Ellingwood Point is part of the Blanca massif along with Little Bear. These magnificent peaks are 10 miles north of Fort Garland on U.S. 160 and can be seen for miles from several highways. Named after the famous Colorado mountain climber, Albert Ellingwoood, Ellingwood Point is part of the Blanca massif. It is named and above 14,000 ft and is often climbed with it's more popular neighbor, Blanca Peak. Ellingwood Point is 0.5 miles northwest of Blanca and crowns the amazing northeast face above the Huerfano Valley.
Ellingwood is often climbed from the Lake Como trailhead and this is the easiest and most popular route. Alternatively, Ellingwood can be climbed from the Huerfano River trailhead as described for Mt. Lindsey but this route is more technical and less popular. The nearest towns to the Lake Como trailhead are Fort Garland and Alamosa. From the junction of U.S. 160 & U.S. 150 east of Alamosa go north on U.S. 150 for about 3.2 miles to an unmarked dirt road leading northeast. Follow this dirt road northeast toward the Blanca massif for 1.8 miles to 8000 ft. It is strongly recommended that ALL passenger cars and 2 wheel drive vehicles park here. The road continues all the way to Lake Como, but parking along the road is difficult and limited. The Lake Como road is rough. The grade is steep and is comprised of loose rock. The highest of clearance 4WD is required higher along the road and is impassable for regular, high-clearance 4WD vehicles. Hiking the road is generally faster than driving it!
Lake Como Approach
This is the standard and most popular approach to Ellingwood. Park at 8000 ft or so. The road to Lake Como is 5.0 miles and gains 3,740 ft. This is one of Colorado's lowest trailheads and can be extremely hot and uncomfortable in the summer months. It is a tough 5.0 miles up the 4WD road to Lake Como. The steep road climbs along Chokecherry Canyon and then angles northeast into Holbrook Creek. Holbrook Creek is followed to reach the outlet of Lake Como. Don't expect any water along the approach. The road rests well above the creek and access to the creek is difficult. Upon reaching Lake Como hike around the north end of the lake for 0.2 miles to some camping spots on a bench at 11,900 ft. The land south of the lake is on private property. Higher camps are a possibility at Blue Lakes about 0.2 miles further along the road above Lake Como as well.
The approach to Lake Como is surrounded by private property. Please respect the rights of property owners and avoid trespassing on any of their land.
When To Climb
Late June to early September is best for climbing. Winter climbs and approaches are longer and most likely mult-day outings.
There are camping spots all the way up the Como Lake jeep road. A high camp above Lake Como or higher at Blue Lakes is recommended. DO NOT camp at Lake Como. This is private property.
Available in links section
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- Ascent of Ellingwood Point
Excellent trip report and photos by Theron Welch
- Weather Forecast
- Ellingwood Point and Blanca Peak
- Southwest Ridge (08/15/2004)
- 14ers.com - The Home of Colorado's Highest Peaks
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