Bear Basin Packtrips, LLC
473 County Road 271
Westcliffe, CO 81252
719-783-2519 (phone)
866-244-4691 (fax)
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Details Crestone Climb

Bear Basin Pack Trips LLC

One of three of Colorado’s most challenging, most beautiful and seldom climbed giants in one guided adventure climb!


This adventure is designed to offer a fully supported opportunity to reach the summit of one of three of the state’s highest and most difficult peaks. Previous climbing experience is not necessary. However, we recommend that participants have some familiarity with hiking in steep mountain terrain.

We require that you are in good health and physical condition. If you are arriving from, or live at a lower altitude, we strongly suggest you spend at least five days above 6.000′ (the altitude of Colorado Springs) before attempting this climb. Also please see our five-day ‘Peak Bagger’s Delight‘ program.


Day 1: Meeting at the Colorado Springs Radisson at 7:30 a.m., we drive 1 1/2 hours to meet any other guests who have chosen to meet us at the ranch, so that we are all assembled by 9 a.m. We organize tents, ropes, food and equipment for our high mountaineering adventure. Our guide discusses expedition planning and organization of equipment, movement and balance on rock, rope handling and the belay, rappelling and safety. Instruction is supportive, designed to build confidence and alleviate anxiety. Our objective is the climb of one of three spectacular 14,000 ft. peaks located in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Range.

Accessed by a steep, nearly impassable track shown as a road on the map, we travel via 4×4 vehicle to an alpine camp near timberline at 11,500 ft. Above us tower Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, considered by many to be the most difficult of Colorado’s high peaks to climb. Nearby is massive Humboldt Peak, also over 14,000 ft. but easier to climb. After setting up camp, we may have time for a scouting hike up into the basin above to plan tomorrow’s route. Around the evening fire, we will talk about mountain safety, route selection and equipment. Depending on weather and capabilities, we will decide which peak and route to attempt the next morning.

Day 2: The first rays of the morning sun find us high above the shimmering emerald lakes in the glacier basin below. Although the route we have chosen is non-technical, we  carry rope that may be needed for support on several steep exposed sections. During early season climbs, we will use ice ax and belays on a steep snow field.

If successful, we are soon treated to a breathtaking view from the narrow summit crest. This may well be the most spectacular view in Colorado. Below to the west lies the enormous San Louis valley, as large as the entire state of Connecticut, and within it, the glistening and mysterious Great Sand Dunes- the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Far to the south we can see the Rio Grande and the pinyon pine hills of Taos, New Mexico. The massive Pikes Peak monolith looms to the northeast, and our northwest gaze finds a silhouette of many of the major mountains in the state.

After having lunch at the highest point many guests will ever attain, we head back down slowly, tired but elated, and return late to Bear Basin Ranch.

** THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY. Based upon guests’ needs and experience, we have designed custom programs to offer more intensive instruction, additional days, more difficult technical routes, etc. We have designed programs for many groups and organizations and would be happy to work with yours. (PLEASE SEE CUSTOM TRIPS).

* Due to factors beyond our control, we occasionally find it necessary to change the order or the route of these activities.

At the end of your trip you will be brought back to the hotel sometime between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. We recommend making prior lodging reservations if you plan to spend the night. If you must fly out that evening, please do not schedule a flight before 8:30 p.m., to make certain you can make your flight.

Guided Climbing Expedition – $950 (2 or more = $475 / each)
Includes horses, guides, meals, tents, & instruction.
A 3% Forest Service Use fee will be added to the cost.

Dates available upon request.

Phone: 719.783.2519
Fax: 866.244.4691


Hotel: We recommend the Radisson Inn – Colorado Springs Airport on 1645 N. Newport Rd. in Colorado Springs.
Phone: 719.597.7000 or 800.333.3333
Mention you are with Bear Basin Ranch to receive the special discount rate!

Or, if you would like to stay somewhere locally in Westcliffe, we recommend the Westcliffe Inn
Phone: 719.783.9275
( or there are several other hotels and Inns if you go looking!) Westcliffe is 11 miles west on Hwy 96 from the Ranch.

Air: Most major airlines serve Colorado Springs daily.

Car: You can drive to the Radisson Inn – Colorado Springs Airport and, with prior notice, leave your car in the parking lot while on the trip. Arrangements can also be made to drive to Bear Basin Ranch outside of Westcliffe, CO. Let us know and we will send you details and a map.

Directions: Bear Basin Ranch is approximately 65 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.
Head south on Interstate 25 to the Tejon/Canon City Exit in Colorado Springs.
urn left from the exit over to Nevada Avenue (Hwy 115) and then right on Nevada heading south to Florence (about 35 miles).
In Florence turn left at the light (Carl’s Jr.) onto Hwy 67 again heading south to Wetmore.
At Wetmore turn right at the T-intersection onto Hwy 96 heading west.
Watch the mile markers. Our turn is at the 11 mile marker, turn right (north) onto County Rd 271.
Go one quarter mile to Bear Basin Ranch on the left. Check in to the office (first log cabin on the right).

** Map to Bear Basin Ranch.

Bus: Greyhound serves Colorado Springs on a daily scheduled basis.
Phone: 719.292.6111

TRAVEL INSURANCE: We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you book a trip. This can reimburse you if you need to cancel last minute due to sickness or other trip emergencies.

___ Sleeping Bag, medium temperature range to 20 degrees F. (rented by arrangement)
___ Light sleeping pad
___ Large day pack
___ Wind and waterproof parka
___ Fleece, polartec or other brand pullover or jacket (or heavy weight sweater)
___ Polypro long underwear (bottoms may be spandex stretch pants)
___ Warm ski type gloves and winter cap
___ Windproof, water resistant pants
___ Boots, medium to heavy with stiff sole and good socks
___ Gaiters to keep out snow, rain etc.
___ Quality dark or glacier type glasses

Other Items
___ Smaller Day-pack (for use during the climb)
___ Warm sleeping bag (good at least to 30° F.) (We can rent bags for you if told in advance.)
___ Foam pad or air mattress (such as a CampRest or ThermoRest)
___ Sunglasses (all glasses must have string/elastic strap)
___ Pocket knife
___ Flashlight
___ Canteen or plastic water bottle
___ Heavy duty sun block cream and lip balm
___ Towel & washcloth
___ Biodegradable soap
___ Tooth brush and paste
___ Mirror
___ Comb
___ Hand lotion
___ Shaving kit
___ Personal medication
___ Insect repellent
___ Ice Ax and climbing Helmet
___ Personal climbing harness
___ Candy, gum or tobacco items
___ Camera and extra film (you may wish to include a disposable waterproof camera for rainy days)
___ Note pad, guides & field glasses
___ Liquor / Alcohol (placed in unbreakable containers)
___ Cash for incidentals, tips, etc.
___ Good sense of humor and cheerful acceptance of mountaineering

The weather is unpredictable; it can snow even in August, so be prepared for anything. Use the layer system of clothing, where items can be added or taken off with changes in temperature. On May, June or September trips snow and hail are common. Even if it’s ninety degrees at the ranch you should expect the 14,000 ft. peaks to be windy and cold. The most important thing to bring is your cheerful acceptance of whatever surprises the wilderness may hold in store!

Items listed on the equipment list, alcoholic beverages, and tips are excluded. Tipping is at your discretion, of course. Please direct your tip to the lead guide. Standard in the industry is 10-15% of the trip cost. We now require all guests to leave their pets at home for their safety and the safety of other guests. 

** A 3% National Forest User Fee will be assessed to each participant.


Bear Basin Packtrips –
Bear Basin Ranch –
Westcliffe, Colorado