Little Bear Peak

Featured photo of Little Bear Peak

Little Bear Peak, which is southwest of Blanca Peak, is one of Colorado's hardest fourteeners. The only approach available to the public is via the Lake Como Road. The easiest route is the West Ridge, with the crux being an hourglass-shaped gully often referred to as "The Bowling Alley." The steepest Class 4 section is on solid rock, but the less steep portion above the gully contains a lot of loose rock, which is easily knocked down into the gully. This is definitely a place to wear a helmet. Many climbers prefer to rappel down the gully. The ridge traverse to Blanca Peak is one of Colorado's "Four Great Fourteener Traverses," and is usually considered the most difficult of the four.

Elevation (feet): 14,037
Elevation (meters): 4,279
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Sangre de Cristo Range
State: Colorado
Latitude: 37.5667
Longitude: -105.497
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1888
First successful climber(s): Charles Fay & J.R. Edmands
Nearest major airport: Colorado Springs
Convenient Center: Walsenburg

Thanks to Kirk Mallory for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 14 trip reports for Little Bear Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21812 - by Patrick L. Lilly on Nov 13, 2009
    Standard hourglass route from Lake Como, where Trisha and I camped the night before. Pre-sunrise start; ascent took 5 hours. Clear skies on the way up, graupel on the way down. Fourteener #48 for me,...
  • Log #11242 - by Dan Bowers & Peter C. Key on Aug 09, 2004
    Great climb, make sure you are first on trail. The rocks that come down the hourglass are no joke. Check out our webpage for pictures and the story of our climb. http://www.
  • Log #11243 - by Joe Prescott on July 07, 2004
    My wife, dog and I hiked up to Como lake and camped. It rained overnight and I woke up at 4 am, ate 2 Clif Bars, packed and headed out. I reached the base of the scree shute at 4:30 and met a guy and...
  • Log #11244 - by Ryan Badtke on May 24, 2004
    Spring is definately the best time to climb this peak. We started at 3:30 a.m. from Lake Como where we camped and started up the ridge couloir. Made it to the hourglass before the sun rose and...
  • Log #11245 - by robert marshall on Feb 21, 2004
    As I am new to hiking fourteeners I have only hiked pikes peak,longs peak and little bear I haven't had much experience, little bear had more ice and snow than i expected. the loose talus and scree...
  • Log #11246 - by Joel on Sep 17, 2003
    It was a beautiful morning. Solid climbing and an early start allowed my partner and I to be on the summit by 9:30, and continue on to Blanca and Ellingwood. Great mountain!!!
  • Log #11247 - by Scott Kelley on Aug 11, 2003
    Awesome climb - Hourglass was a little scary on the way down thanks to the creek flowing down and a certain climber above us who sent about a dozen rocks down - but the view was awesome! Thanks to...
  • Log #11248 - by Lew Waterman on July 08, 2003
    Did not use the fixed rope in 2000 in the bowling alley as the route was dry. Used the rope in 2003, to come down as the route was wet and it was faster and safer. Advice: Use a helmet, I almost was...
  • Log #11249 - by Carl Devendorf on June 30, 2003
    We started early about 6:30 A.M. the temperature was in the 20s F. Our approach was the West ridge and we reached the funnel by 8:30. There was still quite a bit of snow and it was frozen solid.
  • Log #11250 - by Dennis Hartwig on Jan 07, 2003
    Summitted Little Bear via the Lake Como and class 4 ridge. One of the most spectacular ridge scrambles in the rockies. Attempted ridge from Little Bear to Blanca but halfway across this awesome class...
  • Log #11251 - by Matt Kirk on Nov 03, 2000
    Greetings 14er climbers and enthusiasts. I just wanted to let everyone know that there should be a 14ers forum coming soon at If you have the time, please come by and...
  • Log #11252 - by Jason Halladay on Aug 16, 2000
    I had summited Blanca on the fourth of July, 1997. On that trip we hiked all the way from the paved road up Como Lake road to a high camp above Como Lake. We summited Blanca and Ellingwood...
  • Log #11253 - by Brian Schultz on Dec 04, 1999
    I backpacked up to Lake Como the day before and met up with climbing partner Tim Briese. Just across from the gully to the West Ridge is a great camping area and from here we left at 5:30 AM. No rain...
  • Log #11254 - by Kirk Mallory on Aug 31, 1999
    Little Bear is probably one of my most difficult peaks yet. A close second would be Capitol Peak. Most of the route was straighforward. The hardest move was at the narrowest portion of the...