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Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby lukeneedsnewsocks » Fri May 31, 2013 7:06 pm

Hey all,

I wasn't able to find much about this topic within the last year, and the description of the TH don't seem to answer my question, so here goes. (super sorry if it's been answered somewhere else):

Is it worth it to go to the upper TH at 8800? Or should I just start from 8000? (driving a pretty stock, decent(ish) shape 1999 grand cherokee.)

Thanks!

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby JB99 » Fri May 31, 2013 8:38 pm

Depends if you'd rather drive slowly on rocks or walk on them. You'll be going a similar pace either way, the car being a bit faster I'd guess, and much more air conditioned.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby dannymiller15 » Fri May 31, 2013 9:05 pm

Just got back from there last weekend...
You should be able to get to 8,800 pretty easily without destroying your cherokee. We did it in a stock Ford Bronco. Past that it's just as easy (and sometimes quicker) to just walk.
Bottom line, just go as far as you're comfortable with your ride. I think that road takes its toll more on vehicles, a little less on legs, IMHO.
Have fun.

Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby PattyCakes » Fri May 31, 2013 11:50 pm

I hiked up there last year, and we parked at 8,000ft. All I remember is thinking I wished I had a Jeep. It is a long hike and a lot of elevation gain if you park at 8,000ft and backpack into Lake Como. I believe it is 1.5 miles from the Lower TH to the Upper TH.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby randalmartin » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:22 am

I have often wondered about renting an ATV. I would think its short wheelbase would work well. Anyone else seen ATVs up high on that road?

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby screeman57 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:38 am

randalmartin wrote:I have often wondered about renting an ATV. I would think its short wheelbase would work well. Anyone else seen ATVs up high on that road?


ATV's routinely make it all the way to the lake. It's not a slam-dunk, though. I imagine it requires considerable experience and skill.
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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Bullwinkle » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:22 am

I did 9,400' in a stock 4WD Ford Explorer rental a few years ago in the dark (see my trip report). Had to back down from 9,500' when I encountered a large protruding rock in the center of the road, which was an experience I'd rather not do again. The road is narrow, loose and lined with briar bushes. Also hooked the A-frame on the way down and had to build a ramp to clear that rock. Lessons: I will never rent a Ford Explorer again. It had horrible side roll, poor directional stability and modest clearance. This is a poor option for TH access.

If you do have a decent 4WD off-road vehicle, there is a nice turn out at about 10,500', before the "road" gets really nasty and, basically, impassable for all but totally tricked-out vehicles.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Wyoming Bob » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:13 pm

Caveat: Been 8 years since . . . But I was able to take a stock '98 Tacoma to 10,400 without too much difficulty. That was my everyday, only transportation, Tacoma.
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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:12 pm

randalmartin wrote:I have often wondered about renting an ATV. I would think its short wheelbase would work well. Anyone else seen ATVs up high on that road?

I have ATVs and have taken them up that road many times. A warning, though... If you don't ride a lot, it can be dangerous on an ATV. There are many places where an ATV could roll sideways, etc.

But, yes, it's a quick way to get up that stupid road.
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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby wineguy » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:23 pm

I made it to about 8900 ft. in April in a RAV4, which is just a reinforced Camry, per trip report:
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13442&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include
My recommendation would depend on whether you are going overnight or just a dayhike. If you are dayhiking, the energy saved by driving a little further might be worth it. If you plan to spend the night at the lake, saving less than a hour each way is less likely worth the hassle of boulder-hopping in a vehicle. Another thought: most people are not thrilled to hike on a boulder-strewn road.
Life is a long lesson in humility. - James Barrie

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby dannymiller15 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:47 pm

randalmartin wrote:I have often wondered about renting an ATV. I would think its short wheelbase would work well. Anyone else seen ATVs up high on that road?

ATVs will definitely get you up much higher. But as Bill said, you need to be pretty experienced in a few spots - like the place where there's a plaque in memory of the guy who rolled his vehicle.
For what it's worth, we took my ATVs the first time we did the road and got to within 3/4 mile of the lake -- But ATVs do make it to the lake. When we returned down the road, some guy had managed to roll his ATV - fortunately, his rider was not too seriously hurt. You don't really save too much time when you factor in all the spotting you need do, and sometimes rock moving in a few places - but it is definitely a little easier on the legs.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Beaker » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:02 am

I was curious if anyone has tried riding a mountain bike up this road. It sounds like that may be more challenging than the long grueling hike....just wondering.
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