Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in White River National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome hike to the old mining camp! Snow past there is very deep so we stoped at the buildings. By far my favorite hike. Awesome picture opportunities at the camp! Did it with just hiking boots

Trail is hard packed until the cluster of mining buildings. With an 8am start, we made it to a mile past the mining buildings through the open field before the snow started to melt and we had persistent problems with postholing without snowshoes. The snow is still waist-deep in that field. Get an earlier start if possible if you want to descend before the snow changes. Lots of backcountry skiers on the trail.

hiking
12 days ago

got to trailhead a little after 6. summit by 10:30 in spikes & with plenty of stops. back at car by 1. packed snow all the way to summit. go early and stay on trail (even if it looks like snow has been packed by previous hikers) you will post hole until you want to cry #goats

hiking
13 days ago

Did this on 06/25/17. It was my first Fourteener. So took around 4 hours to reach the top. View was amazing. Too icy on the top. Be careful while coming down.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Stunning beauty with all the snow-covered peaks!! Sunny skies and an occasional breeze. And the trail was about 99% covered in snow, except the very beginning.

We arrived shortly before 7am and a few spots remained in the parking lot. The gate at McCullough Gulch road remains closed and snow drifts block the road. Definitely bring spikes for traction. Snowshoes came in very handy in the afternoon for the last mile down, and we still post-holed in a few spots. Poles are very helpful, too, for balance in the soft snow.

The snow enhanced the beauty but made it more difficult (5 1/2 hrs to summit vs 3 1/2 in the summer). Allow for additional time to descend.

Still, totally worth it for us. Mountain goats, skiers, mountain beauty, snow covered peaks, and even those who parachuted off the mountain. Fantastic day!! Wouldn't trade.

Ascended 5-5-18 as my first 14er! Started hiking just after 6, and a lot of people were also beginning then. Made it back to the car at 12:30. We took our time and took two 20 minute breaks, one before the last 1000 feet and one at the peak. This trail is certainly difficult, and the altitude affected hikers on the trail. Some would say anyone could complete this, but I’d probably advise against that if you don’t have a cardio routine and haven’t acclimated.
The trail was snow the the entire way up, we brought snowshoes but didn’t use them. Although, on the descent, we post-holed enough that we should have put them on. We wore spikes the entire time which I highly recommend! Overall, the best experience I could have ever asked for for my first 14er!

hiking
17 days ago

I hiked Quandary this morning (5/5 6a-noon), so here are a few tidbits that I thought would be helpful.

- The trail is 95% snow-packed from bottom to top. Only a bit of rocky dirt trail at the beginning and slush there as the weather warms up.
- I only wore hiking boots. I would not recommend this! To be honest, the only reason I didn't wear microspikes is because REI didn't have the color microspkes I wanted (... I know I know). I made it up/down without issue, but I watched my footing very carefully (especially over the icy spots and the last steep 1000 feet) and even then slipped 5-6 times. It was also rough on my ankles since I had to keep digging my boots into the hard snow.
- Microspikes are all you need. My friends wore microspikes and did great. There was an equal mix of microspikers and skiiers. Very few people were snowshoeing.
- I never use hiking poles but the vast majority of people had them and I hear they're very helpful.
- My friends and I hiked down, but most people skiied down. Very few were snowshoeing.

Hope that's helpful. The weather was fantastic so get out there tomorrow if you can!

hiking
22 days ago

Completed this on 4/28. It was incredible! The snow was packed on the way to the top and we timed our peak at the best possible time getting there around 12:30. Blue skies and it was actually hot. Started making our way down around 1 which was perfect timing to miss the changing weather. It was warm about half way down so the packed snow we had on the way up was slush and caused a good bit of post holing. Overall, best views and conditions for our group!
Crampons/spikes/yaktrax are all that is needed.

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked on April 28, 2018. Spikes were definitely all we needed in the hike up, but snowshoes would have been helpful with the post-holing on the way back down. It was the most perfect day to be on top of a 14er - made the summit around 11am, 5mph wind, sunshine &@ probably 40 degrees. Also, summiting in the spring made this hike much less crowded than a summer day! Would recommend.

hiking
23 days ago

Climbed in May 2016. It was a snow climb and extremely warm windy. Due to not preparing properly I received 2nd wind and Sun burns on my face and lips. Prepare well and never underestimate the power of Mother Nature. Great hike!

This trail actually came out to be closer to 4ish miles and the elevation gain was really not bad! The trail to the cabins/ruins is packed, you could probably even get by without added traction but it did help me (microspikes)! After the cabins I'd recommend snowshoes/skis as it's not packed, I tried to get up to the mining stuff and post-holed the whole time so I turned around. Beautiful views of the mountains both in front and behind, a really good sized parking lot (it does come up on you kind of fast so be prepared!) with no facilities but definitely a great hike! I'd love to see it in summer with no snow too!

Absolutely beautiful trail!! It was hard packed - we did it with yak trax and had no issues. Stunning views the entire time!

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!

hiking
1 month 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.

Beautiful hike this past weekend! Incredibly snowy, a few feet on and right next to the trail. Everyone else was skiing so I stayed in their ski tracks on the way up. Trail was packed due to the early time of day (and ski tracks), but as I got higher and the sun got more intense I started postholing a lot. I made it above treeline with only spikes. I would say trekking poles and snow shoes are a must. Wish I had made it to the summit but I'll be back to bag it this summer! This is definitely very strenuous so be ready to work up a sweat.

Happy hiking!

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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
3 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!

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.

Beautiful views all around. Will need some sort of traction and hiking shoes/boots.

hiking
4 months ago

I hike this 14er a lot because it is accessible year round to a 2WD vehicle, with the trailhead just off the road from Hoosier Pass. As others say, it gets very busy in the summer and fall.

I hiked up yesterday morning (Jan. 9) and was amazed by the lack of snow. But the trail, which follows the ridge, was almost 95 percent in snow, so I definitely recommend microspikes. A few areas of deep drifts where I was post-holing.

Great climb for the middle of winter. Just wish there was more snow.

Just heard that it is snowing in nearby Breckenridge! Fingers crossed!

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