Blanca Peak

5/5 (11 reviews)
Blanca, Colorado (Alamosa County)
Last Updated: 01/04/2019
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Trail Information

Highlights

Known to be one of the most dangerous and extreme roads Colorado has to offer, Blanca Peak will test both driver and vehicle ability while relentlessly stealing every last drop of mental focus one has to offer. This high-clearance 4wd route is a mix of dangerous obstacles and incredible beauty, all while trekking through the shadows of three, 14,000+ foot peaks. This trail is not for the inexperienced nor the ill-equipped. This mountain has claimed the lives of numerous unfortunate and unprepared individuals. Do not add your name to that list by underestimating this road. Drivers must traverse five major named obstacles in order of appearance... Jaws 1, Jaws 2, Jaws 2.5, Jaws 3, and Jaws 4. All the major obstacles are created from the skeletal granite bones of the mountain and present a high probability of rollover. This trail is very popular for hikers. Due to the slow pace on the trail, if you start the trail at the same time as a hiker group, it is very likely you will all end up at the end together, or they may even beat you. 33'' tires, a winch, and at least one differential locker are highly recommended for this trail.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The trail starts on the valley floor crossing 3 miles of dusty road that starts as sand and gradually increases to small rocks. Once you reach the adopted road sign, the trail begins to steeply climb up the mountain and gradually the rocks increase in size slowly weeding out the stock SUVs. A number of switchbacks provide spectacular views back into the Alamosa Valley. About 4.5 miles in, the trail levels off for a bit, you leave the desert terrain behind and enter the forest. There are several mud holes one must cross before reaching the first Jaws obstacle, and depending on the time of year, these mud holes can be quite deep. Jaws 1 will finally weed out the remaining stock vehicles and this is where the true fun begins. Climb over the granite spine and drive by several old log cabins. Cross the creek and steady your nerves for the formidable Jaws 2. This second obstacle is the start of several challenging granite obstacles all within a single mile. The terrain once again changes from being in the forest, to being on the mountain's edge. Just before Jaws 2.5 you will encounter a short tippy section that will make you feel fairly uneasy. Jaws 2.5 is a V-notch type obstacle that is fairly easy compared to the other obstacles when the conditions are dry. Very quickly after that, you reach Jaws 3, which is a two part obstacle where the first part has a bypass if needed, but the second part does not. These two granite ledges are the last obstacles before you reach the gorgeous Lake Como. Many people set up camp at this lake and call it a night, but there is still one more obstacle waiting for you. On the northeast side of the lake, you reach the final major obstacle, Jaws 4. This obstacle is a steep, slick, granite hill climb. Once above this, the road levels off as you begin your final approach to the end at Blue Lakes. The road is rough and slow going, but the rewarded views at the end are simply awe inspiring. You must return the same way you came.
Expect a lot of hiking traffic along this road

Trail Reviews

5/5 (11 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/01/2022

Ran this today in a tacoma with 33"s and a locked rear. No snow, only made it up to jaws 2.5 ish before myself and my buddy chickened out. This trail is is definitely one of the more difficult trails I have run. Even though we didn't make it all the way we had an absolute blast.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/22/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I’ve been up this road three times in my “pretty much” stock 2014 JKU Rubicon. My jeep easily makes it to Jaws 1 where I always park. There are at least two nice parking spots there. The two major obstacles before Jaws 1 are the “hill” at 10,000 ft (big switchback to the east) and the mud holes at 5 miles. If you’re not in a Rubicon (with lockers, lift, etc) park at 10k below the hill. The mud holes have giant hidden boulders so beware. Otherwise, it’s a fun road and a good test for your Rubi. Note: This road is more commonly known as the “Como Lake Road” but the sign at the bottom says “Blanca Peak Road.”
Trail Review: Blanca Peak - Alan Ellis
Status: Open
Visited: 08/14/2021

We managed to get to Lake Como in our mostly stock Rubicon 2dr JL on 33" tires. We didn't try to go to Blue Lake and after hiking that section, I doubt we could've done it. We have Metalcloak's skid plates and a winch. The skid plates were put to heavy use on this trail and I used the winch to get up Jaws 2.5 after sliding a bit and getting the lower rock between my bumper and muffler. I'd say our setup is about the absolute minimum you need to get up there. I wouldn't have even attempted it without the skid plates. There were a handful of places it would've been easy to cause some serious damage if things didn't go just right. On the way down, we took the bypass for the second half of Jaw 3 and found someone parked blocking most of the road where it forks off. Instead of trying to reverse, maybe turn around, and do the full Jaws 3, we managed to *just* squeeze by but got some damage to the driver door from tree branches. Please don't park here... The lakes and peaks up there are amazing and it's easy to see why this area attracts so many people.
Trail Review: Blanca Peak - Justin Rajewski
Trail Review: Blanca Peak - Justin Rajewski
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Status: Partially Open
Visited: 05/16/2021

Not sure about the conditions and not wanting to do this solo, I walked the road from the end of the main switchbacks 2.5miles to Como Lake. There is maybe 1 snowbank that could cause an issue right after the cabins, but otherwise this is open to Como. The snow any farther up is considerable, though.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/04/2020

This another great Colorado trail with a little bit of everything. Great scenery, scary cliffs, tough obstacles, lakes, streams, and cell signal most of the time... All the way up to Como lake you can still see the valley below, it's one big climb! There were A LOT of hikers (hundreds) on this trail, be courteous, most of them were very friendly and entertained by us driving up the trail. A great trail to spend a night on!

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