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South Colony Lakes Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sangre de Cristo Range
14ers Served:  Humboldt Peak, Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 2WD dirt to the lowest trailhead. Easy 4WD (good-clearance required) dirt to the upper trailhead.
Directions:  Take Colorado 69 south from Westcliffe. Drive 4.5 miles and turn right on Colfax Lane. Drive 5.5 miles to the end of Colfax. Turn right and drive 1 mile on a dirt road to a junction. Continue straight up the 120 Road for 0.3 mile to the Lower 2WD Trailhead at 8,800. To reach the Upper 4WD Trailhead, continue 2.7 miles to parking/camp spots before the first river crossing, near 9,900. In 2009, the South Colony Lakes road was permanently closed here (gate) and this is the current trailhead. The trail starts next to the trailhead kiosk, in the parking area.
Winter Access:  Usually closed near the lower TH at the bottom of the road.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-09-02 CO 67 is OPEN. There‘s a temporary bridge in place with a restriction on vehicles wider than 11 feet. See CDOTs August 24th news release for further information ( MC.Ikema         
2012-08-19 As of 8/19, CO road 67 is closed and there is a detour in place. I believe that a bridge is out along the road. Regardless, for those of you coming North from Denver/The Springs, be advised that your cannot go through 67 South of Florence at this time. We took I-25 South to Pueblo, then West via 96. There may be other options, but this seemed like the easiest to us. Zambo         
2012-08-12 Lots of opinions about this road so Ill give mine. Long story short, my 4x4 Patriot made it just fine. More detailed: There were (for me) two tricky sections, the 2nd being more so than the 1st. The first rocky outcrop section is more about tire placement than power to get up. The 2nd is more about power and keeping traction. I put on 4x4 only for one spot - the 2nd steep rocky section which was almost too much for a 4 cylinder to handle without a running start. I don‘t have pictures of these rocky areas... my apologies. 9 inches of clearance was plenty. Id recommend at least a 6 inch clearance for vehicles that attempt this road. Of all the vehicles at the upper TH, mine was definitely on the lower side of capability there. Didnt see any passenger cars. Tony1    4      
2012-08-10 If arriving via I-25, there is a detour on co 67. You cannot get to 96 from 67. You need to reroute. Jtjohnso24         
2012-08-05 If anyone has the older version of the 14ers book, it says you can get up to within 3.8 miles of Humboldt by going to Colony Lakes. This was closed in ‘09...a fact I wish we had known about prior to going! jford    1      
2012-08-02 South Colony Rd is fine up until the lower 2 wheel lot. We parked there and hiked to the 4 wheel drive parking. Smart decision since there‘s now plenty of oil pan killers along the route. Someone drove an Accord to the top but it looked like it had some battle scars on the rocker panels. I wouldn‘t try it unless you have a good 12" clearance. You can make it without 4 wheel drive if it‘s dry, just need a high clearance. smuckerjams    1      
2012-07-29 Somehow "Easy 4WD" doesn‘t really describe this road accurately to me. There are a couple of steep climbs, the occasional softball to football-sized rocks and a few embedded boulders, one of which reached above my 8.7" ground clearance to try to carve its initials underneath my Outback (no doubt my bad choice of line). I passed a Jeep that wimped out and was turning back. Then again... there was a Civic that made it. Nuts. Glad he didn‘t get stuck and block the road. mtnrunner2         
2012-06-25 If there was any doubt, not only did the Nissan Murano make it up to the top of the 4wd trail, so did an Audi. Props to whoever drove their Audi car up there!!! No pics taken for privacy sakes. GraceU2DSummit         
2012-06-17 Trailhead is dry nearly all the way to the trailhead, with a large diameter puddle of water traversing across the entire road just before the 4wd parking lot. It appeared to be only several inches deep with no risk of getting stuck. I drove a Forester with 8.7" clearance and observed only SUVs and Pickups at the TH. Some pickups and SUVs parked prior to the 4wd TH along a few pulloffs on the road. Really only two sketchy sections on the road, with the most difficult section being about 0.7 miles in passed the 2wd TH. Woke up in my car today and my heart just wasn‘t into climbing. First time that‘s happened :/ Very few spots of snow on the mountain I would anticipate the route to be snow free. If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to PM me. It would be my pleasure to help. zdero1    1      
2012-05-25 Got the big rig to Upper TH no problem. The constrictions that Terry mentioned last month must have been taken care of/cleaned up. Shogun         
2012-04-28 Road is clear of snow to the upper TH. Vehicles larger than, say, a mid-size SUV/truck may get some damage to the sidepanels due to cleared fallen trees on either side of the road as they cause constrictions in a couple of places. tmathews    1      
2012-04-19 Just pulled into the summer TH in my Forester! Some drifts to drive through but the biggest thing to pay attention to is all the downed trees. This TH is open for business!! AndYouSeeMe    2      
2012-03-24 I was only able to drive 0.7 mile up the road. The road from the lower to the upper trailhead is a mix of ice, compacted snow, and exposed road. tmathews         
2012-01-14 Much of the deadfall leading up to the rainbow trail has been chopped (thank you to whoever did it). Trail was skinnable / skiiable from the car. There still is some deadfall past the lower TH but not too troublesome. The entire trail was super packed down (often icy) by foot travelers and sleds. We skinned but I‘m not sure that floatation was necessary to get to the upper TH as on 1/14/12. maverick_manley         
2011-12-11 We parked at the 2wd parking lot on S Colony Lakes Rd and booted/snowshoed the rest of our approach to Rainbow Trail. Beyond the 2wd parking lot, there‘s a track for another 1/4 mile or so. With 4x4 and chains, you might go further if you want to try. Be prepared to get yourself unstuck or back down the road though if you can‘t. The road probably has a good base for sleds now. Skis would certainly be a good mode of travel. d_baker         
2011-11-13 We had to put on snow chains just past the lowest 2wd th due to icy road. About 3/4 mile past where the road takes a sharp turn and it says no parking all over we were stopped. Looks like that‘s where everyone stops. There were 4 wheeler tracks from there but there was crusty heavy knee deep snow on the road from there all of the way up to the upper TH. We did a full moon hike so no real good pics. mountainmicah83         
2011-10-16 Road to upper trail head pretty much free of snow except for a couple of small patches, should be good to go until the next snow storm comes through. Dave B         
2011-10-08 About a mile after the lower south colony t.h. the snow starts. As you gain elevation it becomes deeper and deeper. But there are some places to pull over. I would say after this weekend, it would take some pretty sweet moves to get all the way home to the upper T.H. god speed. thatstite  3       
2011-09-25 The road right past the lower 2wd parking lot for some tenths of a mile is really washed down and that‘s slow going, but the rest of the road is snow-free. A 4x4 can make it no problem. There were two subaru hatchbacks at the upper 4wd parking!! Hopefully the road stays clear another two or three weeks.. JDip         
2011-09-07 With all the recent rain, the road to south colony lakes past the 2wd parking lot is definitely 4wd only. There are some serious wash outs and mud everywhere. mrschaible         
2011-08-29 Drove up to upper portion of the dirt road in a Ford Escape, wheels never slipped to engage vehicles AWD system. 2wd‘s?? Spotted a Chevy Malibu (6.1" ground clearance, fwd) that remarkably made it up around 2 miles and parked up on an embankment off the roadside! So yes, I‘d say nearly any 2wd, preferably shorter wheel based, with some clearance (at least that 6.1"), can manage this road in dry summer conditions. 5.4 miles is a lot to consider walking if you have a competent vehicle and a skilled wheel. Boomerang         
2011-08-14 Upper trailhead not accessible to most 2WD due to difficult traction conditions on steep sections. rob runkle         
2011-08-05 2wd can probably do it so long as the conditions are dry...MUST BE HIGH CLEARANCE. seeker         
2011-08-05 Easily done in a 2WD with moderate clearance. Just a matter of knowing how to drive, I suppose. JeffR         
2011-08-01 It describes the road to the trail-head as a rough 2 wheel-drive, but I actually had my truck in 4 wheel low at one point, so there are a few tough areas dssantilli         

The lower 2WD trailhead and start of the SC Lakes road. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-07)The NEW trailhead (as of 2010), at the first creek crossing. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2011-04-03)

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