Humboldt Peak

  • Humboldt Peak
  • 4287 m.
  • 37th Highest in Colorado
  • Primary factor 367 m.
  • Climbed June 10, 2001


How to get there: From the small town of Westcliffe, go 7 km south on Hwy. 69. Take the road called Colfax Lane right, then follow it straight south until it ends in a T, go right there towards the Crestones. Just before this road gets rougher there is a road that heads south (left), ignore this and proceed straight ahead. There is parking here for ordinary cars.
The jeep road that continues up the hill is quite rough, but I had no severe problems driving my Jeep all the way to the road closure (3371 m), about 8 km, however the driving time is easily 1.5 hours. The road crosses the creek about half way, on average the second part is quite a bit rougher than the first, so some vehicles/drivers may find it reasonable to park there.
The trail from the end of the jeep road to (lower) South Colony Lake (3554 m) is about 2.3 km. This trail starts out along the left side of the river, and stays to the left in the largely flat first section of the valley. Thereafter, the trail climbs a very distinct hill to get up to the lake while curving right. In early June there was quite a lot of snow making it difficult to follow the trail. The hill has many fallen trees, but one can generally hike up pretty much anywhere as long as one stays well left of the creek.
Route description: After traversing to Upper South Colony Lake, we joined the very good trail and hiked up to the ridge west of the Humboldt summit. From here the trail basically climbs the broad ridge to the summit. One should note that the summit ridge falls off rather steeply to the north and that several (small) trails and cairns may lead you on this side of the main ridge below these final cliffs, this is not a good way, climb right and get onto the main ridge well before reaching the top section of the mountain.
Comments: I did this climb with Pål Jørgen, age 12. We did this climb directly following our climb of the Crestone Needle. We thus started from Broken Hand Pass just before 1400, made a descending traverse across to Upper South Colony Lake and reached the summit at 1615. After an easy return hike we were back at Base Camp around 1730. Another long and memorable day, more than ten hours in the Crestones.