Quandary Peak Trail

HARD 1373 reviews

Quandary Peak Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, 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.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,339 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

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.

hiking
18 hours ago

The trail was quite difficult. We started at 11AM and finished at 6PM. I would recommend starting the hike at least by 6AM and taking your time with as many stops as you need when you’re reaching the four mile marker.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

Good trail, but way too crowded and going down you have to be careful not to slip on a lot of loose rock. With so many tourists and rental cars parked by the trail, there was a lack of trail etiquette and people who wouldn’t let you pass. Weather was quickly turning at around 11 am.

hiking
3 days ago

No snow and a clear trail all the way up to the summit. Clear views and no winds! However it was super crowded, even on a Tuesday.

hiking
4 days ago

Very crowded and loose rocky trail after tree-line. Amazing views though!

Pros: It's a 14er you can hike without equipment. Pretty much guaranteed to see mountain goats somewhere. Plenty of people for those that are nervous, you'll never be more than 5 minutes from someone. Significantly difficult through the final crux though certainly doable by plenty of people. Cons: Monday morning and you probably won't be 5min from another person. Probably the worst descent of anything I've climbed. I thought I knew rough shitty paths through scree fields but this is the winner! About 2miles in each direction is a knee banging, foot destroying good time. Agree with another writer that there isn't a really good reason to repeat this.

It was definitely challenging on the way up but especially painful on the way down. For me, poles were a must! Views at the top are spectacular! Mountain goats walked right in front of us on the trail, what a treat! Great hike.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Hiked it 8.18.19. Gorgeous day with clear skies! Took 2:30 to climb up and 1:50 back down. As a last minute thought, I threw some gloves in my pack. So glad I had them! There are wind shelters on the peak for a reason- it was windy and really cold despite the sun. Be prepared for the change. I dispersed camped by Blue Lakes last night for quick access. Lots of great spots. I started at 0630 & was glad to be back down late morning. Lots of exposed trail & the sun is intense.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

Great trail, a challenge for a first timer on a 14, but doable. I’m from Wichita, Kansas so the altitude was a bit of an issue but if you take your time, hydrate, watch your breathing and heart rate it will be well worth it! The top is cold and windy though, so be prepared. Great trail to do with a group, friends and family. Have fun!

hiking
6 days ago

This was my 7th 14er and, unexpectedly, likely the most challenging. My Garmin watch tracked just shy of 8 miles and 3,500 elevation gain. Beautiful views of the Mosquito and Front Range all the way up and an incredible panorama at the summit. Well worth the effort. That being said, don't take this one lightly: it's a long, tedious slog of loose, steep rock for 6 of the 8 miles (only 1 mile each way below the tree line had a comfortable dirt path). In my experience, if you're new to 14ers, start with the main routes of Mt. Bierstadt or Greys/Torreys Peaks before moving on to Quandary. Also, we went on a Wednesday and both parking lots were nearly filled at 7 am. No toilets either. All in all, I'm glad to have completed the hike, but am slightly bemused by the fact that people put this one near the top of easy 14ers (hence my motivation to post this review). It's nothing crazy in terms of exposure, but definitely remains a challenging day hike for anyone. For context, I live at 5400 feet and run/hike consistently. 3 Stars because I likely won't hike this one again for a long while--too many other hikes and activities I would rather get to instead.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

We arrived around 730a and parked less than 1/4 mile from the TH. The lower parking lot was full but if you drive through the gate you can usually find a spot along the road. There are a couple portable toilets at the TH but they were COMPLETELY full. Great views, saw a few mountain goats, and an overall challenging hike.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

Busy day on the trailhead, but worth it! The views are amazing.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

Busy but worth it. Get there before 6:00am.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

Steep incline up but a very pretty hike. Get an early start on summer weekends , it gets busy fast. If you’re lucky you will probably see some mountain goats.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

My first 14er. We arrived at 5am, parked in the lower lot, didn't realize there was parking near the trailhead. Two port-a-potties were available. Started out with headlamps and poles. Saw the sun break over the nearby mountain range while a near full moon was still out--so beautiful. Took short breaks on the rocky pitch near the top to catch breath. The views at the summit were spectacular and a friendly crowd offered to take photos of fellow hikers with Quandary signs documenting their achievement. It was colder and windy, glad to have layers, hat and gloves. Hiking down the rocks was a little challenging for me, so took a slower pace. Saw a mountain goat close to the trail and a field of colorful wildflowers. Returned to car at 11:15.

hiking
7 days ago

I like this one a lot. It starts below tree line and the forest is beautiful. The trail is well defined. For the easy 14ers, this one and Torreys are my favorites. I like this one a lot more than Bierstadt because of the variety and better views up top.

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 days ago

Awesome hike, def a heavy breather. It is steep 95% of the way - windy at the top, and out of tree line the rocks are awful and no shade. Bring PLENTY of water and layers.

hiking
8 days ago

My first 14er! Yes hard but doable and well worth the amazing views! Very cool and breezy at the summit. Be prepared for a rocky hike.

hiking
9 days ago

This was my husband and I’d first 14er. It was a great experience. We left the trailhead around 5am Sunday and summited around 8am. Definitely weren’t alone, but it was surprisingly not overwhelmingly busy for a weekend like we were warned it may be. We brought microspikes but had no need for them. Going down was actually much more taxing than going up in my opinion. The loose rock and rain that we dealt with while descending made for some questionable footing. It was a very cool day and the summit was pretty frigid (still loved every minute of it!) The biggest takeaway from this hike though: make sure you poop before the tree line ends.

hiking
9 days ago

Made it to the top in under 2.5 hours! First 14er- and a good one to start on; lucky to have perfect weather. If anyone finds a 32oz navy Breck hydroflask with a telluride and banff sticker and my name on the bottom please return!- it fell out of the pack either on the side of a path or in snow during a snow slide down...happy to pay for it's return! I'm a breck local!

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

Gorgeous day out. Consistent moderate to steep grade. Rocky, loose in places. Started at 6am, summit at 8:45, back at car at 11:15.

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail!!! MT GOATS!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

Load More

Featured Trails