Rising more than 6,000 feet above the San Luis Valley floor, Blanca Peak (14,345’) and Ellingwood Point (14,042’), provide for one of the more breathtaking mountain views found in Colorado. These peaks and the Lake Como Basin are popular recreation spots for hikers, backpackers, mountain climbers and off-highway vehicle (OHV) users. Blanca Peak is a primary draw for hikers and climbers due to its ranking as the 4th highest peak in Colorado, and 7th highest in the continental United States, making it a coveted summit. RMFI broke ground on the Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point Trail Project in 2011, and finished in 2013.
Both peaks are part of the Sierra Blanca, the southern-most massif of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range within Colorado. The Sangre de Cristos are a long, narrow range running from Southern Colorado into Northern New Mexico. The Colorado portion is 115 miles long and only a few miles at its most narrow width. The Sangre de Cristo range is home to ten 14,000-ft peaks and is a popular destination for a variety of backcountry recreation enthusiasts. The Lake Como Basin and the surrounding peaks of Blanca, Ellingwood Point, and Little Bear have long held a special interest for those who have visited here. There is a rich mining history in the basin with several old cabins from the late 1800’s still partially intact.