Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Little Bear Peak, Colorado

Little Bear Peak's Elevation: 14,037 Feet

Little Bear Peak's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #44

Little Bear Peak is located in the Sangre de Cristo Range of mountains

Little Bear Peak requires a scramble

Best months for climbing Little Bear Peak are July through September

Click here for a Mapquest map of Little Bear Peak

Little Bear Peak, with an elevation of 14,037 feet, is Colorado's 44th highest Fourteener. This peak is also considered one of the toughest of Colorado's Fourteeners to climb, and the only approach accessible to the public is via Lake Como Road since most of the peak is surrounded by private land.

The easiest route to Little Bear's summit is along the peak's west ridge, though this route is still Class 4 (involving the use of rope and hands in steep, exposed terrain with the potential for long falls resulting in serious injury or death). The crux of this route is "The Bowling Alley," an hourglass-shaped gully into which rock and other debris from the peak's upper reaches funnel. Loose and wet rock is the most dangerous factor - a helmet and climbing experience are recommended along with rope.

To reach the Lake Como trailhead (and thus Little Bear's west ridge), go north on US 150 from its junction with US 160 for 3.2 miles to an unmarked dirt road running northeast. Follow the dirt toward the Blanca massif for another 1.8 miles, then park unless you have 4WD. The rest of the road runs all the way to Lake Como, but it's considered one of the most difficult 4WD roads in the state and parking is limited.

Due to the amount of time involved in ascending and descending this peak, overnight camping above or below the private land at Lake Como is highly recommended.

Sources:,, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2: The Southern Peaks

This page last updated 8/15/06

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