Statistics

  • Date - 06/29/2024
  • Elevation - 13,705'
  • Route - Northeast Ridge
  • Miles - 12.3
  • Elevation Gain - 4,793'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Not Applicable

Description

Colony Baldy is a Bi-Centennial and the 142nd tallest peak in the state of Colorado according to old map elevations.  After hiking West Spanish Peak the previous day, I drove up Highway 69 towards Westcliffe, Colorado, and thought I would attempt Colony Baldy the following day.  I got to the trailhead relatively late, but organized my gear and simply slept under the start next to my vehicle.

I slept ok and was hiking at 5:00 am.  The first three miles were really flat on the Rainbow Trail, which allows motorized vehicles.  If I could do over again, I'd ride four-wheeler from the Horn Creek Trailhead to the junction of the Rainbow Trail and Macy Lakes Trail.  Nevertheless, I reached the end of my trail hiking at 6:20 am and began bushwhacking through trees up the northeast ridge of Colony Baldy.

I caught short sections of use trails throughout the morning, and although the mosquitos were terrible, I made good progress to timberline and open hiking.  I didn't feel very strong and my hike from the previous afternoon may have been catching up to me.  The sky was clear and I had all day to hike, so I simply pressed on despite the slow pace.  Colony's northeast ridge is long an relentless.  However, the views of Humboldt Peak and the Crestones are really spectacular.

I made the summit at 10:00 am, which was 5 hours after leaving the trailhead.  I soaked in the views, hydrated, and had something to eat as I prepared for the 6-mile hike back out.  The weather was near perfect and I didn't see another person all day until about a mile from the trailhead on the return back to my vehicle.  I got back to the Horn Creek Trailhead at 1:30 pm for an 8 hour and 30 minute car-to-car day.  I then drove to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and had dinner with my niece and nephew

Photos

My first look at Colony Baldy on the hike in after the sun came up.


Finally breaking out of treeline and seeing the northeast ridge.


Views of the Wet Valley after gaining some elevation.


The lower part of the northeast ridge of Colony Baldy.


Looking down the northeast ridge.


Humboldt Peak and Colony Baldy about 500' from the summit.


The final section to the summit.


Humboldt Peak from the summit of Colony Baldy.


The Crestones from the summit of Colony Baldy.


Views to the southwest.


Views to the northwest.


Summit Photo


Getting ready to drop back into treeline and buschwacking.


Colony Baldy on the hike out.


Colony Baldy on the drive back to Westcliffe, Colorado.