McCullough Gulch Trail

MODERATE 498 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
892 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

From Breckenridge head south on route 9 for 7.6 miles to Blue Lakes Drive (#850). Turn right onto Blue Lakes drive and continue for about 100 yards to McCullough Gulch Rd.(#851). Turn right and continue for 2.2 miles, staying left at the y-junction, to the parking area at the trailhead.

snowshoeing
30 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

We were here in August and it was one of the highlights of the trip. We made it to the falls and back with our 6 and 8 year old children. Gorgeous views!

2 months ago

Would not bring someone from out of town here. Also would not recommend as a winter hike. As you get closer to the top, the trail becomes less and less apparent to nearly non-existent. Even using the tracking of this app, i fell off course several times. A large amount of what would be a trail is just Slick Ice. I only had boots, but would highly encourage additional traction of some sort. The views are beautiful but not sure the final destination of a frozen lake is worth the challenge. The trek from the parking lot to the trailhead isn’t bad, only adds about a mile. If getting away from the crowds is what you are looking for then give this one a shot. Double the amount of water you’d think to bring and definitely bring gum and something to snack on. Also, *Extremely Windy*

rock climbing
2 months ago

Clear driving out to Blue Lakes today and a very nice hike beyond with snow only in the valleys

hiking
3 months ago

On 11/14/17 I hiked from McCullough Gulch trailhead to the first lake (Upper Blue Reservoir) and back, about 4 miles round trip according to my GPS unit. The trail is somewhat difficult to follow between the falls and the lake, but it all works out. There are some icy spots, which can generally be bypassed, but boot traction devices and poles help. Great late season hiking conditions. The crowds have obviously thinned out, but I did see 7 other people on the trail between noon and 4:00pm. There is currently no parking allowed on the last 3/4 mile of the road (due to utility work), so this adds 1.5 miles to your round trip.

3 months ago

11/11/2017. A little icy, but well worth it. We started late, so had to turn back halfway to make it out before sundown. Lake is iced up, but beautiful nevertheless.

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic views! Lucky there was a inch of snow on top of the ice for the first quarter mile.
Saw 8 mountain goats on the Ridge.

4 months ago

Route is pretty snowy and icy. Reservoir is almost completely iced over. Didn't make it up to upper tarns and lakes due to 60mph winds once we reached first lake. Bring microspikes and additional points for traction. Balaclava and heavy duty gloves also recommended.

Local note: It seems a lot of people use the access road to walk their dogs off leash and it is a curvy road. At 20mph in the snow (no posted speed recommendations) we apparently pissed off someone enough for them to curse at us even when slowed to a stop to ask them if they needed any help. So, be mindful of grumpy people and dogs in the road during the day.

4 months ago

Hiked on 10-16-17...first 1/4 of a mile was pretty sloppy with ice, but passable. After that, the scenery was amazing the whole way to the top where the half frozen lake was. Saw some mountain goats along the right mountain ridge on the way to the top. Once you're past the falls and up by the lake, the wind picks up by about 20 mph and it gets cold quick. Very fun hike and would highly recommend it. My GPS showed just under 6 miles we walked from start to finish. That's with me taking several detours for pictures and hiking a bit past the top lake, too.

4 months ago

Fabulous trail! We hiked it with our 6 month old puppy on 10/14/17. There were some icy spots right at the beginning and then again at the very top, but passable. The views are incredible! Definitely some challenging steep spots, but well worth it!

4 months ago

Went October 11, three days post snow. The first mile on the trail was icy, snowy and miserable but I’m so glad we kept going because the views were incredible. Brought my 65 year old father with me and he failed well. Waterfall is so pretty at the end- the lake is past it but the trail wasn’t well marked past there so we did not continue.

4 months ago

I can’t really give the trail a fair rating since we did not get far. It was a sheet of ice with a lot of light snow covering areas. Bring microspikes and poles.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail

hiking
4 months ago

Very strenuous, but so worth it!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice trail but seemed to be heavily trafficked. Other than that I loved it and will definitely hike it again in the future. It's a dog friendly trail which is a major plus and views from the top are beautiful. But then again, any view from the top of a mountain is beautiful :)

5 months ago

This was a great first hike to get used to the elevation for an East Coast hiker. Breathtaking views!

5 months ago

Great hike! A bit rocky. I should have brought my walking stick.

hiking
5 months ago

Mark is right. This is a must-do hike. Mountain views, lakes, a waterfall. It pretty much has it all. And you don't have to climb to the top for the views. The walk through the forest at the beginning of the trail offers a unique and beautiful view of Quandary. But you will have to walk about 0.6 miles on the dirt road to the trailhead. No big deal - it's flat and a good warm-up.

The trail is well marked until you get past the waterfall, then it gets a little tricky but it's doable.

If you decide to go past Upper Blue Reservoir into the Upper Valley, the trail at the beginning is difficult to locate past the west side of the reservoir, but there is an actual trail, though it is steep in spots. Once out the brush, look for the cairns and trail cut into the mountain.

Few trek into the Upper Valley, but the scenery, the lakes, the solitude, and surrounding mountains are outstanding. One other perk - the view on the west side of the reservoir offers another beautiful perspective.

hiking
5 months ago

This hike is a must do! It's a bit of a trek from the start going up hill, but eventually levels off. It is well marked up to the waterfall, which has a gorgeous view. If your adventourous and want even a better finish to your hike, head up to the lake. The trail is a bit harder to find, but just stay to the right side of the waterfall and you will see the path upwards. Take your time going up, it is well worth it once you get to the top and take in the awesome view! Our hike was approximately 5 miles up and back and taking 4 hrs (including 30 min break for lunch). Enjoy this one and take plenty of pictures!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike! Mostly an easy hike, with moderate parts here and there up until the waterfall. It gets a bit more moderate as you climb over some rocks at the very last bit to the lake.

The trail after the waterfall was a bit hard to find as you climb the last bit up to the glacier lake, but boy was it worth it! Make sure you go all the way to the end!

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