West Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.97610°N / 105.5547°W
Additional Information Route Type: hike
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


Start at the South Colony Lake trailhead. Please do not attempt traveling all the way to this trailhead with a passenger car, for this road is considered a rough 4x4 road. You can drive about 3 miles on this dirt road to the 2-wheel drive parking at 9,600 ft. Hike the remaining 4 miles, or if you have a short wheel-based 4x4 you can probably make it to the trailhead at 11,040 ft. There is plenty of free camping along this road if you wish to stay over night. After parking, find the trail heading west up into South Colony Lakes and follow it about 1 mile to the lower lake. Staying to the right of the lake, continue hiking about another half mile to upper South Colony Lake. Again, there are more camp sites along this trail, just don't camp within 200 ft. of the lakes.

Route Description

Once at the upper lake, hike north up grass and scree on a fine trail to the saddle on the west ridge of Humboldt Peak (12,850 ft). The view of Crestone Needle is amazing from this spot. From here follow the ridge as close to its crest all the way to Humboldt's huge summit. Be careful not to stray too far north (left) on this ridge or you will encounter very unpleasant drop-offs. On the summit enjoy the view of Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak (I have submitted some photos in the photo section of Crestone Needle's home page). Descend the standard route.

Essential Gear

Be prepared for an overnight stay in an emergency.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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