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: goingup
Info: If you want to be terrified, walk up the Como road from 8,000 feet at 2 a.m. There is a gorgeous mangled rotting deer directly on the road. Lots of people camping around it to. Looked like an epic place to spend Labor Day.
Posted By: willyb
Info: This road is nasty, and not much fun to hike. We parked about 1 mile into the Lake Como Road turn off from Highway 150 due to clearance and started hiking at about 5pm on Friday. By 10:30 we realized we weren’t going to make it to Lake Como before the thunderstorm came in so we stopped to camp for the night and finished in the morning. All in all it took us more time to hike to Lake Como one-way (~7 and 1/2 hours) then it did to hike Ellingwood and Blanca round-trip (6 and 1/2 hours). My opinion: unless you have a vehicle that can get you to AT LEAST to Jaws 1, take the Zapata Falls TH. I would say any 4WD vehicle with decent clearance (trucks, 4Runner, Jeeps, etc) can make it to Jaws 1. Anything past that will have to be modified.
Posted By: 4 LO
Info: If you choose to drive all the way to Lake Como be sure to go left on the way up Jaws 2. All of the information and books that say to stay right were published before they built up the side around the obstacle. My Jeep with 35s and a 4 inch lift couldn’t even safely make it up the right line shown here. I didn’t know to go right until I saw some other Jeeps go that way.
Posted By: twhalm
Info: I parked about a half mile from Jaws 1 in my Stock TRD off road Tacoma. I could have made it all the way up to Jaws 1 without much additional difficulty. There are a few difficult points in the road, but any car that is as capable should be fine!
Posted By: addrock528
Posted By: RyGuy
Info: The road was heavily graded sometime in the last 6 weeks and now is quite a bit easier to get a stock SUV up to typical parking area by "Jaws .5". While we are talking about "Jaws .5", it no longer exists. Not sure that kinda machinery was involved, but it’s been ground down and now is basically a steep, fairly flat road section. I was able to take my stock 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee to the switchback with parking for about 3 cars at 10,100. After that, the road is as nasty as ever. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a nasty road, but it certainly is easier on the lower sections now.
Posted By: Dan_Suitor
Posted By: RyGuy
Info: Road is dry and can be done in a solid vehicle to 9,750 or so. At that point, it is blocked by Ice and snow. Don’t attempt to drive further. Beyond that, mostly hard packed snow with a few dry spots. It’s possible to walk on the snow without snowshoes, but expect to post hole a lot, especially in the afternoon.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Much like in late Jan; I was able to drive about 3.3 miles up the road. There were some tire tracks on the road beyond this point but not much farther, maybe 1/4 mile. The rocky hill after this point has hard packed ice on it and it appears to have been a stopping point for most.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Yesterday I drove 3.2 miles up from the Colorado 150/Lake Como Road junction. There are a couple of pull offs in this area. This is as far as I’ve wanted to drive in summer conditions! Very little snow on the road. (Stock nissan xterra)
Posted By: b0btom
Info: Was up at Como over the weekend bagging some peaks. There is a small meadow southwest of the lake with a creek running through it.

We found the bear, dead from a gunshot wound. It is decomposing in the creek. We called the forest service. Not sure what they are planning on doing with the carcass.
Posted By: hr011242
Info: No more bear. I was at Lake Como this weekend and it sounds like the bear has been disposed of, unfortunately. No bear sightings all weekend.
Posted By: jaynaa1127
Info: Hi all! Last Sunday (the 16th) I hiked Blanca with a couple friends. We camped the night before and we think One of them left her wallet at the camp site! We were at the last one on the right before the 4mile marker. If anybody hikes this in the next couple days we would really appreciate it if you took a peak at the camp site . This was her first 14er and she did amazing. I would hate for her to be upset about the wallet instead of stoked on finishing a 14mile hike for her first 14er! Please please please let me know if it is found.

Posted By: gibell
Info: I would not recommend driving above around 8000’ on this road. As a point of reference, we once walked down from Lake Como with full backpacks on, and we passed two vehicles also doing the descent. They only passed us most of the way out, near the 2WD trailhead. Thus, driving this road is similar in speed to walking!
Posted By: zsmith
Info: As a follow up, I spoke with the Monte Vista DOW office and gave them the details about the bear activity. They will notify the appropriate ranger. This issue is clearly a human problem, not a bear problem. They euthanized a different bear two years ago because of similar issues. I know tents were ransacked last year also. Human carelessness has turned this into an issue that is likely renewing itself each year. Be responsible and educate yourself about bear country techniques if you are unfamiliar with them. Most importantly, please use a canister.
Posted By: hikinsteady2
Info: Bear at Lake Como - was there for the disaster reported previous. Update - pack/remains of fly and all the trash was found that the bear took off with.
The young men who left it all didn‘t look that hard to find their stuff. On Saturday afternoon Two young men from CSU hiking with their Dad found all up in the woods - they were going to hike Little Bear the next day. They were going to try to carry it out on Sunday. Hopefully they could - way more weight then we could take on.
This is truly a human caused bear problem. Each day we made sure we collapsed our tent during the day- and hung our packs - if it is too close to tree and not 10 ft up you will get a bit or claw mark. Bear is now associating tents with food. Highly recommend only taking freeze dry food - any food products we carried up with us if it didn‘t fit in our bear vault. Bear vaults get visited but are worth the weight and expense. A group cooked "real" food on Saturday- they went far away from tents - but still had problems that night with a visit by their tents. We were there for 3 nights and ended up with just one claw mark on a pack.
Posted By: zsmith
Info: Lake Como still has a serious bear problem. A very persistent bear came into our camp repeatedly in broad daylight when we had 8 adults and a large dog present. Even after the dog treed him, he continued to lurk around our camp. Expect him to scour your camp at least twice a day. Once in the middle of the night and once during the morning while you are climbing. We packed our entire camp before climbing, put our food in a bear canister and hung our packs between two trees. He slobbered on the bear canister and managed to get a claw in a pack. Other friends had their food bags claimed when the bear grabbed the line on one side. This is all caused by careless people. The tent next to us had tuna and snuff inside and was dragged into the woods by the bear (with packs inside) never to be seen again. There were empty Doritos bags and Doublemint wrappers next to the hut on the west side of the lake. Its den is on the east side, but it doesn‘t matter because it makes rounds to every campsite. The bear is driven by sight more than smell now. Bring a bear canister, air horn and bear spray. Hanging your food is not sufficient.
Posted By: Chipmonk
Info: The road is clear all the way up. By all the way up I mean to the upper lakes... If you have a vehicle that can make it!
Posted By: mspalding
Info: Road is clear all the way past the lake to the first Blanca headwall. But bring a bear canister. Bear bags will be pillaged during the day while you are out hiking. Hanging them high and on a line between two trees is insufficient. They were safe at night during the 2 nights we were there.
Posted By: Mike Shepherd
Info: Clear of snow until about a quarter mile to the lake, then patchy snow. It‘s almost all snow when you get to the lake. The lake is mostly frozen, but you can filter water from the melted areas. Beware of bears, those nuisance bear warnings are not to be taken lightly.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is dry all the way to Jaws 1, if your vehicle can make it that far. Above that, it is mostly dry to within 1/2 mile of the lake, where it becomes fully snow-covered. The lake is frozen but it‘s outlet is open and available for water filtration. All snow above the lake.
Posted By: ridergirl
Info: We drove in August 1 and out August 3. We made it past Jaws 1 and based on reports from other vehicles coming down, decided to camp just before the creek crossing. This was a wise choice. There has been considerable rain over the past few days. There were several rock slides past Jaws 2-3 that made it impassable by truck but smaller ATVs did get through. That was in the morning. By afternoon, several crazy looking jeeps had managed to get through by building, pushing, moving...whatever. You best have a super high clearance, 4wd vehicle, a good spotter and heed all the warnings posted by knowledgable motorists. This road means business. The creek is running fast and high as well, just an for your information. These photos are from Jaws 1...probably the easiest of them all.
Posted By: Unknown
Info: I could just write "this road sucks" and it‘d be an accurate report. After jaws .5 the next switchback really sucks. Big boulder in middle of the road. I‘m in a lifted Wrangler with 33in tires and I would hit the differential if I tried to straddle it. Going over it is an option, I guess. I made one poor attempt at it and slid off the boulder and nearly off the road down into a gully. This was a major p.i.t.a to back down the road at night by myself. Do yourself a favor and just park below jaws .5 unless you are driving a Sherman Tank
Posted By: esagas
Info: Summer conditions to Lake Como. Some snow still lingering around the Lake Como hotel and the camping sites, but melting fast. Deep snow and postholing in the trees on the south side of the lake.
Posted By: DrewR
Info: The Lake Como (Blanca Peak) road is clear just about all the way to the lake. There are a few short sections in the trees within a mile of the lake that still retain snow; although I‘m sure it will melt away fast. At the lake and above the snow is still thick in places and postholing in the afternoon is to be expected. The road around the south side of the lake is covered by a thin layer of snow.

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