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Quandary Peak Trail is a 7.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Climax, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.5 mi Elevation gain 3,339 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Camping Hiking Nature trips Snowshoeing Bird watching Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble Snow
Description
Waypoints (3)
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Getting There

Note this is a difficult, but rewarding hike. Please prepare before embarking on this hike to the peak which is at 14,265 ft elevation. Though challenging, this is a popular and doable, heavily trafficked route. Because of that, the best and up-to-date information can be seen the reviews from users who have just traveled this route. Quandary's east ridge route gets very crowded on summer weekends.

simply park along the side of the road.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Breckenridge: Follow Highway 9, 8 miles south. Turn off Highway 9 onto Blue Lakes road (Forest Road #850). Turn right on McCullough Gulch Road (Forest Road #851). Travel on Forest Road 851, one mile to the white arrow on the left side of the road. Parallel park on the right side of the road. Follow the jeep road up to the intersection with the Wheeler trail. Turn right as marked with post with white arrow. Follow the Wheeler trail 1/4 miles to the point of ridge to the trail that intersects to the left. Turn left on that trial and follow it to the the main ridge line of Quandary Peak. Follow ridge line to the summit.

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Reviews (3332)
Photos (2733)
Recordings (2463)
Completed (6742)
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Tristin Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
HikingRocky

This was the toughest hike I've done in Colorado, but from what I heard it's the easiest 14er! The view at the top is worth the climb. The rocky path makes it pretty difficult. But just watch your step.

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Eric Butler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

at 5:20 on a Friday, upper parking full, but lots of space in lower parking. Still pretty smoky today; hopefully better this weekend. Snow is no longer a factor.

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Kristen DeWolf
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Hiking
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Ryan Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2020
Hiking

Steep, tough, and totally worth it. First third is wooded and pleasant. The rest is rocky and exposed. Bring hiking poles, robust shoes, and lots of water.

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Michael Gentile
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Hiking
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Robert Romanishin
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Hiking
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Lance Steinberger
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Hiking
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R S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

Agree with prior posts this is a tough trail if you have sea-level legs and lungs. we came in from Chicago and made quandary our first hike. Hiked 9/15. Two mid 30s in reasonable shape. 3.5hrs up, 2.5hrs down. Lovely skies, temps, views, goats and folks on the trail. no issues locating or parking. Well marked trail, lots of loose rock in the middle and top which made both the ascent and descent rough on the legs and feet. False peaks and a longer than expected descent make mental stamina important. Some snow but nothing which would cause extra anxiety. Peak views are stunning. Wholeheartedly recommend to hikers who are ready for the altitude.

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Olivier Puech
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
Hiking

@Bailee. if you come from an area with no elevation at all, I would recommend you a few days to acclimate. if you are very active, you should be fine . Try two or three moderate hikes before (12,000 feet or so) and you should be ready for it. if you are staying in Breck, I would recommend McCullough Gulch trail and Mohawk lakes trail which both will take you to those elevations and are very pretty hikes. Enjoy !

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John Fellers
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HikingSnow
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Jenn Voss
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Hiking
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Rebecca Mares
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Hiking
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Bailee Barwick
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Hiking

I will be visiting this trail next week sometime. It will be my FIRST time hiking this trail. Any recommendations? I am a pretty active person... But I am worried about getting elevation sickness? Anyone help me get some advice? Thanks

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Yu-Keng Shih
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Hiking
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Ryan Everoski
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This was my first 14er and one of the harder challenges I've attempted. Hiking this trail will humble many people who are in otherwise above average shape! The final push up to the summit required deep breathing and resting every few steps. There are some snowy and muddy parts up there as well, although trail shoes worked fine. The trail is rocky, I can't compare to any other, but it is almost always easy to identify. I saw someone in flip flops. I think a hiking stick is a good idea though not required. It took me five hours to summit. Once you reach the false summit it's all good it's an easy, thrilling short walk to the real summit. Views are wonderful and the people are fun, nice, and sometimes unique. There was a close encounter with a goat that was right by the trail staring me down. What an amazing and memorable day!

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McCall Stiles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking

Awesome experience for my first 14er! Gorgeous sunny day and warm summit with no wind. Not too crowded - snow still on the ground and slick at times (poles were super helpful). Worst part is how dang rocky this trail is! Took us 3.5-4 hours up (took frequent rests the last mile push) and about 2 hours down. Very straight forward navigation! Gorgeous summit view with the snow on the surrounding peaks!!

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Molly Meyer
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Hiking

The first mile is lovely and then it’s a straight path up rocks. So honestly, while the scenery is beautiful, the path is not. We started at 5:15 and got to watch the sunrise over mountains which was awesome. It was about 30 degrees at the top with wind so strong we felt like we’d be blown off the mountain. In terms of beginner 14ers, Greys and Beirdstat are much more enjoyable climbs, in my opinion.

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Whitney Mundell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!IcyMuddyRockySnow

Hiked this on 9/12 and had beautiful weather. Still icy and snowy towards the top but was able to navigate around it when needed. The trail was packed, easily 100+ people which was to be expected on a nice Saturday. Started at 6 AM, got to the peak at 9 AM. Windy, cold, and snowy at the top but still beautiful. Steep incline at the end was challenging but worth it! Crampons and poles have would be helpful in navigating the snow and ice however we didn’t have any and did fine.

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Coco ❤️
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!IcyNo shadeRockySnow

I am so glad I did this today! Beautiful 69F day in Breck, I over-dressed for the weather so ended up stripped down to a tank top at the summit. Only 10% shade(first 0.5 miles). Parking - Such a nice paved road and the trailhead right by the parking area. Not unlikely this is the trailhead for a 14er! (So happy no mile+ walk to the trailhead nor driving a bumpy road) Arrived at the parking at 7:25am, started at 7:45am. The first 2 miles started with a rough elevation gain but the views were spectacular! Since we had some snow this week, I was worried about the weather and trail but no deep snow nor needing crampons. Saw a mountain goat and he was casually walking in the middle of the trail but some idiots tried to walk so close to him in a fast pace and he cornered him to the edge of the cliff. I don't understand why some people can't leave the wild animals alone- About 3.5 hours to the summit(took two 5 minutes break) , took 20 minutes break at the summit and 1.5 hours to the trailhead. The trail was well-maintained and very easy to follow, no need to download the map unless you want to know exactly where you are at. It was a crowded trail today. I am sure the trail will be busy until the next major snow day. Oh and it was only 6.6 miles for me! 09/13/2020 #44

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Stacey Dell
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Cory Collins
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Hiking

Started on the trail before daybreak, not too many people on the trail when I reached the top. Packed coming down.

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Coralie Huibregtse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
HikingIcyMuddyRockySnow

Went on 9/12. Very snowy and icy, and extremely muddy towards noon near the bottom. I would highly recommend bringing crampons and poles. Needed everything from winter coat in the morning, and t shirt and shorts towards noon. The smoke was nonexistent. Had beautiful weather and amazing views!

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