My neighbor and I had been planning a trip to the Sangre’s for some time. This was to be his 2nd and my 17th 14er. Finally decided it was to be Humboldt and we would drive down on Sat (8/10) to the Upper South Colony 4WD TH at 11,200 arriving about 11 am
Pardner rearing to go and packed into the Lower S. Colony Lake to find a camp site. We didn’t find the 4WD road to the TH too bad but definitely need a high clearance vehicle. The gate is locked at the TH and the hiking road is a rough rocky one but wide and easy to chat.
Rough hiking road from 4WD TH toward lake but not too steep The signs explaining the peaks are just before the fork. We took the right fork for Mt Humboldt as it is a bit shorter to the lake.
We took the rightside trail to Mt Humboldt
Wow what a spectacular greeting with the Crestone’s keeping a lofty lookout over the lakes and valley. Talked to several campers about possible campsites and with the ominous afternoon storm approaching decided to set up in the trees across the lake outlet stream on its SE side. Prior to this we’d talked with the Westcliffe S & R as they were carrying out a fallen climber from the Crestone Needle. Fortunately they thought he’d only injured his foot.
Glad he wasn't seriously hurt
The trees at 11,700 turned out to be a good choice; it was shortly after we’d set up the tents and ate, here came the rain and strong winds. By 6:30 we were battened down for the nite with the peaceful sound of rain and the occasional tent shake and shimmy with the winds.
The storm passed in the nite and we were greeted by a gorgeous Colo Blue Bird Day; arising at 6 and on the trail to visit the namesake of Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Von Homboldt by 6:45. All the way up to the west ridge the views of the Crestones were tremendous.
This TH was near our camp near the lake outlet As we went up the ridge toward Humboldt the peaks and ridges making up Mt Kit Carson raised their heads. I move along at a steady pace but don’t pass up the chance to take just one more shot…creature, plant or scenery. The marmots were swarming and was the first time had seen one carrying a bale of hay.
What a mustachio!
Once you reach the rocks pay particular attention to the cairns as you don’t want to go too far left on the ridge or you’ll cliff out. Found the cairns really marked the trail and once reaching the false summit continue to follow the cairns along its ridge to the top. The north face is a shear cliff. Atop we’re rewarded with a panoramic vista of the Spanish Pks (not pictured) and Blanca group to the distant south, Broken Hand Pk, Crestones, Kit Carson and peaks and valleys way north. We arrived at the top at 10 am, left 10:45 and back in camp 12:45.
Jeff and Dean - Hey we made it! Along the way up we were followed then passed by Jessica, Carla and Nathan who reign from western parts of the state and had a nice chat at the top. Good luck guys on your future excursions.
L-R Jessica, Carla and Nathan
Sticky Polemonium (Sky Pilot)
What a way to spend the Day
Ate lunch, packed up and took the same route back to the TH. Whether it was the anticipation of the awaiting cold refreshments, heavier than they should be packs or the pitter patter of a few drops, it seemed forever reaching the bridge to the parking lot. But as it does, it happened… at 4:15. High 5’s and recaps of the trip as we drove back to Colo Springs. Hope you’ve enjoyed and possibly gained some insight from my 1st report. This is definitely another one of Colo’s absolutely beautiful areas in…..The Sangre’s.