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Lake Como (Blanca Pk) Trailhead

Posted By: daway8
Info: Easily drove to the 10k turnoff just before the last switchback - not a snowflake in sight until almost 10,300ft. Road dry up until then, even the mud pits were barely damp. Just after Jaws 1 the road turns into a stream. Someone recently drove past Jaws 1 but soon after got turned back by snow. Intermittent patchy snow and dry road from there until the far side of Lake Como, beyond which everything is still fully snow covered. Enough snow to hinder vehicles for at least another week or two but not relevant for foot traffic. Stream crossing flowing very strong.
Posted By: AlpineSplit
Info: Road is drivable until just after 10K where it dips down and drives onto the north side. Large snow drifts exist all the way to the lake but it is mostly dry and walkable.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Road basically dry to the large pull-outs at 8,800ft. Just past that, in the first little dip in the road, on Friday it was half filled with snow, then intermittent snow/mud for a little bit before becoming solid snow. Decided not to risk driving solo past 8,800ft. By about 9,850ft was punching through snow halfway to my knee. Got much worse among the trees above the switchbacks. By Saturday afternoon the lower elevations were melting rapidly and someone got a small off-road vehicle to ~9,300ft (which is where I finally removed my snowshoes on the descent). Given limited parking along the road probably best to stop at 8,800ft until things melt out more (it’s going fast down low but there’s a lot of snow up high).
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: Bottom of road is snow free. Snow starts around 8,600’ but is very spotty. Road is still drivable for an additional 200’ or so, but make sure to have 4wd. Past 9,000’, snow is continuous. Snowshoes (or skis) aren’t necessary until .4 mile before the creek crossing in Chokecherry Canyon. The creek is not flowing btw.
Posted By: coopergould
Info: Drove my stock SR5 taco to a flat parking/camping spot at ~8850ft. Its slow going due to the baby heads but not technical at all. Right after this, there is a ~200ft long steep/rocky section that I didnt attempt.

However, posting this to let others know that if you’ve made it this far you can absolutely make this steep section, and its well worth the efforts. Found out while hiking the road the next morning that the road substantially smoothens out after this short steep section, and you can easily get to the switchback at 9850ft with a stock truck/4 Runner/Jeep (think the feature right after this switchback is referred to as Jaws 0.5?). Hopefully this can be some helpful encouragement for those with a similar vehicle planning on stopping at the usual 8800ft mark - send it through the short steep/rocky section and save yourself 1000vf of hiking the next day!

In the diagram, first star (with no words by it) indicates 8800ft on como road. The portion highlighted in red is the steep/rocky portion. Everything after that up to the 9850 mark is much easier/smoother than even the road to 8800ft
Posted By: bassplayer7
Info: Drove my Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (10.2" clearance) to 8800’ but wished I would have tried going further. Pretty sure I could have made it to 10k or at least to the switchback that has a large rock just above it. There were ~2 parking spots there (didn’t get the elevation). I saw a lifted Tacoma around 10300. The road matches its hype but in my view, virtually all of that started after Jaws 1. And I can confirm, this road isn’t fun to hike. ;-)

So, I suspect a good 4WD with AT tires and decent clearance should be fine going to 10k and there are parking spots along the way. Might come away with a couple scratches/dents, though.
Posted By: shapovalovm
Info: Parked in a Honda Accord at ~ 8040 only to realize that I could’ve made it to ~8100. Definitely not past that.

Saw a 4Runner park at 8800. The road gets worse starting from there really fast. Starting ~10k, I’m not even sure why you would call it a road.

If you don’t have a vehicle that can make it at least to 10k, just do Blanca and Ellingwood from Zapata. Walking that road sucks and Zapata approach is way more scenic.
Posted By: alpinenut
Info: Road still sucks. Drove a stock Rubicon to 10K. I could maybe make it up the next hill but just didn’t want to risk it. I think if you have 35s you could. Then you could make it all the way to just below Jaws 1. There is room for 3 maybe 4 vehicles if everyone is considerate about where they park.
Posted By: deepdarkseas
Info: Got my stock Outback to 8500’ before being spooked by some big ruts. The road to 8800’ is like driving on a dry creekbed. A very ambitious Subaruer may be able to make it to the switchback at 9900’, but as others have said parking and flat tent sites are very limited past 8800’.
Posted By: seanhouseworth
Info: Right after the 8.8k ft mark will test longer wheel bases, but 10k ft was manageable in a leveled full-size truck, A/T tires, and choosing proper lines. Have plenty of new dings on the skid plates, pinstripes, and cuts on tire sidewalls. Fun if you’re prepared to give your vehicle a good workout and prepared for contingencies like popped tire/overheating/reverses to pullouts, etc.
Posted By: sfreytag
Info: Drove up to Lake Como in a Jeep XJ with 35"s and 2 lockers. I would not recommend driving this road ever. It was much more stressful and dangerous than the Hourglass. Four wheeling is another hobby of mine and driving this road was something I wanted to do long before I was interested in 14ers. The obstacles themselves aren’t that bad, but the off camber nature of the trail especially around Jaws 1 and "Tippy Spot" is terrifying. The Jaws 2 is pretty mild now with the bypass.
Posted By: bryanpeck3
Info: Pretty much clear. A couple short stretches of snow at the top.
Posted By: interloper
Info: I hiked as far as Camp Commodore and encountered practically no snow prior to this point. After Camp Commodore / Jaws 1, the trail quickly became completely snow covered. I turned around here, but based on the snowmelt and weather patterns here in the SLV, I imagine that the road to Lake Como will likely be completely dry within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Road conditions:

The straight baby-head section between 7800’ and 8600’ seems looser than in previous years, very unsettled rock. There are very large ruts at the very start of the baby-head section that may deter some from wanting to go further. There is also a severely rutted-out section that prevented me from going further than 8500’, but anyone that can should definitely try to go to at least to the relatively ’flat’ section around 9600’ as there are some good pull-offs up there. The switchback at 9800’ is severely eroded with exposed rock slabs and I would not recommend trying to go past it without skid plates / armor. As always, the switchback at 10,000’ is the last place most sane drivers will want to stop.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: I parked at 7.8k feet & booted Lake Cuomo Road up to almost 11k, 4.5 miles each way. Lake Cuomo Road is 2WD to about 7.7k, where the road deteriorates into a bed of baseball-sized rocks. Road is dry and/or patchy snow up to 9k. Above 9k, there’s about 2 feet of snow. A foot trail is trenched up past the relic log cabins to where I turned around at ~11k. Due to storm clouds & severe winds, I opted not to continue higher. Saw a Suburb Outback made it a ways up the road parked at one of those switchbacks near 9k feet.
Posted By: yared0319
Info: My AWD Honda Element made it to 8300 ft, though a standard AWD vehicle / truck with a little more clearance could have made it to 9000-9500ft. Road was dry to 9500ft.
Posted By: Dignus
Info: Lane 6N closed. I had the misfortune of coming ftom the south then heading north for my hike, so I was not aware until I arrived. Signs near junction of 160 only indicate "weight limit." Turns out the limit is 0 pounds. Gotta take the long way around if approaching from the north.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Forgot just how obnoxious the baby head rocks along the first few miles are - went to 8,700ft and then couldn’t stand getting shaken to death anymore so pulled over and day hiked the peaks of interest. The Mud Holes just above the 10,200ft parking/camping area had a decent amount of water in them. Jaws 2 had a small amount of flowing water around it. Most of the rest of the road relatively dry. Surprisingly few vehicles along the way first thing Friday morning (despite the holiday weekend) but there’s been a steady stream of people driving up tonight (surprised to have reception out here).
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: Aired down to 16psi and drove 2000 Wrangler with 2in lift up to 10,200 to camp for the (Sunday) night. The worst part of the road to that point was at the lower trailhead near 8800 and above 9700 after the sharp left switchback. Most of the switchbacks below 10k were occupied but my vehicle was alone above 10k for the day. Only about ten people on all three peaks observed.
Posted By: Pedro F
Info: Drove a stock Wrangler up to the switchback at 9,850’. Could have gone further based on the Wrangler’s capabilities but this was a rental with road tires and we didn’t want to risk blowing out a tire. Room for 3-4 vehicles to park at this switchback. An F150 and an Explorer (both stock) ended up parking there as well. A Wrangler, Bronco, and Tundra that were each lifted with with off-road tires made it up to the lake.
Posted By: quebow03
Info: Drove up Lake Como road in a stock F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 with factory skid plates (FX4) and highway tires. The road is tame for the first mile or two. My odometer said we made it 4.7 miles from beginning of the trail head. That last mile or so was pretty nasty but if you’re careful and have reasonable truck clearance you can make it just fine. My biggest concern was having a blowout on that road which would have been a huge pain. Every bit you can drive up this road saves you the PAIN of hiking that MISERABLE rock trail. We parked the truck at about 9,800 ft. Only saw one other vehicle parked higher which was a slightly lifted 4 Runner.
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Stock 2011 Jeep Rubicon made it up to Jaws 1 with plenty of slow driving and obstacle avoidance; parked right below Jaws 1. Jaws 1 is around 10,450. Be on the lookout for pullouts, though, for any oncoming traffic either way (minimal but there). A few large puddles with rock obstacles about 0.2-0.3 mi before Jaws 1. About 1hr, 20 min up and similar on the way down, though we were going slow and cautious. All clear of snow - enjoy the rolling rocks and obstacles.

Don’t blow a tire, though (we stopped to help someone on the way down - luckily he was by a pullout though). Other vehicles we saw higher up: lifted 4Runner, lifted and modified Tundra (past Jaws 1 surprisingly), side-by-sides, Tacoma, other jeeps. Most made it to around 9800-10k.

Plenty of mosquitos around the lake and even slightly higher.
Posted By: cloudkicker
Info: Just a status update for the bugs. As of right now the mosquitoes arent as bad as theyve been in past years at Lake Como. We used hardly any DEET and I didnt need a head net or protection.

Late June 2018 they were unbearable at the lake.
Mid June 2021 (Willow Lake TH) also had unbearable swarming bugs.
Mid June 2022 (Lake Como) the bugs are (so far) not terrible.
Posted By: Noodles
Info: Made the drive up Lake Como Road today. Any car can make it ~1.5 miles up the road. After this point, the roads quality degrades quickly. You’ll know you’re at this point when the road gets noticeably rockier and turns from a brown sand color into a light grey/white color.
Posted By: 14ercooper
Info: Road was completely dry up to a bit past the "Blanca Peak Road" sign that’s about 4 miles from the lake. About as bumpy of a drive as usual to the 4WD "parking" that’s ~3 miles up the road.
Pretty snow covered the last few miles to the lake, though it does seem to be slowly melting out.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Monday Dec13th I drove 3.23 miles of the Lake Como road, which is 8858 ft. (This is the area shown in photo 6 of the photos above, often considered an upper 4WD TH) There had been only a little bit of snow on the road up to that point, all minor and within .2 miles. On the steep road leaving this area, there are several fairly level spots on the right (south side) of the road to back into, just big enough to park. That’s where I parked. There were tire tracks in snow on the road for probably another 1.4 miles, to 4.6 miles and 9842 ft. This is another good spot to park (and the highest I’ve ever driven up the road) in a wide space and curve in the road. I don’t recall seeing a large rock at 10.1 K, discussed in a forum thread that could be an obstacle. The Jaws 2 area seemed to be particularly torn-up to me, where the memorial plaque is.
Much travel during the summer? may have taken the previously level bottom rocks out of the road there, and it leans downward in a cliff-like area. The creek crossing at 10.7 K that washed out (photos shown below in an 8/6/21 Trailhead Conditions) might be another NEW! "jaws-type" obstacle for those driving the road; the creek crossing part is fine but its a big drop-off to reach it! There was very little water flowing through it now, and it was very easy on this (hiking) trip through. I hope this update is helpful and noticed the last report was from August. cheers, Mike Via

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