Quandary Peak Trail

HARD 798 reviews

Quandary Peak Trail is a 6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, Colorado that features a lake 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
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,320 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Quandary's east ridge route gets very crowded on summer weekends.

hiking
5 hours ago

Really enjoyed this hike because of the challenge, views and trail maintenance. The trail is heavily traveled and you better leave early if you want the trail to yourself. I started at 7:30 and the parking area was full, but plenty of parking along the road. I am a beginner hiker and the trail was very challenging and took me about 6 hours to complete. Views above tree line and at the summit were spectacular. Finally, the trail was mantained very well. Dress warm as it was cool and windy at the summit. Have fun.

hiking
8 hours ago

The trail was challenging but very scenic and clean.
The mesmerizing views will give the push to ascent 3526 ft elevation in 3.1 miles.
Hiking sticks are recommended especially for the down trek
1 complain - there should have been at least 1 trash zone on the trail (6.2 miles round trip)

hiking
10 hours ago

Beautiful hike! Some notes for out-of-towner’s (like us) trying to gauge this hike against ability. I am 53 year old male, reasonably fit., but could lose a few. Hiked with my 24 year old daughter, who is in good shape. We started at 5:30. Up and down in 4:25. Took us 2:17 up. We didn’t stay long because of wind and cold at the top. My wife who is also here with us, opted out because of posts here on loose footing up above. But now that we’ve done it, we realize it is not as bad as many other hikes we’ve been on.

We were faster than most, but did get passed by others, including one guy who was running- yes running - UP. He must’ve been up and down in 3::00-3:15 - impressive.

Gauging by the groups we passed, which varied in age from 10-75, I’d say that’ the “average” round trip would be 6 hours, and 90% in the 4:30-7:30 range.

Have fun!

hiking
1 day ago

What a great hike! I love goals at the end to strive for and that view does not disappoint, so push through folks! I read many reviews before I headed up and many had said the loose rock is kinda tough, I may have underestimated those comments and felt the rock proved difficult, especially on the way down, watch those ankles!

hiking
3 days ago

Physically demanding, but certainly worth it. Great scenery and a nice view from the top. Definitely recommend an early start to beat the crowds and/or summer thunderstorms.

3 days ago

Got on the trail early, left about 4:45 and only saw a few people on the way up. Great trail, one of the easier 14ners but the view at the top is great. Saw lots of people on the way down but wasn’t to crowded. Nice hike for sure

hiking
3 days ago

Left at 4:30ish. There were maybe two other groups going up at the same time. Got to the top around 7:45ish. By the time we got to the very last stretch, we looked back and saw hoards of people so definitely leave early. There was quite the crowd on the way down. I do not recommend bringing dogs unless they have booties. The rocks are pretty sharp at the top.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome and tiring hike to the peak. My wife and I did this hike today with the luck of some awesome weather. It was a bit crowded toward the top, but like others have said, the trail is very, very well maintained. Almost to a fault. I enjoyed the peak mostly for the 360 views. It's hard to describe and even pictures do zero justice for how vast and awesome it truly is. If you start at the bottom lot, expect a pretty gnarly start to the trail. We were surprised by the sudden incline, which sort of beat us up a bit before we acclimated and fell into our rhythm. Much like other 14ers, always assume that it never ends. Near the top, you have to ascend three nearly straight up (at least from your vantage point) climbs before the 'final' trek to the summit. Seriously, it never ends. But when it does, amazeballs. Oh, and leave the little Pikas and goats alone. They deserve to be there as much as we do, and they're insanely adorable to look at on your way up. Luckily we ran into both. It does get pretty cold at the peak. Simple cloud coverage had us shivering, but it's still worth it. Go!

4 days ago

Hiked this last Wednesday. On the trail at 5:20am, the hike was enjoyable with cooler weather up to the flat. Summit at 7:30 (2:12 min) at a good pace. I climb every year and the early departure was a big plus , fewer people on the trail and cooler temps.
Hiked in shorts, t-shirt and hat with trail runners, One very light weight down jacket (used at the summit), a shell (not used), spare socks, battery backup, tiny blister kit and kleenex completed the pack. I carried 3L and used 2.25L of water, 2 snickers,a banana and protein bar.
Down in 1:40, jogging on the flats for a total trip of 3:52. I hiked with wife/daughter last year at a more leisurely pace and we were up/down in about 5:20 (added water and snacks)
In 10+ summits the trail is in the best shape I have ever seen it - thank the hardworking trail crew if you see them.

4 days ago

did this hike on Thursday 7/12. got started at 8:30 which was probably a little late. Hike measured at 7.1 miles from upper parking area. One of the most difficult hikes I've ever experienced. Weather turned nasty right at the summit and started raining and hailing so no home to enjoy any views. Definitely recommend a good wind breaker or even a good ole trash bag in the event of bad weather. My wife, 2 daughters and I had none of the above so we froze on our descent. Learned some harsh lessons on this trip but my first 14'er. Take plenty of water, some energy gels, hiking stick highly recommended, some clothing layers as it gets cold up high and a wind breaker. 6.5 hour round trip.

hiking
6 days ago

we loved it!! although all 3 of our watches had it between 8-9 miles (not 6). view is so worth it

7 days ago

very awesome!

8 days ago

Short sweet n steep

hiking
8 days ago

Decided to go on a Monday in July to avoid the traffic. There were still lots of people on the trail at 630 when we started. The earlier you start this trail the better! You get to enjoy more of the hike itself as opposed to large crowds of people all climbing together. Views at the top were absolutely fabulous.

hiking
9 days ago

We did this trail today as an "easy 14-er", and I think everybody else does it for the same reason. It is not about enjoying the hike, it is about making it to the top.
Arrived at 6:50, took us 3 hours to the top (we are from Ohio, and I am 60). The parking was 3/4 full (it is Monday). BTW, the distance from the lower parking to the trailhead is negligible, so there is no need to get out of one's way to make it to the upper parking, or to park creatively along the road.
The trail: the lower 1/3 goes through a pine forest, and is rather pleasant. The rest is mostly scrambling on a rock scree. There is nothing dangerous, or technically difficult, but it is steep when you go up, and is hard on your knees and toes on the way down, even in good hiking boots. Nevertheless, it is doable.
The view from the top is what one expects to see from the top of a mountain that is taller than most its neighbors (do not get me wrong, it is impressive). The scenery along the trail (upper part) is rather dull (no flowers, no trees.) Lots of people on the trail.

hiking
9 days ago

Well maintained trail, great hike.

We started At 6:05 today and summited in 3 hrs but only took 2:10 hrs coming down. It was our first 14er and every one had said this was the easiest. Coming back in August to hike a couple more.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice hike! One of the easier and faster 14ers I’ve done. Summited in 2.5 hours with virtually no stopping. I was worried about crowds reading other reviews but we started this Monday at 7:30 and had no trouble parking. Still a lot of people but it wasn’t an obnoxious amount. Finished at noon. The weather was pretty consistent compared to others; I was pretty toasty besides the wind at the summit. Beautiful woods at the first half. Great one for beginners!

hiking
9 days ago

If you are thinking of starting with the 14ers, this trek is a must for beginners. No 14ers are easy but the scenic view of this trail will keep you going. Get a very good trekking boot as that is the most important part of you enroute to the top.

11 days ago

I did this hike today and it was amazing. Heads up, the mileage isn’t correct. The total distance clocked near 11 miles.

hiking
11 days ago

Great day. Started 4AM, full moon. Saw 5 people on way up, 500 on way down. Get here early!

11 days ago

This was my first 14er and it was hard but amazing. My brother and I started at 5:30a on Sunday and the upper lot was already full. We took our time with plenty of breaks and made it up in 3.5 hours. It was cold at the top but the views and reaching our destination made it worth it. It took us 6 hrs round trip.

hiking
11 days ago

Went on 7/07 and it was a beautiful day for my first 14er. Quandary Peak is a popular and met numerous other hikers who were doing this for their first 14er too. Arrived at 5:30 and the lot was quite full already. Reached summit by around 8:50 and then arrived back to the parking lot around 11:45. This hike included numerous short breaks for water and a longer break for a meal at the summit. Well kept trail! Lots of dogs mostly off leash which creates congestion at times. I would definitely recommend!

hiking
11 days ago

This was my first 14er and it was challenging yet doable. Started at 5:45 am on 7/6/18 and had to park in the lower lot as the top lot and side of the road was mostly full at that time. Tons a of people on the trail, probably because of the holiday and the perfect weather. I did this hike with my mom who is 58 years old and neither of us are avid hikers but we are pretty fit people. It took us 3.5 hours to summit and about 3 hours for decent. Decent took longer than most people because my mother wanted to be extra careful about her steps. Definitely recommend hiking poles for the decent. The last ascent to the top is tough, take lots of breaks. I am from the east coast so I needed the breaks to adjust to the altitude and less about muscle fatigue. The views at the top are spectacular and so worth the effort to get there.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike on the 4th. Camped at Hoosier pass the night before but stayed up late and didnt get to the trailhead til 8am. Lot was full and had to park a hundred or so yards up the road. MUCH longer than what it says on here. Way longer than the 6miles it says on here. I know fitbits arent the most accurate but mine said round trip at just under 11miles. 5hours 40min to do the whole thing. False summits make it a little more intimidating towards the top and the last couple hundred feet are the hardest. 3.5hrs to summit, 2hrs down. Wouldnt want to start any later than we did as weather was starting to move in when we were at the bottom and felt a couple raindrops when we go to the car. Dog did fine but have to carry water for her as theres no streams or water along the hike. Top half is rocky and scree to the top. Pups paws were a lil chapped at the end but she made it fine.

13 days ago

My husband and I did the Quandary Peak Trail as our very first 14er, and it was an amazing experience. Yes, it was definitely a difficult and challenging hike, but it was so worth it to make it to the top and experience the spectacular views. Mountain goats didn't hesitate to walk the trail right alongside the people, and the trail itself is overall well maintained. Being from Missouri (and having mild asthma), this hike was a challenge for me, but it just proved to me that anyone can do it if you set a slow and steady pace and take breaks when you need them. Although this is supposedly an "easy" 14er, don't let it fool you; the last 1000 feet of elevation gain are extremely difficult because of the steep slope. We took many breaks throughout to make sure we still had the energy to descend the hike. Definitely make sure to get to the trailhead early. We arrived at 5:15am and already the small parking area was filling quickly with cars. Allow yourself more time than you think to complete the whole trail. We arrived at the peak at 9:30, and it took us about 2 1/2 hours to make the descent. We did see a couple of young children on the trail who were clearly struggling, so be aware of your child's physical abilities before allowing them to attempt the trail. There were some children who had to be carried up and down the mountain because they didn't have the stamina to continue on their own.

13 days ago

Started at 5:40 am, finished at 11 am on 7/4.
This is a very strenuous uphill hike!! Once past the tree line, loose rocks of varying size await you. We brought lots of water and breathing breaks.

When we got to the top (8:30ish), the views were out of this world. You could see the Democrat-Lincoln-Cameron-Bross 14ers easily as well as others. Spectacular!!! There weren’t too many other hikers when we arrived but in our descent we saw a lot of other hikers making their way up.

Make sure you have you’re hydrated (drink a ton of water the day before) and have plenty of water and food before attempting. I’d suggest starting before 6 am to make sure you have enough time to complete and the trail isn’t too crowded.

14 days ago

Had a great time....from Texas. Definitely challenging but it can be done. Just take lots of breaks especially at the top stretches. Seem people of ALL ages doing this. First part is Forrest hiking last part is rocky. Wear good shoes. Take more water than you think. Lots of snacks. Take a sign for pictures at the top. Just do it! It is worth it. It is worth it. Just remember there are no easy 14’s.

hiking
15 days ago

We had a great time on the mountain with a 10, 8 and 6 year old. We all summited, but I’ll tell you, the 6 year old was a bit too young. Maybe he’ll have earned character, but he had to be carried at times when he just couldn’t do it. I think the altitude was a bit too much. I’d say hold off til they’re 7 or 8 to do this one. But I’m glad he bagged his first 14er.

hiking
15 days ago

To say that this is a popular trail is a complete understatement. Got to the trail head on a Tuesday just after 6 a.m. and the place was already packed. I mean packed. It's crazy actually. And this is no easy hike either. Lots of rocks once you're above the tree line. The trail below tree line is actually really nice. And I will say the trail is easy to follow the whole way up. Probably the best we've been on when it comes to that. I have this hike at just under 6.5 miles total. I'm glad we didn't do this 14er first, as we may have had second thoughts about some of the others we did prior. It was a tough slog for us today. Maybe it was just an off day, but it took us 4 hours to summit. We were down in 2.5. The final incline to the top is a pull for sure. Lots of people, lots of dogs. It feels like a lot more than 6.5 miles when you get back to your vehicle. Good hike, nice views, just don't expect to have the place to yourself.

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