The Crestone Traverse

Cottonwood, Colorado 81131

The Crestone Traverse

The Crestone Traverse Professional Review and Guide

"How can a guide to classic scrambles not include this one? Good rock, lots of exposure, and challenging route finding combine to make this truly a classic. It is also very serious. A number of fatalities have occurred on this route, including those of experienced climbers. Escape is not easy and getting off-route can lead to an epic.

The fun 3rd and 4th class climbing can become a nightmare when covered with ice, hail, or snow. A rope is a must for this route, even if you don’t plan to use it. The traverse is often done from Needle to Peak with a descent down the Peak’s north couloir. Doing this bypasses the best scrambling of the route by rappelling the 100 foot descent off the Needle and ends the day with a dangerous descent of the rotten side of the Peak. The traverse described here is from Peak to Needle, and it maximizes the best rock scrambling and simplifies and shortens the descent at the end of the day."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
4,900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
9–10 hours plus approach time
Late June to October
11,129 feet
Trailhead Elevation
14,298 feet
Top Elevation
Rio Grande National Forest, Saguache Ranger District; San Isabel National Forest, San Carlos Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Crestone Peak, USGS Beck Mountain
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018