpack in to Lake Como.
Posted By: JaredJohnson
Info: FYI I often take 2WD or AWD rental SUV’s up 14er trailheads and read reports on this site that mention "4WD" to really mean "high clearance vehicle" since there are rarely traction problems. With Como Road this is not the case; we took a sedan and a 2WD SUV up and the SUV couldn’t get any further than the sedan. It just spun on the rocks. You want traction
Posted By: boudreaux
Info: What can I say about Lake Como Rd, BUMPY RIDE! The road is what it is. Backpacking in is usually rough going especially on a ground up road. The way down is awful to say the least. Been a long while since I backpacked and the added weight made the footing treacherous even with poles. Kept getting off balance by rolling rocks, etc. That is the reality of this road. The CFI really did a great job on rebuilding the trail in the upper basin, can’t say enough what a great job they did! Made a tremendous difference in the ascent for me, as the last time there was no official trail back in 2010. The traverse to Ellingwood from Blanca was easy to find and use, no difficulties at all. But there is one piece of advice I want to pass on, if you are a fit hiker and can do a 12 mile hike without any problems and 4,000’ to 5,000’ elev, I would camp at or near the TH and do the climb from there and spare yourself the agony of packing it in to the lake. Just my two cents!
Posted By: Eric Thomas
Info: This road is no joke, and a miserable hike. I made to 10,100’ (N37^ 33.685’ W105^ 33.090’) in my 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk with a mild 1" lift. Immediately above that, there were a couple of large boulders in the road that require more ground clearance. I put it in 4WD Low and locked the rear differential. No problems other than a spot of two where I had a rock hit a skid plate, mostly due to my driving and not the vehicles capabilities. Take it slow and any capable 4WD vehicle with good clearance should be able to make it here. We parked next to a stock Suburu Outback with worn out street tires. I’m not sure how they got that one up there, but it’s obviously possible. As others have said, there is parking for about three vehicles at this switchback. One other thing to note. The more serious off-roaders churned up some of the rocks while we were up there overnight at the lake. So, the road had a few new rocks on the way down that were not there on the way up. Not a big deal, but I thought I would mention it because the conditions you encounter on the way down may not look like they did on the way up. This could be an issue if you are pushing the limits of your vehicle’s clearance.
Posted By: KarenG
Info: I took my stock Xterra Pro-4X to 10,100’. The road immediately above there had several large rocks that looked like too much for a stock vehicle. It is rough but if you have some experience it’s doable to that point. It took about 45-50 minutes both on the way up and down from the turn of Hwy 150. There is room enough for 3-4 cars in each of the switchbacks at 9,800 and 10,100. It’s about 2.5 miles from there to the near end of Lake Como. There were very few cars when we went up on Tue. By the time we came down on Friday most of the parking spots were full.
Posted By: Lville
Info: This "road" is the real deal right from the get go. I took my F150 to 8800’ feet based on the info in the route description but it was hellish the whole way. For some context, I’ve driven the Uncompahgre (Nellie), Wetterhorn (Matterhorn), and Antero (Baldwin Creek) roads and I thought this one was much worse than Uncom/Wetter and similar, though different than Antero (where I rented a jeep just to go to the creek crossing and was glad I did). On the Lake Como road, I wish I had rented a jeep and then gone up to 10,000 because the road above 8800 to 10000 was actually much better I thought than up to 8800 which I didn’t know until we hiked up it. Anyway, the road to 8800 is different than the others because, it isn’t bedrock mostly and there is zero exposure, but it is full of large boulders as if they had been dumped there and then lots of nasty ruts that I suppose were formed from heavy runoff but could have been dug from other vehicles. I went *extremely* slowly and just held my breath over certain sections and bottomed out a little, and spit some six inch rocks out from under the tires that could seriously injure someone standing on the side of the road.

Several SUV’s/trucks went to 8800 and 10,000, but at least half parked much lower where the nastiness started. And that is what I would have done as well but it was so fricking hot out w/ no shade and I just couldn’t bare the thought of subjecting my son and myself to the extra distance/verticals w/ heavy backpack, so I took the risk. Apparently my truck is OK, but I will easily part w/ $230 for a jeep if I ever go back in order to have a stress free ride to 10,000 and potential big bills/inconvenience. BUT, since most of this stuff looked like fill, it could presumably be graded somewhat, making it much more doable in the future. The boulders would still exist, but the ruts could go away.

Then, just some notes on various "jaws" things. I lost track of what was .5, 1.0, 2.0, x.z etc, but some of them looked impossible to get over, but apparently the ATV’s that passed us on the way out can do it. I’m not experienced enough to try, but it looked kind of nuts. I would have liked to witness the act but I would be standing well uphill of them!
Posted By: DanW
Info: Road is snow and debris free up to the lake. Snow starts after the lake (and right at the "Road Closed" signs). Holbrook Creek is raging due to snow melt - foot crossing can be difficult.
Posted By: stevej
Info: The road is completely snow free up to about 10.3 or 10.4k. From there to the lake, the snow cover gradually increases from about 10% to 80%. The last mile or so is mostly snow-covered.
Posted By: GregMiller
Info: Snow at 10k blocks all vehicles. That will probably melt in the next week, opening up travel to more solid snow at 10.3k
Posted By: Furthermore
Info: I was able to drive 2.9 miles (~8,600) from CO150 with a stock Xterra. The road was snow packed and rocky. Due to increasing snow on the road, I don‘t think anyone could drive much further than we did.
Posted By: brerrabbit
Info: Parked immediately off of Lake Como, approximately 7.4 miles to Lake Como via GPS. The snow gets fairly deep at 1 mile from CO-150 due to someone getting stuck and making some ruts. If you can make it through that the snow does not appear to be deep and if you have a narrow vehicle you should be able to stay in the tracks which go to 9,800’ at approximately 3.4 miles in. There aren’t very many places to pull over or turn around without going into untouched, potentially deep snow.
Posted By: KansanClimber
Info: Drove my stock 2008 Outback up to 8600’, then saw a stock 2014ish Outback at 9900’ if you can make it past the rocky lower section to the metal sign at the hair pin turn, you can get up pretty high before the road returns to being steep and loose.

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