Crestone Peak, with an elevation of 14,294 feet, is the seventh highest Fourteener in the state of Colorado, and the second highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range (after Blanca Peak). The Fourteeners of Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Humboldt Peak, and Kit Carson Mountain are often collectively known as "The Crestones." Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle are connected by a ridge which requires scrambling and rope; the two peaks are more often climbed separately.
To reach the trailhead, head south from WestCliffe on Highway 69 for 4.3 miles, then turn right onto Colfax Lane. Follow the Lane to a T in the road and take a right onto Colony Road, a rough 4WD road which you'll follow as far you can to the trailhead (there are several pullouts). The road will be replaced with a hiking trail to the right, which will take you up to lower South Colony Lake. Below the lake, you'll take the trail marked with a sign which turns left, and follow that trail up to Broken Hand Pass. From the Pass, descend to Cottonwood Lake and hike along its north side to a trail which leads right. This trail follows a stream into the basin below the Peak, and from there you'll see a red gully which you'll stay to the right of a third of the way up. Enter the gully when safe to do so and follow it up to the ridge, which in turn leads 200 feet to the summit on the left.
Note that Crestone Peak is known as one of the more dangerous Colorado Fourteeners to climb; accidents occur frequently during hikes and
lightning occurs daily in this range during the summer. As in any of the gullies in this area, you should wear a helmet in the gully due
to the danger of falling rock.
This page last updated 8/15/06