Ellingwood Point Route Guide | A Class 2+ Scramble
Ellingwood Point is a fun 14er to climb in the southern Sangre de Christo Range. The peak is named after one of the most most prolific 14er climbers in Colorado history, Albert Ellingwood, who made many of the first ascents in the state (including Ellingwood Point). The standard route up to the summit is a long hike up past Lake Como to ascend via the south face. This is a difficult class 2 with a bit of exposure and more involved route-finding. Plan your trip with my Ellingwood Point Route Guide.
Ellingwood Point Route Guide Fast Facts
Ellingwood Point Route Guide
Start your trip by driving to the Lake Como Road and go until can’t get any further. The road quality will get worse, but only modified 4WD vehicles can make it to the lake. Hike up the road to reach Lake Como at 11,750 feet. You can camp here for the night if you’re doing a two day trip. Continue around the lake to pickup the trail.
Past the lake, follow the trail up the basin and over a series of moraines. You’ll pass several more alpine lakes during this section as you ascend.
Your next goal is to ascend a series of switchbacks climbing along a waterfall. This section still hosts a good trail for hiking, but the scrambling begins soon.
As you near the end of the basin, you’ll face a series of rock ledges to navigate. The trail gets a bit faint here in places but there are many cairns to help guide you through this section. Note the hard left near the top where you turn off the Blanca Peak route towards Ellingwood Point.
There is a large mining hole just above the turning point. Watch for this to help guide you. Follow the faint trail to the ridge before you continue up to the summit.
The ridge below Ellingwood is a good spot to check the weather before you climb the final crux to the summit. It’s close but it’s a solid scramble from here on out so things slow down a bit.
A few hundred feet below the summit you can see some of the large ledges and rocks along the route. Sticking to the cairned route will help you avoid the worse of these along the ridge.
At the top, you’ll have to drop down to cross a notch before regaining the summit proper above you. Take your time making this final move before you reach the final summit!
On the peak, enjoy your accomplishment! Have a snack and water and turn back with plenty of time to reach tree line before noon. I hope you enjoyed my Ellingwood Point Standard Route Guide.
Hiking & climbing 14ers is an inherently high-risk activity – do so at your own risk, and use the following best practices to help keep yourself safe.
- Research your route and bring a compass & topographic map.
- Check the weather forecast and stay home during inclement weather.
- Bring the Ten Essentials and the knowledge/skill to use them.
- Leave your plans with someone back home along with a detailed itinerary.
- Start early, and end early: Be back at tree line by noon to avoid lightning.
- Bring a buddy on your first ascent, preferably someone experienced.
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About the Author: Alex Derr
Alex Derr is a mountaineer and blogger based in Denver Colorado. He is working to climb Colorado’s highest 100 peaks, and the 20 tallest peaks in California. He created The Next Summit to share advice, stories, history & reflections from the Colorado Rockies & Sierra Nevada. When not climbing, he is managing the Communications strategy at Visible Network Labs.