Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle
Kit Carson, Challenger, Crestone Peaks and Crestone Needle
The Crestones & Mt. Humboldt, taken from south of Westcliffe

The Crestones are among the most challenging mountains to climb in Colorado, the Needle being a bit harder than the Peak. They are also among the most popular with folks who like technical climbs. Humboldt is reputed to be a "walk-up."

All of them can be reached by a forest service road leading 5 miles in to the South Colony Lakes area, southwest of Westcliffe. This road is also reputed to be an axle breaker, surpassed in its' ability to do damage only by the Lake Como Road going up Mt. Blanca.

There's some 3,600 feet of elevation gain between South Colony Lakes and the summit of Crestone Peak. You can hike/climb for several miles around the mountains to get there or you can go straight to the 2,000 foot rock wall and have some fun.

There are also trails leading from the Crestone area on the west side of the Sangres that make certain climbs easier. Most of the 14ers here are in the San Isabel National Forest, although the summits of Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point are on what used to be the Baca Grande, which is now owned by the US Department of the Interior and some of which is to be incorporated into the Rio Grande National Forest.

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the Crestones
The Crestones from the south
the Crestones
The Crestones from the southeast
Crestone Needle
Crestone Needle in the center
Crestone Needle
Crestone Needle in the center, Mt. Humboldt on the right
Crestone Needle
Area of the Crestones
Mt. Adams
Mt. Adams in the center
the northern Sangres
Horn Peak
the northern Sangres
The northern Sangres
weather coming in
Weather coming in
weather over the Sangres
More weather
Sangre de Cristo weather
It's probably snowing up there
more weather over the Sangres
A dramatic sky
Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado
Marble Mountain to the left, Crestones in the center, Humboldt to the right
Crestone Peak area topo mapKit Carson Mountain
Crestone Peak-Crestone Needle area map logo
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Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!
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