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Lake Como Rd.

Intermediate
 2.2 (6)

One of the toughest 4WD roads in the country, and a rigorous approach to the Blanca Group.


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Map Key

6.3

Miles

10.1

KM

67%

Runnable

11,747' 3,580 m

High

7,750' 2,362 m

Low

4,000' 1,219 m

Up

4' 1 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

While the Lake Como Approach is technically a "road," don't take that too literally. While stock 4WD cars may make it 1-2 miles up the trail, there remain four sets of obstacles affectionately known as "Jaws" 1-4. Believe the hype, and take your ATV or walk. Winter closure is variable and depends on conditions, as the road gets a lot of sun.

Dogs are allowed if leashed, and can summit Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point. Responsible owners will not take Fido up the technical Little Bear Peak.

Runner Notes

Lake Como Road alternates between wide and forgiving and narrow and rocky. The grade isn't too bad, but the sun beating down on you'll wear you down faster than you would imagine. All-in-all, this is a doable but unpleasant run, best left as an approach to some of Colorado's more unique 14ers.


Assuming you park about 1.5 miles up, expect a 2-4 hr hike or a 1-2 hr run. Most runners will need to carry 20-30 lbs of gear for camp, so remember that you may be slower than normal.

Description

On CO Hwy 160, head east from Alamosa or west from Fort Garland. Turn north onto CO 150 toward Great Sand Dune National Park. Drive over 3 miles, turning right onto Lake Como Rd/Blanca Peak Rd. How far you can drive from here is dependent on your vehicle, off-road skills, and connection to your car's undercarriage.

Most 4WD cars with decent clearance can make it about 1.5 miles up the road before it begins to get rocky. There are plenty of pull-offs along the road, so you don't have to worry too much about getting stuck without a parking spot. Heavy duty trucks and XTerra/Jeep/FJ Cruiser type cars can make it about 3 miles, or to 8,800 ft. After this, there are four sets of obstacles known by off-roaders as "Jaws." Jaws 1-4 are passable only in highly modified cars and ATVs.

Runners should head up a clear road with occasional rocks and sharp hairpin turns. The grade is a fairly consistent 8-12% with the occasional flat spot. As the slope of the road is SE facing, it gets a lot of sun, and even a leisurely pace can be exhausting. Pass into the trees before the obstacles start to get some much-needed shade. Continue along the trail, up past all four sets of obstacles, before rounding a final right turn and reaching a rocky ramp up to Lake Como.

Flora & Fauna

Lake Como is famous for pesky bears, marmots, and pikas. Protect your food! Fortunately, the wildflowers, aspens, willows, and conifers won't get in your way as much as the critters might.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  2.2 from 6 votes

#36818

Overall
  2.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
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3 Star
50%
2 Star
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1 Star
33%
Trail Rankings

#2,774

in Colorado

#36,818

Overall
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5,127 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Camping at Lake Como
Sep 4, 2018 near Alamosa…, CO
One of the "Jaws" obstacles. No, your car probably can't clear it.
Mar 5, 2015 near Alamosa…, CO
Nearing Lake Como at dusk, with Little Bear Peak in the distance.
Mar 5, 2015 near Alamosa…, CO
Typical Lake Como trail.
Mar 5, 2015 near Alamosa…, CO

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Nov 5, 2019
Robert Moore