Summary: The trail starts out as an old road and meanders through the woods a bit. Soon though it heads over to the ridge of Quandary Peak and follows this ridge all the way to the summit. This trail is heavily traveled and is easy to follow. Please resist the urge to build the cairns any larger than they are. There is a small set of switchbacks just above treeline then the trail levels out again. Just before the summit there is a steep section that has a bit of loose rock on it, but its not bad and I believe CFI is working on it. The summit is not very large and on a busy day can be crowded. If you look around up there you will find a memorial to a woman killed by lightning while on Quandary. Keep this in mind when you contemplate any weather moving into the area.
Trailhead: 7 miles south of Breckenridge on CO 9 is the turn off for Blue Lakes Road. Turn right onto this road, the take the first right onto McCullough Gulch Road. Take this road for a little over a mile and watch for the labeled trailhead on the left side of the road. Parking is limited so you may wind up walking part of the road to get to the trailhead. (Lat:39.39512 Lon:-106.06022)
Trail Guides for Quandary Peak:
by Gerry Roach (Fulcrum Publishing)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Dillon Ranger District 970.468.5400
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Friesema, who has posted 97 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Chuck on 8/22/2012
In retrospect I loved the hike. If given the oppurtunity to rate it from 13,500 feet my response would have been different. Persistence got me to the peak traveling alone and that made all the difference. Others on the trail but I had no hiking companion available. Saw many Rocky Mountain Goats and took photos of about twenty of them, all unafraid of humans and grazing close to or on the trail. I wanted to note that I found a pair of prescription glasses and case sitting on a rock on 8/21/12. If anyone thinks they might know the owners, my cell number is 951 283-0502. I am in Brenenridge the rest of this week.
Reviewed by Reed on 8/21/2012
My round trip was under 5 hours. This is a great intro to 14ers. None are easy. This one in short and accessible, but you still get killed by rock hopping coming down, and seemingly never make progress going up. It gives one a good idea of the mental toughness and positive attitude it takes to enjoy climbing/hiking these peaks.
Reviewed by steven on 8/3/2012
This was my the first 14er, did the hike with my wife, 2 brothers and my nieces boyfriend(he left us in the dust). Challenging but rewarding hike, had a great time and am looking forward to doing more. We saw one mountain goat, we did not seem to bother him, he just moved out of our way on the trail when we came up on him.Again loved the hike.
Reviewed by JK on 6/4/2012
This was my first 14er. Being from the midwest, I had to take it slow, but stopping for a few minutes every now and then made it doable for me. I am in my upper 40's and in decent shape, but it was still a bear for me. This was most attributed to not much acclimation (one night in Colo Springs and one night in Breck) before making the climb, but I made it. Beautiful views from top. Many hikers, but all very friendly and encouraging. I did not see any goats. I would do it again, but after acclimating a bit and with better footwear.
Reviewed by Bob F on 3/29/2012
We did this as our first 14er last year because we heard it was easy. Easy is a relative term. It may be an easy 14er but it still took some level of fitness, determination and time. Lots of goats on the trail. A lot more people - we encountered more than 200 hikers the day we went and had to park more than half a mile from the trail head. Above the tree line are lot of rocks and your feet can take a pounding... wear good shoes or boots.
Reviewed by Brett on 2/19/2012
This is a horrible hike. My father died from lightning on it. I miss him. :(
Reviewed by Lost Husky on 1/17/2012
MISSING HUSKY "Forrest Lee" Last seen 1/14/12 on the descent from Quandary Peak. Red & White siberian Husky with blue left eye and brown right eye, wearing a brown & yellow harness, neutered 7 1/2 year old male. He is very friendly to all people and other animals. If you have any information about Forrest, please call (303) 960-7390 or (303) 669-5221. You will be rewarded. Thank you kindly, Forrest's family
Reviewed by John on 8/31/2010
I'm from the Dallas area. I only had one day in the mountains to acclimate and had a respiratory problem as well but really enjoyed this hike on August 15, 2010. I was forced to take my time and made the round trip in just under 7 hours. Views from the ridge and summit are spectacular. I was blessed with clear weather for the round trip and did not have any worries about afternoon thundershowers. I encountered a lot of Mountain Goats on the trail. They see enough people that they are quite tame and present some good photo ops. There is a lot of loose rock and the soles of my feet felt bruised that evening, though I had good footwear. I would wear thicker soled boots the next time. This was my sixth fourteener and one that I would do again.
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