Hiking Humboldt Peak, Colorado – Trail Map, Pictures, Description & More

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Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: Camping | CO 14er | Colorado | Day Hikes


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Humboldt Peak in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains of Colorado is considered one of the easier Colorado 14ers, and makes for a fantastic backpacking trip or day hike. This peak is often combined in an overnight trip with Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle (significantly more technically difficult peaks). Here, we will give you everything you need to know to hike Humboldt Peak.

Distance – 11.2 miles round trip (18.02 km)
Height – 14,064 feet (4286.40 m)
Elevation gain – 4,212 feet (1283.82 meters)
Duration –  10 – 12 hours (book time dependant upon trailhead start)
Difficulty – Strenuous
Class: Class 2 Hike
Trailhead Location – South Colony Trailhead (both 2WD and 4WD vehicle options)

 

Quick Navigation:
Routes | Trail Map | Camping Info | Weather | Directions | Pictures

 

Need To Know Information

    • The road to the 4wd trailhead is rough, and requires a good clearance vehicle. Recent improvements to the road mean that Subaru Forester like vehicles can also make it to the trailhead with careful driving.
    • Dispersed camping is allowed in Sangre De Cristo Wilderness. There are many campsites utilized near at South Colony Lakes, but be sure to read on the rules and regulations here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recarea/?recid=80754

 

Hiking Route Options

There is really only one common route to the summit that we will cover in this article.

 

South Colony Trailhead (4WD) | 11.2 Miles Round Trip (18.02 km) – 4,212 Feet Elevation Gain (1283.82 meters) | Class 2

Hikers begin at the South Colony Trailhead and follow the very well marked path that leads them directly to a forest service access road. Hikers hike on this road for 2.5 miles before reaching the next junction. Here hikers will then bear right towards South Colony Lake. Once reaching the lake, hikers will come across various campsite areas that may make a great overnight spot.

Hikers continue past the first lake and ascend up the very clear and well traveled path to the upper lake. At the upper lake the trail begins to switchback up the steep slope towards the west ridge and saddle of Humboldt. The trail has fantastic switchbacks and gains elevation via a gradual but steep grade due to these switchbacks. Hikers gain the ridge at 12,850 feet. Here, hikers climb along the ridge which remains gradual and simple.

The last .2 miles of the hike the terrain gets a little more difficult in the class 2 range, but still relatively straightforward. Follow cairns and the pretty well traveled path to the summit.

We also created a GPX file of the route that you can download here so that you can make sure the route is in your GPS device or phone.

 

South Colony Trailhead (2WD) | 16.2 Miles Round Trip (26.07 km) – 5,490 Feet Elevation Gain (1673.35 meters) | Class 2

This is the same route as above, but add 2.7 miles each way and 880 feet of elevation gain. 

 

Trail Map

Humboldt Peak Trail Map

GPX Download Here

 

Camping For Humboldt Peak

There are various camping options available. It is worth noting that camping options for this hike are in the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness, so those regulations need to be followed.

The most common camping areas are by South Colony Lake. This is a busy area with dozens of tent sites with incredible views. Hikers must stay at least 300 feet away from the lake when camping. There are also campsites on South Colony Lakes road.

 

Fishing South Colony Lakes

There are lots of fish both of the South Colony Lakes. The river flowing out of the lakes also is very productive. 

 

Current Weather Conditions:

Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days. We highly recommend you check out the mountain forecast for this peak the morning of your hike.

 

Crestone, CO

Overnight
Patchy blowing snow. Partly cloudy, with a low around 11. Wind chill values as low as -7. West southwest wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.

Saturday
Areas of blowing snow before 9am, then patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday Night
Patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. West southwest wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

Sunday
Patchy blowing snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 29. West southwest wind 20 to 25 mph.

Sunday Night
Patchy blowing snow before 5am, then patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West southwest wind around 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday
Patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. West southwest wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday Night
Patchy blowing snow before 11pm, then patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers between 11pm and 5am, then a chance of snow showers and patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. West southwest wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

 

Directions & Parking

 

Directions To South Colony Lakes 4WD Trailhead:

Directions to 2wd Trailhead:

 

Additional Pictures

Views of Crestone Peak and Needle from Humboldt Peak

Views of Crestone Peak and Needle from Humboldt Peak

Humboldt Peak from just below Broken Hand Pass

Humboldt Peak from just below Broken Hand Pass

Humboldt Peak as seen from Crestone Needle

Humboldt Peak as seen from Crestone Needle

Humboldt Peak ridge to summit

Humboldt Peak ridge to summit

Looking down at the trail from Broken Hand Pass

Looking down at the trail from Broken Hand Pass with Humboldt Peak across the valley

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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