McCullough Gulch Trail

MODERATE 403 reviews

McCullough Gulch Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Blue River, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
951 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Note: Road 851 is currently closed. Please be aware you have to hike 2.2 miles to get to the trailhead.

hiking
4 hours ago

hiking
7 hours ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

2 days ago

3 days ago

Great Hike if just visiting and trying to get acclimated to altitude. My phone showed that we were just below 12,000 feet when we reached the upper lake.

hiking
3 days ago

This hike is amazing. We hiked all the way up to the lake and found a nice spot near some rocks and wind-blown trees to sit above the lake. The trees provided some good shelter from the strong, cold wind. We have hiked to many backcountry lakes, and this one is definitely up there as being one of the BEST. The trail is steep, and it seems more like a 4- or 5-mile hike. The trail is wide at the beginning and follows what must have been an old mining road. There are cabin ruins and a beautiful double waterfall along the way. It is well-signed up to the waterfall and then there are a few different ways up here and there through the trees, some of which are quite big for such altitude!
We saw a bunch of mountain goats (looked like moving white specks) up on the high ridges by Quandary Peak and along the ridges above the lake but saw none up close. Definitely wish we would have brought binoculars. We did find a bunch of mountain goat hair hanging on bushes around the lake, which was a cool site. The trail was a little sketchy and a bit rocky in places, especially closer to the lake and at the lake, but manageable if you take your time and have trekking poles. There are a few different routes to reach the trees by the lake. All the way to where we hiked at the lake, it was about 1356 feet elevation gain.
We hiked with our 6-year old and carried our 2-year old in a (heavy) pack, so we took our time. Including an hour spent at the lake, it took us about 5 1/2 hours roundtrip from our car. It took us only 1 1/2 hours to hike down.
The note in the description for this hike is incorrect. Rd 851 is not closed. After researching beforehand, I found that this road was closed in 2016. You do have to walk down a road a little bit to the official trailhead. There is roadside parking and a pseudo trailhead and then a big gate blocking the road before actually reaching the trailhead maybe a half mile down the road. There is a sign saying that cars cannot park beyond the pseudo trailhead.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike and scenery. Pretty steep at the beginning and end. Felt longer than a 3 mile round trip. Had a lot of flat rock and tree roots which were dicey on the way down since we had some light right making it slick. This hike was just the right amount, not too long, not too short, not too hard, not too easy.

hiking
7 days ago

8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

10 days ago

Super trail, within the trees most of the way. Limited scrambling. Start early though, this is a popular hike, and gets crowded in the afternoon.

10 days ago

For inexperienced hikers from Michigan (ages 45,46, 61, and 71), this trail was manageable. The scenery all the way to White Falls was spectacular! We did not go all the way to the lakes because the weather looked like storms were headed our way! Next time!

10 days ago

If you're a flat lander like me, you need a couple days to get used to the air before doing this trail. It was a wonderful and breathtaking.

hiking
10 days ago