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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.

Length 6.7 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)
Facilities
Contact
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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (2606)
Photos (1871)
Recordings (1771)
Completed (5366)
Erica Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 13 2020
Hiking

Giving this one 4 stars because this hike is kind of relentless - it’s basically all uphill and then all downhill, which killed my knees, versus having a flat beginning or several flatter sections throughout the trail. However, the beginning is super pretty and the views up top are incredible! Definitely recommend, but maybe not as a first 14er (this was my second).

Neha Prabhu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
Hiking

Parked in the lot (one of the last spots) at 6:30am on 7/12. The majority of the hike did not feel crowded until you got closer to the summit-plenty of people. Tons of rocks, can be tough on the knees coming down. Took about 6 hours (with plenty of breaks). Saw a family of mountain goats! Wasn’t too windy/cold on top.

Kristen Duskey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
HikingRocky

By far the prettiest start to a 14nr ever! We started at 7am .... Rocky on top however you can still make out a trail i would say no scrambling at all. It was gorgeous day. Summited In 3 hours got off the mountain in 2 right before the rain. No wind up top! But very very busy!! Parking wasn’t an issue at that time we parked in the secondary lot

Morgan Heczko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow
View Morgan's Recording
Geoff Uhlemann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

Pretty easy by comparison. Pavement until parking lot

Marty Heflin Leavitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

I went on this trail Saturday 7/11. Wow, I had no idea the amount of people that would be on it. Started at 5:00am and the parking lot and overflow were full. It was insane. I bet there were over 100 people that were at summit with me So much for social distancing. It was not happening. the trail was even worse coming down. People everywhere! The view is amazing but I highly advice go on a weekday and perhaps earlier than 5 or late weather pending. Saw mountain goats and it was a serious workout! All and all I loved it. The view at the top will make you cry. So so beautiful

Katie Hammonds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingRocky

My brother and I (17 and 19 years old) did the trail this morning. Started at 8am and there were plenty of people who had clearly started at 4am coming down as we were going up. I do not think that is very necessary. We summited one 2 hours and 25 minutes (including all stops and water breaks). He warned, that is doable but most people tend to take over 3 hours to make it to the summit. Shockingly, it took us about an hour and 50 minutes to come down. It is an amazing hike and I would recommend it to anyone. Do not get discouraged when you reach the rocky face for the last mile of the hike.

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Morgan Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingRocky

We arrived at the trail at 4:15 and the parking lot was already filled up. There was quite a bit of people going up but even more going down. Loose rock made it hard going down but the views and mountain goats made it worth it!

Clay Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRocky

Hiked the trail on a Saturday. Started at 0430 and took us 6 hours round trip, about 4 up and 2 down. Underestimated just how rocky and uphill the last stretch is which definitely made it a challenge. Sign at the bottom saying there are no easy 14ers is definitely true. Still a great hike and glad we started early! Parking was full by the time we got down around 1030.

Adyn Elizabeth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRocky

Lots and lots of people. But the views are worth it.

Nicole Orner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Great for a first 14er, though very crowded. We went up and down with our dog in about 4.5 hours. Would definitely recommend proper footwear for support on scree coming down.

Michelle Maehler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRocky

did this today. Second 14er. Last week was Mt. Sherman. Quite crowded, but worth it. We got to trail head @ 6:40am and back to car by 11:40. Very rocky - must watch every step!! Worth it!

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Alexander Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRockyScramble

So many people. Not easy.

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Nick Jarman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRocky
View Nick's Recording
Katherine Harper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

After the tree line, there is no shade but that’s to be expected. We parked around 4:45 and the main lot was full, but we were able to park .2 miles down the road from the trail head. Amazing hike! Gorgeous views, saw some mountain goats, and so many wild flowers. Took about 7.5 hours start to finish (left at 5AM, reaches the summit at 9:30, and started down again at 10 AM. This could definitely be done faster, but we took lots (and I mean LOTS) of breaks as this was our first 14er. I definitely recommend a water bladder with 3L (I drank almost every drop), hiking boots, trekking poles and sunscreen. So so many people going up without, and while it may be doable, you’re going to feel a lot better bringing it all. I definitely think all trails has the mileage wrong. While it said it was 6.7, it ended up being closer to 10. If you’re considering this hike, go for it! Take it slow and steady and you’ll be fine

View Katherine's Recording
Travis Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

1st time doing Quandry in the summer. Took a couple of friends for their first 14er. Wasn’t too crazy hard for them but definitely not easy. We hit the trail at 3:11am and summited at 7:45. Extremely crowded on the way up and even more on the way down. Overall though great hike though!

View Travis's Recording
Ali Mithrandir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020

Wow that was my first 14er and it totally wiped me out! The hard work was absolutely worth it in the end though! Beautiful views and mountain goats. We started around 545am and parked I'm the overflow lot today on Friday and it was about half full. The trail was really busy and usually I hate that but, being our first 14er it was nice to have others cheer us on and give each other advice! Met some really nice people, it was a nice experience despite being absolutely exhausted in the end.

Max Lawrence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

I hiked this on 11 July 2020. I had a great time. It was my first 14er and a great challenge. I camped the night before near Hoosier pass and got to the trail head at 5:45, it was pretty full. Like the map shows, this will be UP, then you reach the top, then DOWN. There is a saddle before you make the final ascent and one false summit, so keep going and you'll know when you get to the top. Once you're above the treeline you'll have some pretty sweet views. My advice: bring a lot of water, sunscreen and a sign for pictures at the top and dress in layers. I wore a buff-mask most of the hike, many were not wearing masks. I saw a family with a large Saint Bernard on my way down, the dog was wearing a pack on top of all their fur and was struggling, so please be mindful of the heat and your dog's hiking level. Be careful on the way down as you might slip on the rocks/gravel. Overall a great hike, would def recommend doing, just start early and take plenty of breaks.

scott may
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

At 57, my first 14er! We started at 6:40am, it was 35 degrees, and got one of the last parking spots next to the lower lot...next to 100+ cars. We summited after 4:40 of hiking. No snow on the trail, with several large snow patches next to the trail at higher elevations. Quite windy above the tree line. The weather was gorgeous. Saw 2 mountain goats going up, and a pack of 9 coming down- with no fear of people. When we arrived at the car at 3pm, the temp was near 80 degrees.

Makaela Fauber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Amazing trail conditions today (minus some wind). The first portion of the hike is in the trees, which provides some shade on the way back, but the trail is mostly unshaded. Definitely make sure to pack sunscreen! A wind breaker is also a must - the winds at the top were very strong! Other than that, it was a beautiful hike and we saw about 20 mountain goats, including a baby, which was a welcome surprise! On our drive down from the trailhead, we also saw a moose!

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Joseph Andrew
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingRocky
View Joseph's Recording
Bradford S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020

beautiful views. no snow on trail as of July 9th but still some along the trail and mountain valley's which made for some beautiful pictures. Very rocky and fairly steep for these 47 year old knees but worth the effort once you get to the top.

George Twigg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

This was my second attempt at Quandary, after a narrow miss a couple of winters ago where I turned back a few hundred feet from the summit. Made it to the summit this time for my first 14er! It's definitely a challenging hike, especially the very steep last push, but well worth the effort. Amazing 360 views on top, and with the warm weather there was no need to rush back down. Saw a few mountain goats (including a baby!), some marmots, and few other little critters. Nice to have the shade at the bottom after very intense sun up top - sunscreen is a necessity on this hike. The trail itself was in good condition, although in the upper reaches there is a lot of loose gravel to deal with which can be a challenge on the way down. In terms of timing, I am not an early bird, and didn't get to the trail head until 11:30am - but there was ample parking all the way up to and including in the main lot, as by then lots of the early birds had come and gone. Normally not a great time to head up due to afternoon storms, but the forecast that day was for exceptionally clear skies and that turned out to be the case - not a cloud in the sky even going into late afternoon.

Suzi Penney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingRocky

Did Quandary yesterday (7/8). Parked at 4:30 & there were already close to 10 cars. 37 degrees when I started, when I returned to the car 67. Took four hours to summit but I rested a lot near the top due to altitude sickness. A lot of people said it took them three hours to summit. Great weather, very windy, & clear. Easy to follow trail but very rocky. It’s easy to roll an ankle on your way down. Mountain goats and pika made for good company. When I left at 11:30 there were 30+ cars.

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