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Kit Carson Trail

Difficult

Trail

0.6 mile 1.0 kilometer point to point
55% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 388' 118 m
Descent: -504' -154 m
High: 14,061' 4,286 m
Low: 13,683' 4,171 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 26% (15°)
Max Grade: 155% (57°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Tyler Prince

An exposed stroll between 14ers.

Tyler Prince

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

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.

Runner Notes

Due to steep grades, rocky trail, and high elevation, this makes for an awful run.

Description

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.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#5

in Crestone

#11319

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#5

in Crestone

#1,062

in Colorado

#11,319

Overall
19 Views Last Month
584 Since May 1, 2015
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Photos

Sunrise traverse of the ridge below the summit of Challenger Point.
Sep 5, 2017 near Crestone, CO
Humbolt, Columbia Point, and the Crestones on a hazy day, just below the Kit Carson Summit.
Jul 30, 2018 near Crestone, CO
Challenger Point as seen from the summit of Kit Carson. Unfortunately, it's much farther away than it looks.
May 10, 2015 near Crestone, CO
Looking back at the start of "The Avenue".
Sep 5, 2017 near Crestone, CO

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