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Comanche Peak

 
Comanche Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.04300°N / 105.615°W

Object Title: Comanche Peak

County: Custer/Saguache

Activities: Hiking

Season: Summer

Elevation: 13277 ft / 4047 m

 

Page By: djilk

Created/Edited: Jul 13, 2008 / Jul 15, 2008

Object ID: 421023

Hits: 4396 

Page Score: 72.74%  - 6 Votes 

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Overview

Comanche Peak in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Range (not to be confused with the better known, but lower, Comanche Peak in the Mummy range) offers good views and a fun climb that you will likely have all to yourself.

It is directly on the long north-south ridge that forms the spine of the Sangre de Cristo Range, approximately 1.2 miles southeast of Venable Peak. With some effort it can be seen from the Wet Mountain Valley south of Westcliffe. The Hiltman Creek drainage to the northeast, over which Comanche presides, is lush and pretty, with Comanche Lake and Upper Comanche Lake acting as natural reservoirs.

Getting There

From the center of Westcliffe, travel south 3.5 miles on highway 69, turn west (right) on Schoolfield Road. This road ends at a T-junction; turn left and follow the signs to the Comanche/Venable trailhead. The Comanche trail begins on the west side of the parking lot; Venable is on the north end. The National Geographic 138 map does not appear to capture the roads and trails very well at this trailhead - just follow the signs.

Follow the Comanche Lake Trail approximately 0.5 miles west to a four way junction with the Rainbow Trail (ATV). Continue straight at the junction for another 100 yards on a very strong trail to the wilderness boundary. The trail is obvious and has no further junctions until you reach Comanche Lake. You will work your way up a valley just north of the Hiltman Creek drainage, and eventually will pop over the ridge. The trail maintains a very consistent grade throughout. After roughly five miles you will reach Comanche Lake. The trail splits, with left going to the lake and right/straight continuing up the drainage. After another mile or so you will reach a pass at 12,800', which is the base of the final pitch up the mountain (the trail comes in slightly above the pass).

The other two trail routes to this point are from the west, out of North Crestone Trailhead connecting to the Comanche Trail; or from the north over the Phantom Terrace. Read the excellent description of choosing an east or west approach in the Sangres on the Venable Peak page.

Because three different trails reach this point, the North Ridge route is the most straightforward. However, the south ridge is also a class 2 hike if one were following the ridge from Fluted Peak or Point 13419.

Red Tape

The only red tape is to sign in at the wilderness boundary.

Camping

Comanche Lake is just above treeline, and there is no camping within 300 ft. of the lake, so the best campsites are slightly below/before the lake, either in one of the meadows off the trail or near (but at least 100 ft away from) the creek. No permit is required.

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