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Lake Como 8800' accessibility

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

Postby mtgirl » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:21 am

Beaker wrote: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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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Brad Post » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:25 am

I posted a pretty detailed report on the road a few years ago, called "Blanca Road". We had a rough ride in a '97 Landcruiser, but I was pretty confident up to ~9700 feet. Other stock 4x4s went a bit higher. I included pictures of most of the decision points.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby illusion7il » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:39 am

My stock Jeep Compass (8.1" Ground Clearance) had a hard enough time just making it to 8,050 Ft. I believe the easy 2WD pull offs are at about 7,700. Like many of the 14er 4WD roads, you can about walk them as fast as you can drive them without the risk of damaging your vehicle unless your driving a Tank.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby alsrun » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:53 am

I have an FJ Cruiser that I take in 2.6 miles from Rte. 150 and park it on either side just past the barbwire fence on the right. That leaves about a 4.5 mile hike to the lake. "BEAKER", last week I came upon two mtn. bikers that turned around about a half mile past where I parked. They were not having fun on that loose rock that completely covers that road.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby TomPierce » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:31 am

I was up there a few weeks ago and drove my stock (it's a 2013, only a few weeks since purchase...) Toyota 4Runner up to the base of Jaws 1 with no great struggle. Didn't engage the rear diff locker at all, we were sort of holding that in reserve. Sure, bumpy as hell in spots, a few spotting sessions, one relatively minor scrape as I recall on the ascent, but not all that difficult. The devil on my left shoulder and I really wanted to go past Jaws 1, but the angel on my right shoulder said I should wait until I had better armor underneath (it has stock skid plates but they're just sheet metal). Since that trip I've ordered in some really beefy stainless steel 3/16" skid plates from BudBuilt, now sitting in my garage waiting for time to install, and late last week I ordered some better A/T tires in a slightly bumped-up size (32"+; the stock tires were 31"+). Those should be in today or tomorrow. That's about all the mods I foresee. Note that I think the descent was harder; in a car with a short hood (e.g. Jeep Wrangler) the vision impairment probably isn't too bad, but in a 4Runner the vision is restricted by the longer hood on steep descents. Thanks Barry (Johnson) for the superb spotting.

As to the original post, the section from the highway for about a mile is very easy dirt road. It then shifts to "baby head" cobbles after that which are bumpy but pretty rounded and not very high. I know I could have gotten my old Acura (Honda Accord-ish) that high, but that car also took a lot of abuse. Nice pull-outs right above that section.

I'm not a great mountain biker, so maybe those who are would disagree, but I think a MB on the Como road would be really tedious riding, not all that much faster (if at all) than walking. It's just so full of loose rocks I think the thinner tires would be challenged. Just my opinion.

-Tom
Last edited by TomPierce on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby TravelingMatt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:42 am

I think you can make it to at least 8,600. The road doesn't gain much elevation for the first few miles, and every yard you can cut off that hot, tedious, lugubrious approach is a help.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Mtnman200 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:33 pm

In 2011, I drove a stock Pathfinder to a switchback at 9870'. I parked there rather than risk getting in trouble for tearing up my wife's car but probably could have gone further. I was happy to get as far as I did.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby lukeneedsnewsocks » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:20 pm

So from hiking it a few weeks ago, I made a few observations. From 8800, when it drops down a small hill then back up before starting the switchbacks, I feel like the road was really rough there, but then gets pretty decent (easy 4wd) for the next little bit on those switchbacks. Does this seem right to everyone or was I just really tired on the walk down? I recall thinking I could have made it up further if I wanted to brave that hill at 8800. My biggest problem with not wanting to go further at the time (or in the future for now) is how rough those rocks are getting to 8800. I need new tires on the Jeep and was hoping to make it to winter before getting new ones and those sharp rocks did a number on my fairly bare tread. It made it up fine, but before I do it again, I definitely would want to have new tires on their. I spent most of the drive really hoping that my tires would not pop from some of the rocks. I also need a new axle and wasn't thrilled about all the stress I was putting on it.

With all that in mind, I have since taken the same Jeep in the same condition over Cinnamon pass then some other random roads back there between Animas Forks and Silverton without too much trouble, so I'm either really lucky or kinda stupid.

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Re: Lake Como 8800' accessibility

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:47 pm

Beaker wrote: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.

Having hiked that road once, I'll definitely be exploring other options when I go back. I think the mountain bike would be more beneficial for the ride down, even if it is only for a portion of the road you get to use it. Next time I think I might ride/push/hump/drag a bike up as far as prudent, then stash it for the descent. Even being able to ride down some of the road would be a benefit, even at the expense of having to drag it up there. Yes, riding on the river rock would suck, although I did notice near the bottom you can bypass the rocks by walking (riding) in the weeds.

Which is what it appears the author of the TR MtGirl posted ^^^ did.
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