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A tremendous trail, indeed trail system, for someone looking for an introduction to high country snowshoeing in Summit County or a moderate outing in general. The kiosk at the trailhead has a map to a whole network of local trails that connect with Mesa Cortina. You can go into Eagles nest wilderness on at least two of them. When I went yesterday, January 19, 2019, Silverthorne had just had several inches of snow over the previous couple of days. The trail drew people of various inclinations. I saw a couple, like myself, using snowshoes, several people using backcountry skis, a couple of Nordic skiers, and one couple in hiking boots. It looked as though they had some trouble postholing in one Meadow, though in general the backcountry skiers have done a good job of tamping down the trail despite the fact that snow depths were up to my knees once you got off the trail and took off snowshoes. The moderate rating on this trail is probably accurate once the trail gets up into Eaglesnest wilderness but if you do one of the shorter loops it’s definitely easy. I got into the wilderness and indeed it begins to head uphill at that point. The other snowshoers pointed out to me that they did the trail as a clockwise loop which I gather somewhat mitigates the climb while meaning that you wouldn’t get up to the Gore Trail and higher elevations. Be prepared for the fact that from a couple of the open Meadows on this trail you get a view of I 70 climbing up towards the Eisenhower tunnel to the east, but if you can discipline yourself to overlook that I recommend this trail. If you have a dog, it will have plenty of company out here, based on my experience yesterday. And as for the company. though I did meet a number of people on the trail, all of whom were quite friendly, including a group of snowboarders headed to a backcountry slope they use, I had no trouble finding a parking place in the small trailhead lot because most of the folks on the trail live literally in the neighborhood. I also had plenty of time to myself, and important criterion for me. As for the trailhead, be advised to ignore Google maps when it says the trailhead is 50 feet after you turn on to Royal Redbird. In fact, it’s necessary to drive down to the foot of the hill to where the road begins to turn left and just at the corner you’ll see the parking lot on your left. And there is no reason you can’t take Lord Gore Road as a shortcut and then turn right on Royal Redbird.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked on 1/14. Very difficult hike in the winter, trail is not visible above treeline, snowshoes/poles were very helpful but we saw a lot of people going in just yaktrax. It was extremely windy on the day we went. Beautiful hike though and less of a crowd on a Tuesday!

snowshoeing
3 days ago

Uphill the first half mile and then it levels off. Pretty home through the trees and had some powder. Started off hiking and then put on snowshoes.

Amazing hike! We took our sleds and had a blast.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Pretty trail but not enough snow right now. The trail was groomed so much that we had to take our snowshoes off and hike instead.

Loved it! Spectacular

Have done this a few times in the past month, not the entire length, just a few miles out and back. Beautiful and peaceful trail! The beginning is a little steep but generally after that point it’s pretty flat. Heavily wooded in some parts and trail narrows as it goes deeper into the forest. Planning to come back once more in the winter to do the entire thing then probably again in the summer to see how the trail differs.

Great hike... but do not leave valuables in car!! Notorious for car break ins....happened to me a few weeks ago.

hiking
1 month ago

With the winter storm yesterday, I was met with knee-to-thigh-deep snow for the majority of the hike, so I definitely let out a few war cries on the ascent. It was still a great experience and gave me an insane workout. I recommend trekking poles, knee-high gaiters, water resistant clothing, and snow shoes or skis. Micro spikes were almost worthless due to the post-holing, but they'll be more applicable once the terrain hardens. If you're faced with similar weather (newly fallen, powdery snow), I'd roll out with snow shoes/gaiters at a minimum.

The trailhead parking lot was well-plowed, so those with sedans and non-AWD/4x4 should still be able to access the lot regardless of the trail condition.

Hiking Quandary Peak is challenging in the winter, but its doable and fulfilling if you start early. Also, it's one of the least likely 14ers to be affected by avalanches due to the ridge trail, so that's a plus.

Nice hike in the snow. We commented that poles might have been nice for some of the icy rocks on the way down but overall the trail was well marked and the creek was really pretty!

hiking
2 months ago

I did start on the class 3 side and do the entire loop it was well worth it if you don’t mind the danger and length. I would do it again just to camp at blue lake and then hike around. Just the popular trail took about 3 hours. It will take less than 5 for an average person I think just get there early for good parking on the weekend

hiking
2 months ago

Summited 11/13/2018. Gorgeous blue skies with intermittent cloud cover. Good snow pack through the trees. Above treeline was alternating solid pack and some post-holing. We mainly followed the “Old Quandary” trail, although with the snow it was difficult to be sure we were on trail most of the time. Wind came in semi-strong gusts at about 13k and up, but oddly stopped at the summit. Gear used and recommended for winter: Waterproof Boots, Gaiters, Microspikes, Trekking Poles, Heavy Jacket and Shell.

This was our second time hiking this trail. We were here this same week (second in Nov) last year. This was a huge difference because this year was colder and there was a lot of snow. As mentioned by many the first leg, the incline, is hard on the lungs. Especially for those of us who are “flat landers”. Once you get past that, it is less difficult. Snow does make it more challenging as well but it is worth the hike. We continued for about 30 minutes past Eagles nest and turned around. We could tell it was not traveled as much. It was not crowded but when we encountered anyone it was usually dog owners with very friendly dogs. Happy hiking!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked November 10. We started at about 8am. We didn’t summit and neither did anybody we passed (probably 15ish people total). We made it to about 13,000ft but the wind was too gnarly to make it the rest of the way.
We still had a blast, had a wonderful view, and were safe. If you’re planning on summiting bring some snow shoes and a good wind jacket and face protection! Hiking poles would probably be good too.
Definitely going to try again!

Fairly easy trail, even in heavy snow. Views and hike start to get more interesting once you pass into White River Natl Forest.

Hiked in 10/20/18. We got to the trailhead at 6:30am before sunrise and there were a few other cars in the parking lot. Entire trail had some snow, but at that time it was all hard pack. Easy to follow the trail. Crampons not necessarily required but everyone in our group used them and they helped a lot, especially above the tree line. Beautiful views from the summit with crystal clear skies and light wind. Perfect day for my first 14er!

Very quite, would probably be more enjoyable to the eyes in spring. No one on trail after beginning and decent amount of snow, afternoon of 10/26, especially after junction with the GRT. Didn’t make it to the top of the pass but attempted it, decided to turn around after snow got deep and the sun had settled over the mountains. An eerie area

on Quandary Peak Trail

2 months ago

Moderate to challenging trail. Those with knee issues or any leg issues; make certain you are
prepared with good poles and fitness level. I was not, so I learned the hard way. I’m happy I know what I need to do for the next time.

hiking
3 months ago

Climbed 10/17/18 This was my first 14er so I did not know what to expect. Once above the tree line the wind was crazy, I would guess 50-60mph. At times I would have to kneel down so I didn’t get blown over. Very Icy and deep snow at summit, I was just wearing hiking boots but I managed. Was snowing on top and glad I left early because it looked like it got worse on way down. All and all a great first for me.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked 10-13-18. Hit the trailhead around 0715 with barely any cars in the upper lot we were able to find convenient parking. The trail had about six inches of hard packed snow below tree line. Once you break through tree line there was a bit more snow but still hard packed. No need for snow shoes at any point the whole ascent. We did throw on micro spikes for the last 1000 feet of ascent and they were useful but not required. Wind picked up considerably on the summit and wasn't a fun place to spend more than ten minutes. A few more snow storms and snow shoes and/or spikes would be a great idea. Plenty of people who were not prepared or dressed for the elements, this always amazes me. All told, approximately 4.5 hours to summit and return to the car.

Fun trail. Nice views and follows creek most of the way up.

hiking
3 months ago

hiked 10-13-18. started at 9:20am. trail parking was already in overflow. first part of the trail was pretty icy. I would say overall 95% of the trail was packed snow or ice. only a few sections climbing up the rocks above tree line were dry. we did not use spikes but I would say 50% of the people we saw were using them. it was possible not to use them but was slipping all the way down. we did not make it to the summit. we decided it was not worth the risk without spikes as we saw people slipping down all the way. this is also the steepest part of the trail. as we came back down the sun had turned most of the ice and snow into slush. which made the slipping and sliding even worse. we were off the trail and to the car by 2:40pm.
we saw plenty of people later in the day hiking up in tennis shoes and not prepared for a hike of this caliber. no pack, lack of water, no spikes, etc. we even gave an extra bottle of water to one who was visibly struggling about half way up the trail. also, bring sunscreen. we did not and are paying the price. face is bright red and hurting. the wind, sun and snow reflecting sunlight was brutal.
we stopped at tree line and ate lunch. it took us 1.5 hours to get there. from there to the last 1000 foot climb to the summit it took us 2 hours. if we would have done the last 1000 climb I'm guessing another hour to the summit. on the way down I was surprised at how far it really was back to tree line.
overall this is a great hike with great views but don't underestimate it either.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is one of my favorites. The beginning of the trail is lined with many dead trees. But, the ground cover and aspens are gorgeous in the fall! There is about a mile of steep incline. Otherwise the trail is fairly moderate. The last lake is about a mile from the first lake, but it is definitely worth the time and steps!

Five stars for the hike. It's a beautiful lake with many aspens, and pretty short, so most anyone can walk around the entire thing and get the experience of a natural lake in an alpine setting.

However, negative four stars for the drive getting there. The last two miles is a dirt road with lots of ruts and small potholes. I saw large SUV's and trucks just cruising along, but anyone in a sedan and a fear of blowing a tire should be wary. Also, the road is so narrow at points that I was surprised that two cars could pass, esp. since the drop-off was very steep with no guardrail.

Hiked 10/7. Started at 8:30am., summit by 11:20am. Very windy most of the way. Strenuous hike.

Summited Oct 6.
Snowy clouds above treeline blanketed pretty much everything you could see. Thankfully it cleared a little at the peak! The entire trip took us about 6 hours with stops and very little time spent at the summit due to freezing winds. I did this hike with trail runners and no micro-spikes but today was probably the last day that's suitable footwear.

hiking
3 months ago

We hike QP on September 17, 2018- It was as advertised- beautiful views, open air, and rocky. We flew in from PA and strongly recommend taking a couple days of the altitude in prior to the hike. Also- we were in really good shape- and this hike challenged us. The altitude forced us to take a break about every 5-10 mins as we ascended near the peak- the pressure is intense. Its all worth it- but hydrate and take breaks. The climb down is LONG bc you are physically tired- both of our hands were swollen. I would do this hike again but def dont want newbies to think its a walk in the park. Enjoy!

Oct 5th my son Morgan and I completed. Spectacular views great weather , a bit cold very windy. Took six hours round trip. Lots of stops. It is a tuff trek.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was to ascend my 4th 14er- expecting it to be a bit easier than Mt Belford and Mt Oxford which I also climbed this year. Quandary Peak was a steep elevation gain in a short distance- thus the nearly constant climbing. At 58 yrs old, it was a challenge but enjoyable all the same!

Finished the ascent in 3 hours and 10 minutes- 2 hours and 30 minutes to get down. Left the trailhead at 7am and was moving along as quickly as possible as a chance of rain was predicted for 11:30am. As it turned out- at the summit, the clouds were beginning to roll in and as I began my descent- the grapple began to fall! The wind was high today- also making it slightly cold and precarious at the top every once in a while.

The trail is well marked and maintained as 14er trails go- with some difficulty staying on Trail when traversing the rock and boulder field toward the top. There were about 15-20 fellow hikers on the trail today- a welcomed reality since I was hiking alone. This is a great trail but the 2+ hours exposed to the elements could be risky on a bad weather day! Today, small patches of snow but no ice- so a non-factor.

Overall, a great hike- wish I had seen the famous Quandary goats and sheep, though!

Lower parking wide open at 6:40 on Sunday 9/30. Gorgeous views all the way up and down. Trail well maintained. No need for micro spikes today. Lots of people but everyone is so happy outside :) took us 4 hours to summit including snack stops and layering on and off.

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