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Como Lake Road TH

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Como Lake Road TH

Postby csmcgranahan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:31 am

I have a stock FJ Cruiser and was wondering if I should just figure on parking at 8,800' or if it is worth pressing on to just below Jaws 1 around 9,500'? I may be driving up in the dark. Likely will be making the drive Saturday night or early Sunday morning to attempt the B/E combo as a day hike so starting a little higher could make a big difference. Are either of these potential parking areas flat enough to get a decent night's sleep in a vehicle?

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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby djkest » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:36 am

The hardest part of the drive is right after 8,800', and it's pretty rough. If I had to do it again, I would just park at 8,800' and be content with that. Not worth damaging a stock vehicle on one of the many trecherous parts below Jaws 1. In both cases I parked near 9,400'. 10-15 minutes of driving saving about 30 minutes of walking.

My truck has nearly 10" of ground clearance and good tires, and yet I bonked the frame rail coming down around 8,900'. Besides that it IS narrow and you'll probably get some free rocky mountain pinstriping above 9,000'.
Last edited by djkest on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby mtree » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:58 am

When I was up there I saw ONE other vehicle parked higher than the 8800 point. It was a brand spanking new stock Jeep Wrangler Rubicon just before Jaws 1. It was parked on a level surface. Nice work, I must say. Beyond 8800 feet looks real tough in spots. Tight and narrow.
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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby Bullwinkle » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 am

I made it to 9, 400' in a stock Ford Explorer (in total darkness and alone) but I cannot say it was fun. At about 10, 500, before Jaws 1, there is a nice turn out on the left. A stock FJ should be able to make it there with some patience and driver skill.

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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby denvermikey » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:13 am

Having previously owned an FJ (miss it btw), I would say that if you are fairly confident in your driving abilities, you could make it to Jaws 1. I tend to push the limits more than others may be comfortable with but I made it that far in a stock 2001 4Runner a few years back and to the common stopping point (big left turn switchback with parking area along right side near 10,000') sometimes called Jaws 0.5 in a stock 2001 Pathfinder this year. Personally I would be fine trying to get to Jaws 1 in a stock FJ, but that is me :-D .

p.s. - oh yeah, I did the 4Runner to Jaws 1 in the dark...
Last edited by denvermikey on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby mtgirl » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:18 am

denvermikey wrote:I tend to push the limits more than others may be comfortable with...

This made me laugh. Why do you think I got out of your vehicle a gazillion times driving up that road??? Being in the backseat was MUCH scarier than what I faced in the hourglass (and the hourglass was wet......and I got nailed with a shower of rockfall). ha ha ha ! Don't get me wrong, you're a great driver, and I was grateful to be driven up so high - but I was FREAKING OUT back there. :shock:
Last edited by mtgirl on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby highpilgrim » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:25 am

You can drive your FJ to the switchback before Jaws .5. There is room for a couple/three vehicles there if you park reasonably.

I've driven a stock Nissan 4wd PU to that point three times without difficulty. My brother drove a Nissan pathfinder up there as well.

It's rough but low range is made for that. :-D

BTW: Make sure you leave a cooler of beer in your car with LOTS OF ICE! It will likely be brutally hot on the way down and nothing hits the spot better there than a frosty Modus...

como road switchback.JPG
como road switchback.JPG (307.71 KiB) Viewed 773 times
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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby csmcgranahan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks everyone. For now I will plan on parking at 8,800' unless I am feeling a little more risky this weekend.

Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby MonGoose » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:56 pm

csmcgranahan wrote:Thanks everyone. For now I will plan on parking at 8,800' unless I am feeling a little more risky this weekend.

Don't worry, you'll still get a little bit of excitement driving up to 8,800'. :wink: FYI, there is a new sign in the lowest parking lot that says "Mount Blanca Road 5410" on the road to Lake Como.

The following sign is located around 9,000' and marks the beginning of the switchbacks. This is a good place to park.
Around 9,000'.
9kSign_0677.jpg (191.73 KiB) Viewed 671 times

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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby TomPierce » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:59 pm

Like others, I drove to 10K in a stock 4Runner (Trail Edition). Wasn't all that hard, a few places my spotter (Johnson) got out. I found it more challenging on the descent, a few scrapes on the stock junk skid plates but nothing major.

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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby oldschool » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:45 pm

I too have been to 10,000 ft in my stock 1990 Pathfinder with 300,000 miles on it. I won't even attempt Jaws 2.

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Re: Como Lake Road TH

Postby Roald » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:10 am

I just did this on Monday and stopped between Jaws 0.5 and Jaws 1. Made it to a parking area at around 10,100 ft (Lat: 37.561430, Lon: -105.551426) in my stock Jeep Cherokee without a problem. Other than brand new All Terrain T/A's, it's completely stock. There was an FJ parked right next me, so I know they can make it this far too. It's true that the road is very rough after 8800 ft, but a good driver with a capable stock vehicle can make it nearly to Jaws 1. Just go slow in the lowest possible range, and pick your lines. The haul up to the lake from 10,100 ft was awful, and I can't imagine adding 3+ miles each way to it by parking down at 8,800 ft. There are plenty of places to turn around if you need to, so personally I would at least give it a try.
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