Explore Leadville, Colorado - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
3 days 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 my first 14er. I chose this for my birthday and did it 10/19/18. I did not complete it because I underestimated the snow and attempted it 24 hours after leaving an elevation of 10 feet above sea level. I made it to 13,523 in about 6 hours and back down in 3 hours. I had to turn around because I was going alone and I left a deadline with friends and needed to make it back before they sent a search party. I will do this again in June after acclimating for a few days.

I had 4wd so I got to drive to the trailhead at 5:30am. I met 3 young men walking up the road and gave them a ride and learned they had just flown in from Miami a few hours earlier. We all struck out at 6am but they turned back after realizing they were too tired and in no shape to hike. I learned it is really cold at 6am there, I still have fingertips that tingle.

I learned a lot and can't wait to do this again when I am a little more prepared. The mountains were beautiful covered in snow but man that snow sucked to walk in. I questioned myself all the way down then decided I was coming back to conquer the mountain as soon as I could.

Summited 2009-08-01, with my lovely wife. We camped at half moon and then left right at dawn. It snowed the night before on the upper reaches. This is an easy Class I hike but still can be an ass-kicker. Poles are helpful. Exposure above tree line at 11k means you gotta be aware of the incoming afternoon storms in the spring and summer - you still have 3k vertical to go when you leave the forest. This hike will also throw you a few false summits, hahaha. Keep on trucking because the views up top are amazingly worth it.

Summited 2009-08-01, with my lovely wife. We camped at half moon and then left right at dawn. It snowed the night before on the upper reaches. This is an easy Class I hike but still can be an ass-kicker. Poles are helpful. Exposure above tree line at 11k means you gotta be aware of the incoming afternoon storms in the spring and summer - you still have 3k very to go when you leave the forest. This hike will also throw you a few false summits, hahaha. Keep on trucking because the views up top are amazingly worth it.

hiking
6 days 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!

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!

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked 10/27/2018. Did not meet anyone else on the trail today. Snow on the road to the trailhead but still accessible via 4WD SUV (nothing dicey yet, but slow going). Just like the last post, I did not have spikes or snow shoes. Took one hour to the lake and almost as long on the return due to snow. Had poles which helped. Gorgeous area and great for a short dayhike.

on Quandary Peak Trail

22 days 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.

One of the better beginner 14ers there are. Plan accordingly for the weather.

hiking
25 days ago

My first fourtenner and a good one for first timers and beginners. Awesome view and easy incline!

Really great hike. Started at 5:00 AM and parking lots was getting full. I definitely felt the elevation. I recommend a few days to acclimate before attempting the hike.

One of our favorite 14er hikes thus far and absolutely our favorite Peak link-up! A few key points:
1. Make sure you have All-Wheel drive. The road leading up to the trail head is extremely rocky and unsafe for non-sport vehicles.
2. The trail gets fairly gravely and sandy towards the top of both peaks - so you need hiking boots if you don't want to be sliding everywhere on the descent.
3. Weather rolls in very quickly on all 14er peaks - so start your hike EARLY (8am at the absolute latest) and pack layers/gear to prepare for all weather conditions - high winds, rain, hail and snow.

10/20/18 Amazing Hike!! Views are insaneeeeee. Make sure you have a 4x4 and not an all wheel drive...BIG DIFFERENCE... We had to pull a mini out of a ditch on the road up to the trail head. Because of that we decide to park at the base which will add an additional 6 miles round trip to your hike. So plan for hitting a half marathon along with your 14er if thats the case. Our total mileage ended up being 13.7 miles. Because of the additional mileage and the time spent pulling the mini out of the ditch we were only able to hit Grays. Also if you want a more enjoyable hike make sure you bring krampons and walking poles. Krampons at a minimum. It was ice and snow for the entire duration of the hike.

Amazing but add about 2 hours more to your time due to snow. Definitely need crampons and poles. Snow is knee and higher at some points and very slippery. Took us about 7 hours return with crampons.

We hiked Grays on 20OCT2018. First off, if you plan on hiking this trail later October 1st, make sure you drive a 4WD capable vehicle to make it to the parking lot unless you want to add 5+ miles to your hike.
Plenty of snow along the trail. We hiked it without spikes or poles and that caught up to us on the way down. Other than the snow, which was the biggest issue, the hike was gorgeous! Met a couple of friendly folks throughout the trail. Even picked up three on the road up. My girlfriend was 5 months pregnant and we did our gender reveal at the top. Great time going up, miserable going down. Beautiful views!!!!

Truly amazing hike with breathtaking views from the summit. Trail had dusting of snow up to treeline. This lower section was icy on descent...YakTrax were helpful. Above treeline snow was a bit deeper, but trail is clear and doable with boots... snowshoes won't be really necessary until another snow or two. Wife and I summited with boots and YakTrax...poles are a must as traction can be difficult on the steeper sections.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

Short day hike with incredible views! We saw three other people our entire time hiking, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds you'll definitely enjoy this hike!
The road to the trailhead may be inaccessible due to snow, so that's something to consider if you are planning on hiking this during the winter. If the road is inaccessible due to snow, it may tack on an extra 3-4 miles one way.
When we went, the road had a good bit of snow on it, but nothing a Subaru couldn't handle. The snow made the hike a lot harder than it normally is. We did the hike without YakTrax/Micro Spikes or Snow Shoes, but I'd definitely recommend them due to sections of steep rocky terrain that we found difficult to grip in snowy/icy conditions.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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.

Definitely a tough one with the snow! Make sure to have snow pants and waterproof boots through it. At some points you’ll be hiking through knee deep snow. The top is well worth it if you’re determined enough to get through!

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

Wonderful hike! Took my 60 year old parents on this and they loved it. It is very steep for the last half mile, but otherwise a very gradual income. Being a jacket for the lake, the wind has quite the chill. Perfect amount of sun and forested shade on the way up.

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
1 month ago

Short but sweet! A real gem!

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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!

Like Valerie we lost the trail. We followed it about halfway around and came to a sign for the Treeline trail. We followed the blue diamond trail markers, but after a while when I looked at the map I saw we were in the middle of the loop. Anyway it was an enjoyable hike, with an easy trail.

The three seniors in my group, 79, 83, 83, found this trail very difficult. I used the elevation readings from my iPhone to calculate an elevation gain of 1,080 feet.

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