Jeeping: Mt. Blanca Road to Lake Como

Labor Day Weekend I called in a favor and asked a friend with a more built up Jeep to drive me up to Lake Como. My FSJ is pretty capable but she’s not going to make it up that road, nor does the old lady need that kind of abuse. We headed up the road under uncertain skies and with a forecast that wasn’t looking particularly promising for a big day or two above treeline but since we’d made the long haul down to south central Colorado, we decided to go for it anyway.

Sprocket started out pretty excited about the ride but after several miles of rough road he was a lot less excited.

Lake Como Road (or Mt. Blanca Road, it seems to be known equally by both names) is better called a Jeep trail than a Jeep road. At many points, it was a lot more rockcrawling than jeeping. While the whole road is really rough and without a very modified Jeep or a buggy it takes some careful maneuvering throughout. The “signature obstacles” on this trail are called Jaws 1, Jaws 2, Jaws 2 1/2, and Jaws 3. They’re really creative with their names.

The photo below wasn’t even from one of the “Jaws”:

As we hung out at the lake in the evening, the skies got more and more cloudy. Since we’d hoped for a big day above treeline to do the Little Bear-Blanca traverse (one of Colorado’s four “Grand Traverses”) things were not looking promising.

As it got later and later, the wind kicked up, it spit rain and was generally pretty miserable. I was hopeful that everything would blow out by morning but we awoke to clouds hovering just above the lake. With the prospect of no views, wet rock, and wind on high ridges nothing about climbing one of the 14ers above the lake sounded like fun and we called it good with a pretty successful jeeping adventure.

Essentially, this wound up being a preview for me of the Lake Como road that I’m almost certain to be hiking next summer in a bid to bag all three of the 14ers gracing the basin.

4 Replies to “Jeeping: Mt. Blanca Road to Lake Como”

  1. Happy birthday, Beth! Hope you have a terrific one and a great year ahead. We are certainly looking forward to another year of reading lots of fun Beth & Sprocket exploits on 3UpAdventures. Enjoyed meeting you and Sprocket briefly in the Flattops in August – an unforeseen and rather astonishing coincidence!

  2. I think I need Jeep driving lessons! I just came back from Colorado, where we rented a Jeep Wrangler. It was an automatic – but I had 2 weird things happen to me driving between Golden and Twin Lakes. Near Leadville – at one point after a stop I think, it put me into 1st gear, without me touching the gear shift. Not sure how that happened. Noticed the “1” instead of the “D” and the engine was revving too high, so I figured it out (discovered the + sign next to the D on the gear shift). Then, driving up the mountain passes on that road – I swear it was struggling…this is on a highway, not a dirt road. It was on “D”, and the stick for 4WD was on 2H. The engine was revving too high – without switching up gears automatically. I could get up to 5o at one point and then it would just rev like crazy. Everyone else was passing me…lol!

  3. Hey Beth,

    I am planning on building a 2018 jeep JL. Can you tell me more about your jeep? Is it lifted and what kindof aftermarket parts are on it?



    1. It belonged to a friend of mine! It was a Sahara so a limited slip, lifted just 2 1/2” on 31s I think… My friend is really experienced and we were pretty maxed out on that road!

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