Blanca Peak

At 14,351 feet, Blanca Peak is Colorado’s fourth highest peak and the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Blanca Peak is located at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Range. It lies approximately 20 miles northeast of the town of Alamosa and approximately 15 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Several major creeks flow from Mt. Blanca’s Peak—Holbrook Creek, which flows into Crater Lake, Blue Lake, and Como Lake, Huerfano River on the north side of the peak, Blanca Creek under the south slopes of the peak, and Little Ute Creek, which descends from the Winchell Lakes on the southeast side.

Como Lake Road, rated as the most challenging four-wheel drive road in Colorado, accesses Como Lake at 11,750 feet and provides the most common entry to Blanca Peak.

Fourteeners Lindsey, Ellingwood, and Little Bear Peak are nearby. Ellingwood Point is connected to Blanca by a short, high ridge and is often climbed in conjunction with Blanca.

Blanca Peak is known to the Navajo people as the Sacred Mountain of the East or the Dawn or White Shell Mountain. The mountain is considered to be the eastern boundary of the Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland. It is associated with the color white and is said to be covered in daylight and dawn and fastened to the ground with lightning.

Many hikers who ascend Blanca Peak begin at the Lily Lake trailhead.