McCullough Gulch Trail

MODERATE 698 reviews

McCullough Gulch Trail is a 6.2 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
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,578 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike, but super busy (of course, for a Saturday). We went beyond the lake to the upper lake, which doesn't show an official trail on the map. Lots of scrambling and hard to breathe above treeline. The second lake is pretty, but the first one is better. Another group saw some mountain goats beyond the second lake, but they had run off so we didn't attempt to go further. One note on the trail - wear sturdy boots because there is a lot of traversing over rocks and lots of tree roots. And on a hot day, bring lots of water.

hiking
4 days ago

Super nice hike! Only went to the first lake and the waterfalls. Overall, well marked trail, few stretches over boulders that were a bit harder to negotiate, well shaded for lots of the way, quite a few hikers. Parking is a challenge (only 3 spots at trailhead) but road parking farther down. Scenery is beautiful. Good for intermediate hikers.

4 days ago

Great option to Mohawk Lakes, which we do every year. Was very similar, but everyone in our group actually liked this one better! Beautiful falls and lake at the top!

hiking
6 days ago

The views are beautiful, but I didn't enjoy this hike that much. As an older (but not that old) and generally uncoordinated hiker, I felt like this hike was a sprained ankle waiting to happen. Luckily it didn't happen, but I spend a lot of time watching my feet and watching my dog's paws as we hiked over rocks and roots. What was interesting about this trail was the variety! It was like four trails in one: it started with a walk on a road, then through shady forest trails, after the lake and waterfalls the trail was narrow, steep and challenging, and then a relatively level trail through tundra under the shadow of Quandary.

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing Hike! Day 2 in Breck and we all felt well enough to take on a hike. This one was worth it! Take your time and make it to the lake at the end of the trail. Venture just a bit further up some of the smaller hills around the lake and you will have made it 12k+ in elevation. Best thing is it sits under Quandry one of the well know 14ers. On the list of hikes of conquer. Great place to rest, soak in some sun and enjoy the beautiful views. Only took the teenagers 20 mins to get down! Didn't think it was crowded, parking was easy when we arrived at 11am. Worth the trip!

hiking
6 days ago

Today was a great hike. We went to the waterfall just before the second lake and took a lovely catnap on the rocks for 10 minutes. The cabin and streams in the way up were a great surprise.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike! All kinds of terrain. Beautiful views!Made it up to the waterfall and to the first lake. Took off my shoes to feel the water! Wow was it cold but it felt great! Love hiking with my wonderful family!

8 days ago

Beautiful Trail with challenging terrain. Will definitely like to do again and visit the upper lakes when I have more time.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful, challenging trail. Best to start early. Heavy traffic late morning.

9 days ago

One of my all time favorites! Loved the wildflowers today.

hiking
9 days ago

Good hike, parking on side of road. Beautiful waterfall and lake.

hiking
11 days ago

One of my favorite hikes from our vacation. Great waterfall views. You can climb on the rocks toward the top of the waterfall. Amazingly pretty lake above the waterfall too. Much of the hike is forested. Wished we had brought bug spray. Uphill much of the way to the lake. Great hike.

hiking
11 days ago

Incredible views after the hike breaks the tree line. The hike is easy-to-moderate as far as the first lake, which is spectacular enough to make the hike worthwhile. Persevere for the third lake if you’re feeling energetic - it’s stunning, as is the flatland that leads up to it. Marmots galore. We started early - about 7.30am - and had the place pretty much to ourselves. By the time we were headed down, there was some pretty heavy traffic going up. Took us 4 hours at a fairly leisurely pace.

11 days ago

Great nature walk. Moderate climbing, easier than Mohawk. 10’ temp change at the first lake. Park well past Quandary’s trail head ( 1.5miles past).

12 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike, and would do it again. It was a challenge for my 6 year old, who didn’t consider it moderate. We made about 5 miles round trip— all the way to the first lake where we saw pockets of snow, but not to the second or third lake (didn’t know those existed!) An employee at Patagonia told us about this hike, and it was definitely popular— very crowded in the first mile or so.

hiking
14 days ago

We have done this twice and I am pouting that we will not get to do it again on this trip. The first third is a standard forest trail but once you get past that part, the views make the hike a true joy. Definitely push past the first lake and explore the second two. The trail is hard to see past the second lake, but cairns show the way. Eventually you get to a big meadow with a lake at the end. Go dip your toes in before you get hailed on! We've seen goats grazing up there several times and it really feels like you are in a special place. Wear good grippy shoes and bring poles if you plan to go past the first lake; once it rains the rocks will be slippery.

14 days ago

Wonderful hike with my family. Great views, even the kids enjoyed it!

15 days ago

Have done this a couple times, including once with family members of varying age range who were somewhat fit but infrequent hikers.

17 days ago

My husband and I hiked this trail this morning and it was an awesome experience. We arrived at 6:45 on Saturday morning and were the second group at the trailhead. (Lots of cars were parked for the peak trailhead - this trail parking is about 1.5 miles down an unpaved road). We only went to the waterfall and came back from there - our GPS showed 3.5 miles round trip. Highly recommended, although make sure all in your group are comfortable with uneven footing.

hiking
18 days ago

A little bit of everything. Elevation gains, views, wildlife, solitude in the morning, and people in the early afternoon.

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked all the way to the second lake at about 12,400’ and was blown away by God’s glory. Can’t wait to do it again!

hiking
21 days ago

Great hike. Water falls, views, and lake at the top. Ran the trail, well tried. Lots of up and downs, quick turns so ran when I could and walked when I had to. A unique characteristic of the trail is that there are so many paths that lead off the main trail for your exploration. Highly recommend. People of all ages can do.

23 days ago

quite liked this trail. falls are amazing. be sure to go all the way to the lake. gorgeous views. we ended parking about 2 miles from the trail head. I was fooled by all the cars for the quandry peak trail. so we hiked a total of 10 miles. pretty walk despite the dirt road.

hiking
27 days ago

One of my favorite trails! You get a lot of bang for your buck—some elevation gain to make it challenging but doable, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a lake. Go early to park!

NOTE: trail is closed July 23 and 24 for bridge maintenance.

hiking
29 days ago

Spectacular hike. We parked on a dirt road about half a mile from where the trail really starts. Very beautiful with lots of wildflowers and views of the valley below. The waterfall is tremendous and the lake at the top is serene.
I hiked to the far side of the lake and found a nice spot to camp for the night. It got down to about 40 so be prepared for cold nights at that elevation. If you are going to hike around the lake I'd recommend waterproof boots.
One of the best hikes I've done this year!

hiking
30 days ago

A new favorite. Heavy flow waterfalls July 15! It has it all- babbling brooks, streams, wildflowers, rocks, shade, tons of trees, great smells and yes it’s a little vertical. Just go slow if you need. Took me 2 hrs on way up.

30 days ago

this was an amazing hike...take the road less traveled, we took the steep way to lake 2..totally worth it. lake 1 gets busy and a gnarly swampy and boulder path to lake 2, but worth it. we were only ones there. currenlty my favorite CO day hike

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Drive to trail was easy (many sedans in the parking area). The climb to the waterfall is fairly easy, lots of rocks in the path but that is to be expected in Colorado. After the waterfall there is a steep climb to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

We are glad we did this hike as there is a beautiful waterfall and lake as a reward. Saw a mountain goat by the edge of the falls. This seems to be more of a moderate-hard than a moderate-easy hike, but we are also from the Midwest.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail but it does take an effort to get to the lakes. Lots of climbs, rocks, roots and some loose gravel. The waterfalls are really beautiful and the wild flowers are nice. The round trip took us about 4 hours.

Load More