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
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!

Good climb with camping at the base of the mountain.

Beautiful views! A few rough points that were too steep for our kids (11,8,7) but managed to concur!

Loved it! Spectacular

Who doesn't want to hike to the highest point in Colorado?!? Several false summits, but well worth the effort.

Love this hike. "Easy" 14er, but great views.

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.

Snowshoed the North trail on 11-18-18. The road is deep with snow and chains are recommended to get to trailhead. We drove a Toyota 4Runner with big tires and made it, but our friends Subaru wouldn’t have made it without the chains. We had to pull three other cars out that were stuck.
We used snowshoes almost the entire way. Top is icy. Yaks trax needed. We got married on top with the most beautiful views of the surrounding ranges. Round trip in 6.5 hours.

Fun day hike! We hiked 5.5 of 11 miles. Gorge views and sparky lake make for a stellar afternoon!

Climbed on Thursday 11/15. Did Quandary the day prior. Sherman was much more of an adventure. Only had microspikes; no snowshoes. The forecast called for sunny skies, a high of 19F degrees and 10 mph winds (the saddle and summit ridge were a different story). The road was plowed until approximately 11,200 ft. We had an AWD vehicle and didn't have much trouble getting up to that point. I don't believe anyone had been on the mountain in a while as we did not see any footprints (old or new) the entire day, with the exception of some snowshoe prints on the way back to the car at the end of the day. The snow was about 8-12 inches deep leading up to the gate. Nothing too bad. However once past the Dauntless Mine (12,300), the snow was much deeper. In some places I tried submerging my trekking poles into the snow and could not make contact with the ground. We eventually made our way to the Hilltop Mine and then post-holed our way up to the saddle between Sheridan and Sherman. As soon we crested the saddle, we were greeted by the strong winds Sherman is notorious for, probably anywhere between 20-40 mph, most of the way up to the summit. The hike up the southwest ridge wasn't too bad though. Very windy but the views were breathtaking. I did see some animal footprints around 13,400 ft. I decided to turn around prior to most difficult section on the ridge (my highest gps reading was at 13,697 ft). It was getting late in the day and my buddy, who was moving much faster than me, had already summited. I decided to wait for him by the notch at 13,600 ft. He said the section past 13,700 was very wind and extremely cold. However, the summit was calm and enjoyable. The descent was a lot of fun as we slid down from the saddle. We saw some snowshoe tracks on our way back to car. I believe they made it up to the Hilltop Mine and decided to turn back but not sure since we didn't run into a single person all day on the mountain. All in all, the climb was a lot of fun, especially compared to the relatively straightforward climb of Quandary the day prior. No one had been on the mountain since the last major storm and it was amazing being out there in those conditions. Can't wait to go back and bag that summit!

hiking
2 months ago

This was my wife and my first 14er. Our friends carried their 2 year old and 4 year old with them. It took us forever but we had a blast. Didn’t make it to Torrey’s.

Road to the trailhead is 4 wheel drive only when we were there. Much of it is passable with a car but there are a few parts that a low clearance vehicle will definitely not make it across. This probably changes with rain and snow but definitely worth mentioning to be ready to hike the road or have a high clearance vehicle.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

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!

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
2 months 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

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.

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

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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
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

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
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.

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