Crestone Needle

Crestone Needle is a Colorado 14er in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Range. It is part of a group of four fourteeners known as “the Crestones”, headed by Crestone Peak and also including Kit Carson Mountain and Humboldt Peak. While not as high as Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle is a more difficult peak to bag. The easiest route is the South Face usually accessed via Broken Hand Pass from South Colony Lakes. This is a Class 3 exposed scramble with a few tricky moves and is one of the more difficult standard routes among the Colorado fourteeners. The classic route is the Ellingwood Arete, a steep ridge on the northeast side of the peak leading directly up from the Upper South Colony Lake basin to the summit. It is a 5.7 technical rock climb and is particularly popular because of its inclusion in the well-known book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. Crestone Needle is connected to Crestone Peak by a difficult ridge, one of the four great Colorado 14er traverses.

Crestone Needle SUMMIT LOG peakery first ascent by scott

27 members report climbing or hiking to the summit, most recently on Sep 18, 2013. Below are trip reports and shared pictures from their climbs.

Others who’ve summited Crestone Needle

  • hauteroute
  • DandyDon
  • susanjoypaul
  • BenT
  • TI83plus
  • mdedio
  • marmot
  • justin.mckelvy
  • bmannlein
  • brianasher
  • RichardLawler

Routes Used trails & approaches

26% normal route

19% South Face

11% Crestone (Needle>Peak) traverse

11% Northwest Couloir

11% Ellingwood arete

7% Treverse from Crestone Peak

7% Down to Colony Lakes from Broken Hand Pass

3% Crestone Peak summit first, then Needle, no traverse


SNAPSHOTedit info


14,203 ft / 4,329 m


457 ft / 139 m

Height Rank Range

Sangre de Cristo Range


Colorado, United States

Peak Lists

Summited by

see all
  • scott
  • hauteroute
  • AntinJ
  • DandyDon
  • susanjoypaul
  • BenT
  • TI83plus
  • hurdles
  • mdedio
  • marmot
  • cponyicky
  • ChrisMeloche

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