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Hiked the mostly packed trail today with just boots. Was able to make it to the cabins with relative ease. The snow is less packed the farther up you go, but still a nice and easy hike with amazing views. Loved it! It says 6.1 miles but with only boots we could really only make it about 4.

What a gorgeous hike! Went up on 4/15 and the snow is well packed the whole way to the valley and did not need snowshoes. A little post-holing up by the mining cabins if you get off the path but not bad at all. Nice, easy hike with spectacular views.

Did this 4/11 with microspikes and poles with no issue-trail was pretty packed. Saw multiple people skiing. Beautiful views, plenty of parking, fun day!

This trail was a great trail and pretty easy! Only a small incline which was nice because you were not slipping on the snow. The snow was packed down and I did not sink at all. I highly recommend if you want an easier hike and do not want to snowshoe!

I really enjoyed this trail! Not difficult at all and neat to see the mine and view at the top. I could be a little biased because I got engaged here :)

hiking
12 days ago

I'm a novice, so this is for those of you who are planning on trying Quandary because it's considered easy: This hike is still a grind, particularly in the snow.

We ascended on April 1, beginning a little late (around 8:30 am). The trail was mostly packed and easy to follow, particularly below the tree line. It was close to 50 degrees at the trailhead but dropped to around 14 degrees at the summit (not accounting for 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts).

Between 13,000 and 14,000 feet, as someone with very little high-altitude experience, there were times where it felt like I needed to stop and catch my breath every minute. Those already acclimated to high altitudes will have an easier go but if you're a first timer, prepare for the fatigue (and don't be afraid to turn around if you begin to feel strong symptoms of altitude sickness). Also, prepare for the wind gusts. There were times where I had to plant my feet and just withstand the weather for a moment until it passed.

If hiking in the snow, I'd recommend the use of spikes, poles, and snow shoes. On our way back down, back within the treeline, we spied what appeared to be a well-traveled cut-across leading downward. This was a mistake on our part, as it led to 20-30 minutes of postholing up to our waists when our bodies were already weak and exhausted. So... stay on the trail.

If you're an advanced and/or experienced hiker at altitude, I'm relatively certain you'll knock this one out of the park. I was passed by numerous skiers who were skinning up Quandary and skiing down (I was quite envious of their speedy descent).

It took me over six hours to complete this hike. As a small addendum, make sure your slather any exposed skin in sunscreen, even your lips. With the snow's reflection, the sun is not going to be kind to your face up there.

I continued up to the second and third lake. It was well worth it. The meadow above the first lake was full of wildflowers. Beautiful!

snowshoeing
26 days ago

This was a great hike but it was 1.7 miles to the actual trailhead from the parking lot and after about .8 miles the snow was so deep we had to turn around. Nobody had gone beyond our turn around point... views were amazing and can’t wait to come back and do it in the summer!

hiking
29 days ago

Went last Saturday. The weather was perfect! No wind at the summit. Many other people were on the trail that day so by mid afternoon, a lot of the snow was sloshy. It was breath taking seeing the 360 view of snowy mountains

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Love this hike and the views. Splendid! The main trail is well packed - no need for snowshoes but if you plan to venture off-trail - take your snowshoes. We did. The meadow areas are open enough that you won't get lost on the way to the mining cabins. And enough people have gone off-trail so that there are routes to follow. Off the trail, the snow is still 3 ft.+ deep. Enjoy the snow while you can!

hiking
1 month ago

Really scenic trail. I didn’t use spikes or snowshoes though spikes would have been helpful. The trail is pretty packed down and easy to follow, but if you get off the trail you’ll know right away when you end up in waist deep snow.

My boyfriend and I hiked this last Thursday and decided that the boot pack was good enough that we'd go without snow shoes. Mistake. We hiked for quite a while but eventually got to an area where the boot pack was non-existent and we started to sink down in waist-deep snow. We continued on for a while and tried to go up the right side of the gulch via some very slippery rock to get out of the snow, but eventually decided it was best to turn around. We LOVED this hike when we did it in the summer and would highly recommend. The lakes are spectacular.

Great starter trail, especially if you aren't used to altitude. Dog and kid friendly. Deep snow, waterproof clothing recommended but not needed. Saw a lot of families with snowshoes, but doable without snowshoes or spikes!

hiking
1 month ago

Summited on 3-9 and the trail was good with micro spikes. There was an area at the timberline where people go off trail and post hole up. If they just kept going straight instead of turning up hill, the trail continues packed

Great to snowshoe through the valley on semi packed down snow. The trail through the forest is very packed down and spikes could have worked fine there. Great views!

hiking
1 month ago

March 3 hike was beautiful, but the last stretch towards Lower Mohawk Lake was a little too sketchy for me. Not much hard pack there. I regretfully had to turn around just after the cabin before the top, because there was nobody else around, didn’t seem very safe. Otherwise almost the entire trail and Spruce Creek Road are both super easy in boots without snowshoes. Highly recommend poles, got icy in parts especially on the way back in late afternoon.

Great snowshoe in January 2018!!

Beautiful views but you need to earn them. I hiked this trail in late February and definitely recommend snowshoes / spikes. The snow was fairly deep and we had to turn around eventually.

Great snow-shoeing trail!!

hiking
1 month ago

Summited on 1/24/2018.
Could have used snow shoes at the base, but I was able to push through with just Microspikes. I only saw two other people and was the only one at the top when I summited. Awesome views and defiantly worth the effort.

Did this a few weeks ago and it was tough in snow shoes! The bottom of the trail is along the highway but if you park in the free copper lots it’s way better. We were the only people on the trail with fresh powder, Doesn’t get much better than that!

hiking
1 month ago

Feb 19 2018 hike. Started at 4am. Super windy. Had a ton of struggles with the crampons that I was using. Saw a Snow White ptarmigan! It was awesome!

Made it to false summit around 7am. Was freezing cold and getting blown down. The wind was fierce. Decided to head back. Made it back around 8:45am.

The snow was pretty crunchy.

Very easy to get to, amazing views and very quiet and peaceful for how close it is to the highway. Went in August 2017. Like anywhere in the mountains, best to get there early to avoid afternoon storms (and light crowds if that's not your thing).

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Great snowshoeing and cross country skiing area. Not too steep and very stunning views! Plenty of powder and moderately tracked out; even better if you can scramble up to the ridge!

Beautiful views! Of course, it was the Super Blue Blood Moon, so I was destined to be gorgeous! Light/easy hike, and as of January 30th, the snow is packed on trail so bring microspikes..

snowshoeing
2 months ago

We snowshoed this on Saturday (1/20/18). We could have gotten away without snowshoes for the first couple miles, but they were definitely necessary after that point.

off road driving
2 months ago

Awesome trail! Super fun. Must be experienced to do this one but very worth it. Great to hike up too!
The scenery is great at the top

Not my usual type of hike ( I usually do longer hikes with less traffic) but I did really enjoy this one. We took the trail there and the road back. The trail had a lot of snow, snowshoes would help. There were parts where the snow was about 2 ft deep. You do have a lot better views this way vs the road, road has trees on all sides. Lots of wind up by the cabins but other than that very beautiful. The cabins ruins are still in good condition.

hiking
2 months ago

If you're picking this trail because of the lake(s) - I'd say don't. We hiked this in the late summer/early fall and while the trail itself was nice, the views were a little disappointing.

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