One of the most aesthetic and challenging Colorado 14ers.









FATMAP difficulty grade



While Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak are renowned as two of the most beautiful, most formidable, and most technical 14ers in Colorado, if you stick to the standard routes, you can tackle each peak individually with a Class 3 climb.

"Among the last of the fourteeners to be scaled.


.this remote and rugged mountain was once thought impossible to climb," writes Matt Lemke on []( To begin the standard route up the south face, begin by following the gated 4x4 road to the approach trail.

After hopping on the singletrack trail, you'll gain a low pass and face your main ascent. The main objective is to "traverse into a large gully, climb a few hundred feet, cross west over a rib, and ascend a second gully to the summit ridge," according to [](

If you follow this crossover route, you'll be able to stick to solely Class 3 terrain.

Following this route requires very careful route-finding, provided by either astute awareness of the mountains around you, climbing with someone who's completed the route before, or following careful turn-by-turn directions, linked above on

The route mapped here in FATMAP should be very, very close to the intended route, but be sure to remain situationally aware while on the mountain. One route variation climbs straight up the east gully to the summit, instead of switching over to the west gully.

While it's a more direct climb than the crossover route, this variation is more difficult and more technical, resulting in Class 4 scrambling.

This would effectively bump the FATMAP rating up from "moderate" to "difficult." Sources: