Blanca Peak, with an elevation of 14,345 feet, is the fourth highest peak in the state of Colorado and the highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Blanca, known to the Navajos as the "Sacred Mountain of the East," looms over the surrounding plains of southern Colorado from its position at the southern end of its range, and is near three other fourteeners: Ellingwood Point to the north, Mount Lindsey to the east, and Little Bear Peak to the south. South Central Colorado is known for feeling remote and vast, and has been compared to Tibet.
Blanca is connected to Ellingwood and Little Bear by long sharp ridges, and many climbers combine ascents of Blanca and Ellingwood with a half-mile traverse along their connecting ridge. To reach Blanca Peak, head north from the intersection of Highway 160 and Colorado 150 for 3.1 miles, turning right just after the 3 mile marker. Continue up this road (past the sign marking the beginning of a Wilderness area) as far as your vehicle will allow - sooner or later, the deteriorating quality of the path will force you to stop your vehicle and continue on foot.
The trail will reach Como Lake just before the treeline, and as you continue through the valley you'll pass several more lakes and see
Little Bear Peak above and to your right. Pass through a small head wall at the end of the valley and head to the ridge to the right of the
saddle, following it all the way to the summit (be prepared for some frightening, if breathtaking, views, as well as constant winds).
This page last updated 8/15/06