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McCullough Gulch Trail

MODERATE 1300 reviews

McCullough Gulch Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, 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

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

There are several lakes that can be viewed along this trail. The official route goes to the second lake. Several waterfalls can be viewed about 1.5 miles into this route.

hiking
icy
snow
20 days ago

Great views. The trail is mostly snow covered, so bring YakTraks or you won't make it far. We lost the trail on a few occasions. The lake is frozen and beautiful. We'll be coming back to this one in the summer.

hiking
21 days ago

Good trail for kids. Beautiful views all around.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Overall I would rate this trail has hard not moderate only because there were multiple times I was on all fours climbing. The trail was mostly mud, slush, or ice so I would advise bringing yaktrax! The views were breathtaking the entire way up, steep incline the whole way with a couple flat spots to take a break. The further you got in the worse the markers got, make sure download the map so you remain on the trail. Once I hit the summit it was extremely windy and cold! Much worth it, but wasn’t able to hang at the summit long! I’ll be back in the summer. The trail took us 3 hours total.

hiking
over grown
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Hiked this trail 10-16-19 starting at 10:30 am and ending at 2:00 pm. The weather was sunny and upper 40s. There was some icy patches but we hiked with normal hiking shoes. The trail itself was not as clear as I would of hoped. There were many areas that had multiple paths that were trails but not the right trail. USE THE APP WHILE YOU HIKE. It was our savior because we kept going off the trail. Despite the confusion, the trail was lovely. True to moderate and mainly up hill, the hardest part was the last .25 miles. I do think the first lake is worth the hike! (We didn’t go past the first lake.) It is icy and the prettiest blue. The wind was strong and didn’t let up at the top so we didn’t stay up there as long as we would of liked. Not sure about the waterfalls we were supposed to see. There was one towards the beginning of the hike which we crossed over on a bridge but other than that we just saw a river that maybe had a 5 foot waterfall, if you could call it that? Maybe we were on the wrong trail and missed the other waterfalls. Not sure. All in all, great trail with navigation and BEAUTIFUL lake at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Would definitely classify this as a true moderate hike. It took us about 2 hours to make it to the first lake (where we stopped). It’s a continuous incline the entire way and there were a few icy patches. The lake itself was BEAUTIFUL. So worth it if you’re able to make it. It was iced over and a gorgeous blue color. We started around 10:30 am and made it back to the car around 2 pm. The reason I am only giving 4 stars is because the trail is not well marked for the last 0.5 mile to the lake. If we didn’t have this app we would’ve easily gotten lost. But overall, great experience!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! We did this yesterday. The trail up past the 1st lake is very straight forward with breathtaking views. The elevation gain once past the first lake is pretty quick. It had snowed a few days earlier and the trail past the 1st lake (above the tree line) was difficult to follow as the snow covered both the trail and the surrounding area. It was icy in spots. Once you get to the peak past the 1st lake, it's a straight, flat trail that leads you to the 2nd lake. A beautiful hike!

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Great morning for it. The trial head is a bit deceiving. But the hike was beautiful!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Went on a Wednesday and there were very few people out. I went about an hour at one point and didn't see anyone. Fun trail with a bunch of babbling brooks and small water features. I found the lower lake but lost the trail when I tried to keep going around it. Still a good 2 1/2 hour hike for me.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Uphill the entire way. Pack a jacket so you can sit and enjoy the top. Be sure and turn around to take advantage of all the views on the way up!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Definitely more strenuous with lots of elevation change between first and second lakes. Be sure to account for 1/2 mile walk from parking lot to trailhead.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike, not crowded at all. Not a single other person at the 2nd lake, but it was super windy thru the gulch and at the 2nd lake. Leaves were poppin! Plenty of parking. Decent elevation gain.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely love this trail! Beautiful on the top - waterfall and lake views. It’s about 1100ft elevation gain, highly recommended.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on Friday 9/27. Fall colors are starting to appear everywhere adding a nice touch to this already beautiful hike. The climb is steadily uphill and gets pretty steep between the lower and higher lake. The higher lake is definitely worth going to if you have the time and energy, but in my opinion the lower one is actually prettier. It took us about 3 hours total (we are pretty fit but not flying up). The one frustrating thing about this trail is that it is really hard to follow at some points and it’s sad to see all of the destroyed vegetation from people wondering off trail (by no fault of their own). I also attempted to snowshoe this trail this past winter and we had tot turn around because it was so hard to tell where we were supposed to go. I hope in the future the trail gets better signage. All in all a very pretty hike!

hiking
2 months ago

The views on this rocky trail are great. It is a very rewarding hike. The reason I didn’t give it a five star rating is because of the lack of signage. It wouldn’t hurt to put blazes on a few trees in confusing spots like they do in other parts of the country. People have made many side trails which makes it confusing at times. You have to park on the side of the road and walk up the dirt road a ways before you reach the real trailhead.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful hike and worth the effort, but definitely a hard hike, not moderate by any means. Extremely steep and almost straight up much of the way. Good shade until the first lake and then very exposed afterward. Don’t attempt unless in decent shape and used to hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked (again) on 9/20/2019. The road leading up to McCullough TH from Quandary is in good condition- 2 wheel drive cars should be able to easily get up it. Got to the TH at 7:30 and was the first car up there. This is one of my absolute favorite trails! The trail is in good condition and even though there are lots of ‘alternative’ routes, there’s no concern about getting lost :) Just enjoy the journey :) Once you get to the first lake, the trail to the upper second lake is a bit over grown and still muddy. Give yourself some more time to get up there, but it’s worth it :) Happy hiking!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

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