Blanca Peak

full-preview Icon
5/5 (14 reviews)
Blanca, Colorado (Alamosa County)
Last Updated: 11/01/2023

Trail Information


Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Camping Category Icon Camping
Forest Category Icon Forest
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
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.

Trail Reviews

5/5 (14)
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
Visited: 10/29/2023

Recent snow storms have blanketed the trail creating dangerous driving conditions and rendering the trail impassable.
Visited: 07/10/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I went to the upper lakes and waterfall. It made all that work getting up there worth it. I went up on my Arctic Cat Wildcat trail . Rear is spooled, front locker, on 32s. The views are like you were flying in a plane. The lakes are pristine. I still found trash to pick up. I used my winch on most of the obstacles out of an abundance of safety on the way up. I actually needed it twice. Great directions and info on the trail description.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/07/2023

Made it up to Lake Como in an XJ with 35s and 2 lockers. 35s are the bare minimum I would take up here. Scraped axles and diffs many times. Tried taking Jaws 1 straight down the middle and landed on the transfer case skid plate. Ended up going high on Jaws 1 which was terrifying because of how tippy it was. Overall the obstacles weren't that difficult but there are spots that make your butt pucker. Jaws 1 and Tippy Spot are absolutely terrifying. The bypass on Jaws 2 makes it pretty mild and didn't feel that tippy or dangerous. Glad I ran the trail but I will gladly call it one and done. This trail has very little margin for error and is not for the faint of heart.
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
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.
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

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial