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hiking
1 day ago

We did this trail on 6/19/18, and was our first 14er. My husband and I are athletic and felt this was a good trail. We left the trailhead at 7:30, and it took us exactly 3 hours to get to the summit (this includes the many breaks I had to take to catch my breath during the last mile up). We brought a light lunch to eat at the summit. I would definitely have a jacket and highly suggest gloves, as it gets very windy as you go. Our trip down was about 2 1/2 hours, but that was because we stopped a lot to take pictures on the way down. We saw lots of goats and other little critters. Overall, it was a great experience.

hiking
2 days ago

I hiked Quandary Peak on Saturday, June 16th with my father. We arrived at the trail head around 5 am. Cars were already filling up the upper parking lot. In fact, we secured one of the last spots. The lower parking lot is not too much further away, I would guess around 300 yards lower or so from the upper parking lot.

We saw a couple groups utilizing headlamps at this time, however with sunrise around 5:20ish this time of the year, I really don't see a need.

The trail starts off with a pretty steady climb through wooded hills. This is a beautiful area. As you continue to climb elevation, the trees start to thin and you get into the meat of the hike. The terrain gradually transitions into rocky footing instead of dirt path. About 1/3 of the way through the climb you are completely above the tree line.

The next 1/3 of the hike is comprised of gradual ascent on rocky trail that is pretty well maintained by local 14er groups. There are many "rock steps" built into the trail that help with footing and the elevation gain. At the final section of this part, the trail evens out for several hundred yards ahead of what we dubbed as the "final assault."

Up until the last 1000 or so feet of elevation gain, Quandary is a relatively docile hike. That changes quickly.

The last 1000 ft of elevation gain are tough, and not to be taken lightly. There is plenty of scree (loose rock underfoot, sometimes as small as a pebble) that you must navigate, and somewhat steep elevation. That being said, there is plenty of room to stop and take breaks as needed, and the people on the trail are generally very courteous about making room for you when you take a break.

That being said, the views are well worth the hike! You can see many 14ers from the top of Quandary, including but not limited to: Greys and Torreys, most of the Collegiate Peaks, Mt Massive, and others.

Overall, the hike took my father and I around 7 hours from start to finish. This was heavily influenced by the fact that we had 45 lb packs on our back and had to take several breaks on our way to the summit. In addition, I would guess that we spent around 30 minutes on the peak. Plan to build time into your schedule for this very thing!

Overall, I highly recommend this hike! All skill levels and ages are able to complete it, just make sure to accurately forecast enough time to be off the peak and well into your descent by noon!

Our first 14er! Start early in the day to avoid afternoon storms. Trekking poles were a huge help. Gorgeous views all along the trail. Definitely planning to do this one again.

I competed this loop with a friend three days ago. We started late around 6:00 and the temperature was cold enough to merit gloves and a hat. We also decided to hike clockwise, starting with Democrat and ending with Bross, probably because we were naive.

The trailhead starts at elevation and the trail quickly becomes steep. Although we pushed on at a good clip, I did not acclimate until the false summit of Mount Democrat, which we tackled head-on because we did not spot the trail that headed to the left of it. Nevertheless, the challenge turned out to be a lot of fun!

The views while hiking, and of course at each peak, are incredible. Mount Cameron was probably my favorite because it possessed such a surprising, almost alien feel to it. The stretch from Cameron to most of Lincoln was also healthily windy. I had face protection and was happy to use it.

The hike down Bross was unpleasant. It was not awful, impossible, or life-threatening, but I would not look forward to it again. It was loose scree and slippery dirt the whole way down, and we did not have any poles. We met exactly two couples who hiked counterclockwise, which I would probably do next time.

This hike was my second involving fourteeners. I never felt unsafe but I often felt uneasy. From far away, the trail ahead often looked narrow and hanging off the mountainside, but in reality it was always wide enough, and the grades down the mountain next to the trail were rarely very steep. In certain locations, I knew that there were sheer drops just beyond the trail, but there always seemed to be large rocks or something else obstructing the perilous vistas.

We were back in the lot around 11:30 and the mountains looked even more stunning in the full-blown sunlight. I highly recommend this hike, especially to those starting their fourteener journey.

By the time we were back at the trailhead, gps said it was over 12 Miles. This hike is tough and has a bit of every type of terrain. If you have hiking poles they may be helpful but not necessary. You need to park on the main road and then walk on a dirt road to the trailhead. Views from the summit are beautiful!

Stayed over at Kite Lake Campground and enjoyed solitude and breathtaking views. A chilly night and frost on our tent made for a brisk morning. Democrat was amazing, though a bit challenging at times with some of the switchbacks and snow--but drop dead gorgeous views. Cameron was fun and felt easy, compared to Democrat. Mountain goats led us up the trail to Lincoln, which also felt very doable. The trek to Bross was fairly simple and had beautiful purple and white alpine tundra that sprinkled the landscape. This would be a 5-star hike were it not for the descent from Bross to Kite Lake, which bordered on unsafe. Lots of scree, loose rock, and steep descents made for very careful and labor-intensive travels down. Overall, beautiful and unique in that you can complete 4 14ers in one day.

Gorgeous trail. Mountain goats, pika, prairie dogs, and more wildlife make for an even more interesting 14er experience. Ridgeline is beautiful and overlooks upper and lower Blue Lakes. This was an enjoyable hike. Start early, as storms will brew in the afternoons.

Incredibly beautiful views. But man, you had to earn this one. I’ve done a couple 14ers (Massive and Holy Cross) and this was probably the toughest. Shorter than the prior two, but the footing and terrain was incredibly difficult. Steep inclines, super challenging and steep switch backs.. a boulder field that seems to never end.. its one thing to struggle up, but seemed harder making it down while keeping footing. Quads, body, and soul are crushed.

That said, the views are second to none. Amazing.

I hiked Quandary on Wednesday (6/13). Left around 5am from Denver and started at the trailhead by 6:45am. I summited almost exactly 2 hrs later and was back at my car by 10:45am for a smooth 4 hour round trip (hung out for 20 mins at the summit). This was my first time hiking Quandary, but it was my 10th 14er I've hiked. Trekking poles made this hike much easier, especially for the last half mile or so climb, but not required. Saw lots of mountain goats and once you're out of tree line the views are beautiful.

walking
10 days ago

Great views! Took us a little longer to get to main trail but worth every step. Good physical challenge combined with friendly goats, spring flowers and 360 views.

Hiked (6/9/18). Started about 6:45, summitted around 11. We took plenty of breaks. Gorgeous views from the top of this mountain, but beware when people say brutal last 1,000 feet, they **really** mean it. You’re basically climbing something that’s slightly below a scramble. You don’t quite need your hands, but it’s super super steep. It’s also really rocky for the upper hike. Rock, shale etc.

We did this with our corgi, so dogs can definitely do it. There are mountain goats, so keep that in mind if you plan to bring a dog. I’d recommend bringing booties for their paws unless they’re really used to rock. Our corgi was ultimately fine, but we could tell his paws were sore the next day since we didn’t have booties for him.

Overall, glad I did it, worth the views, but I don’t have any desire to climb it twice. I’d give it 4 stars, but AllTrails has the description “would do it again” for 4 stars, and I really would rather not. Haha. That end part is rough.

The hike starting up Mt. Bross around to Mt. Democrat is not that bad. Once you get up to the top there isn’t much altitude change until coming down to the start of Mt. Democrat. After dropping over 1K feet, it can catch up to you.

Climbed this morning! Truly a wonderful hike. VERY minimal snow right before the summit. Easily walked over, just be careful coming down. A little icy, but not enough snow to hinder your hike. I didn’t need trekking poles OR spikes. As stated by hikers before me, there are super friendly mountain goats lingering around at various parts of the trail.

I stopped a lot along the way. In total, I spent about 5 hrs 15 minutes on the mountain. I was at the summit by 9:20am. (Left car at 6:15am, and made it back to car by 11:22 am. I parked in the lower lot because spots by trailhead were already taken.) I passed a LOT of people on my way up and down. Easily over 3 dozen people were having fun on the hill. I was solo-ing today, but the awesome energy of the other hikers around me was enough to keep me going.

Words of advice: just keep going if the weather permits! Totally worth it. The random stairs in the side of the mountain above tree line are annoying going up, but super needed on the jog back down.

My first 14er and a great one! Also, on the way down Mt Democrat this past Sunday June 10th, I was about 1/3 or ¼ to the exit around 9:30am and accidentally left my camera behind. It is a Sony a5100 with a black case. If anyone sees it, please email me at marydung416@yahoo.com. Reward will be given. Thanks!

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike! We left on a Saturday at 7am and the trail was crowded as advertised. Especially up on the final push towards the summit. Weather was fantastic and the views were great! There was a small patch of snow up near the summit, that I was glad a brought some microspikes up for the ascent. You could manage fine without, but the extra traction seemed to help me. I brought my dog up to the top with me, but was glad that I had some shoes for him. The trail has quite a few jagged rocks for the last 1.5 miles up and down, and I would've been scared for the pads on his paws if I didn't have a pair of the ruffwear kicks for him! Lots of people passing especially towards the top. Great beginner 14'er and the views up top are fantastic!

Hiked this for the first time this morning. Started out at 6am with my wife, 20 year old son and 10 year old daughter. My wife and daughter turned around at a little over 1.9 miles because of the extremely cold wind. I continued to the top with my son and we made it there in about 2.5hrs. It’s really a great hike, but the wind made it a little uncomfortable at times and very uncomfortable on top. We made it back to the car in good time with a round trip time of 3.75 hours.
My best advice for anyone heading up early in the morning is to have plenty of layers. Make sure you have something to cover your head and block the wind.

Started at 5:30am to get a head start! We camped out the night before and like other reviews I read, it sure is windy there but manageable. Started on Bross first and then made our way to Lincoln, Cameron, and Democrat last. Besides some wind, it was a gorgeous day out. My friend and I have pretty bad knees and so we used hiking poles—which helped a lot! Quite a few people brought their dogs as well. Great experience overall!

on Quandary Peak Trail

hiking
13 days ago

We arrived at the first parking lot yesterday at 6:30, which was basically empty. We decided not to chance checking out the roadside parking near the trailhead indicated by AllTrails, but there were plenty of spots open there too.

This was most of our group’s first fourteener, although we have been hiking around the Rockies for a few years now. It was a great choice for at least a handful of reasons: well-defined trail, short yet sometimes intense, well-behaved mountain goats, and basically no exposure.

The trail was clean, easy to follow, and fairly populated. There was minimal mud and the only snow was near the final pitch. No traction or poles were necessary but the latter are probably useful in general. We threw on our spikes to take the road less traveled on as the packed-snow trail became quite slippery when the incline was steep.

As usual, take plenty of water, sun protection, wind protection if your skin needs it, sunglasses, and some layers. Get ready to enjoy some incredible views!

Some reflections on this hike as a first fourteener follow. Let your body acclimate to the elevation during the initial gentle segment and set a pace for it to get used to. Reapply sunscreen. Have fun, breath, and enjoy the final ascent that literally goes on forever.

Please pack out what you pack in.

hiking
14 days ago

My family of 5 ranging in age from 15 to 49 hiked Quandary on 6/6/18. I would describe us all as very fit (runners, triathletes) but with zero hiking experience and from Texas. Due to our lack of experience, it was difficult but worth every minute.

We started at 6:45 (only one parking spot left at main trailhead but spots remaining at parking lot further down) and made it to the top around 11:00 which included a 20 minute break and plenty of short stops to catch our breath and enjoy the view. We had perfect weather and low wind but intense sun so definitely needed lots of sunscreen and chapstick. We all hiked in tennis shoes which was ok but make sure they still have good tread.my sons shoes were a bit older and he did slip a bit in snow patches. We also rented trekking poles from Breckenridge Mountaineers and I am not sure I could have made it down without them. There were a few small patches of slushy snow above tree line then one larger patch near summit. The snow was a bit tricky in tennis shoes but we made it across slowly. Coming down my son sled on his butt which was fun and efficient. The boulder fields are the most difficult part. Once you get past the false summit it gets very intense but with the summit in view we were able to push through .The panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains from the top was amazing and we were so lucky to have perfect weather.

Took us 3:43 to get down with a long stop to hang out with the goats. I was hoping coming down would be easier but still pretty hard so make sure you maintain nutrition and hydrate throughout.

Biggest difference between this and a marathon is that every muscle was engaged the entire time to climb, maintain balance and safe footing. Definitely exhausted and a bit sore the next day but would do it again in a heart beat!

My boyfriend and I did this hike yesterday. We started at 7:30am and were back down by 2pm. We could not have asked for a more clear and warm day for our first fourteener experience.

The final stretch up to the peak with the hardest part both on the way up and down. We did not have spikes or poles, but they did not seem necessary for any part except coming off the peak because it’s very steep and covered in slushy snow. I simply put my gloves on and slid down quickly on my butt. It was the most fun.

This trek is great because you are rewarded with views almost the whole way, and at the peak you are spoiled by a panoramic view of the vast high Rockies. Wear hats and clothing to protect your skin. The sun is intense at 14k feet.

Very straight forward hike . Started today at 7 off mountain by 1115. Steep hike up and easy trail ridge run to all 3 after Democrat . The decent down bross is not nearly as hard as people make it out to seem. Class 2 the entire way, if you have bad knees perhaps poles would help. Ran the entire loop and stopped for a bunch of pictures . Very rewarding scenery for a pretty easy hike !

Good hike to get 4 - 14’rs in one day. Road in was fine all the way to Lake parking lot . Started around 6 am and finished around noon. Views are best from democrat and Lincoln . I wouldn’t recommend stopping at cameron and not continuing to Lincoln . Not much to see on cameron . The loop over to Bross is pretty but the way down is a little dicey. I would highly recommend poles for the descent . I saw people without poles and felt sorry for them as they were falling a lot. Overall a great day and great views from the peaks.

hiking
17 days ago

Great day June 2 and very nice trail, but remember sun screen and chapstick.

Did this yesterday. Completely clear skies. First 14er. Breathtaking views! A bit muddy in spots. A lot of snow up top. Started at 6:30 am. Took 3 hrs to ascend. A light long sleeve with a vest was perfect. I Put a windbreaker with a hood on when the wind started whipping and it helped A TON. Glad I brought sunglasses and sunscreen, the reflections on the snow were killer. Forgot my walking poles in the car.. it was ok until the descent. I usually have great footing, but slipped and fell twice, lol. The poles would’ve helped! It’s pretty steep and the snow was starting to melt and get slushy on the way down. Overall, an epic experience. So glad we did it!

hiking
18 days ago

Decent views the day I went , partly cloudy. Somewhat
Uneventful climb ,pretty much walking the ridge most of the hike. You can see roads and cars the whole hike, so not the most remote hike you can do, decent number of hikers on the way. Wind was pretty ferocious as other reviews have reported, make sure you have proper gear to deal with 1-3 hours of pretty intense winds, and if sun is covered the temp can drop quickly.

Super tough for our group of 10 ranging in ages 9-49. 2 made it to the very top (including the 49 year-old), 3 more of us made it to 13,500 (including the 9 year old). But everyone else had to turn around almost half way up because of the steep incline. Definitely did a lot of snow sliding on the way down. Very exhausting hike for us. Lots of water bottles was needed. Beautiful views and great pictures!

hiking
19 days ago

This one makes you earn it. Scenic hike thru the woods to start, and then you hit the "stairmaster"(you'll know when you hit it). Elevation gain gets real once you're out of the treeline. Snow causes a bit of improv when it comes to the trail from about 12,500 on. Cairns will help you from 13,000 on, but go with with what's comfortable, and keep winding up to the left. Head too far right and you'll go well out of your way. Lots of friendly "critters" at the top, and the views were some of the best! Started around 7am and reached the summit by 12:30. Took our time with all the wind, but blue skies. Got back to the car by 3pm. Getting down to about 12,000 can take some time. I recommend sliding while there's snow.

hard hike, but it is so worth it. super windy when we got out of the tree line and the trail isn't marked very well so you have to pay close attention.

Road to trailhead is definitely manageable with a 4WD vehicle, it is in much better shape than previous years (in my opinion). There is still some snow on the trail but melting fast - I would imagine that it will be snow free within a week or two max. That being said, I completed Democrat without any additional traction. I did not go for the other peaks but they looked to be even more dry than Democrat. Hike took me about 3 hours 45 minutes trailhead to trailhead. You lose the trail for a bit when climbing the false summit, but once you are up it...its a clear easy shot from there.

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