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The trailhead at the bottom of Willow Lake Trail
is fairly easy to access year-round. Dogs may struggle of this trail but should do okay.
Due to steep grades, rocky trail, and high elevation, this makes for an awful run.
This description is written from the summit of Challenger Point to that of Kit Carson Peak, as this is the standard route. More adventurous runners may opt to do Kit Carson and Challenger
via the Kit Carson North Ridge
, and descend this trail opposite the description below.
From the summit of Challenger Point, run southeast allow the ridge. Kit Carson is the massive rock formation in front and to the left. Run over just to the right of it, passing along some class 2 rocks with exposure to the right. Once you're alongside Kit Carson, continue along a narrow stretch of trail, again with more exposure, dubbed the "Avenue." This traverses around Kit Carson.
Pass the "Prow" on your right, a small turret of conglomerate rock, the other side of which is a seldom-climbed technical rock climb up Kit Carson. Once past this landmark, run around to the left, following a rocky trail on grassy ledges to a wide gully.
This is the saddle between Kit Carson and Columbia Point. Stay left for Kit Carson. Run up the gully, class 2+, for about 400 vertical ft. Aim between two rock bands about halfway up. Turn left at the top of the gully and complete a brief scramble to the summit.
If heading down this route and time permits, Columbia Point
is a ton of fun!
Flora & Fauna
Up this high there's not much but alpine grass and marmots.