Quandary Peak

 27 votes

6.3 Miles 10.1 Kilometers


95%

Singletrack

3,037' 926 m

Ascent

-3,054' -931 m

Descent

14,018' 4,273 m

High

10,977' 3,346 m

Low

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

76%

Max Grade (37°)

Minor Issues

14 days agoUpdate

A popular and easy 14er just outside Breckenridge.

Matthew Coye

Overview

The multitude of mountain goats on this mountain provides a dangerous distraction for curious dogs, so leashes might actually be a good idea on this one.
Quandary Peak is one of the easiest and most accessible Fourteeners in Colorado. Just 20 minutes from downtown Breckenridge and around 2 hours from Denver, the trailhead can be reached by any 2WD car. Unlike many other 14ers, a summit of Quandary does not require driving over any sketchy mountain passes.
Features: Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

While an easy 14er, Quandary Peak is still an undertaking for the average person. Bring sun protection and plenty of water! Expect 1.5-2 hrs for fast trail runners and 4-6 hrs for the average hiker.

Note: Even though land management says dogs are to be leashed, you'll see many dogs and few leashes.

Description

From Breckenridge, drive south on CO 9 for 8 miles. Turn right onto the Blue Lakes Road (850). This can be fairly tricky to find: it's immediately before a sharp left turn on a switchback headed up Hoosier Pass, just as the grade gets steep. (NOTE: there is a different trailhead for Quandary, right off CO 9 and closer to Breckenridge. It is better marked but its trail is less often traveled due to steeper grades).

There is a parking lot just to the right. Although it is not the official Quandary Peak parking, it is a good option. To get to the actual trailhead: from here things become pretty apparent - just drive a hundred yards before turning right onto 851, shortly after which there should be a large parking lot with trailhead signs and a latrine. Overflow parking should remain along the side of 851, and not 850, as the residents of this area see enough traffic and don't deserve to have their driveways blocked.

From the TH off 851, walk up the road to a clearly marked trail, heading west nearly parallel to the road. The trail is clear, easy, and relatively low grade. In about 0.3 miles there is a large boulder to the right of the trail. Turn right around it. The trail is clear during the summer months, but in the event that it is covered with snow it's easy to miss this turn. After gaining about 700 vertical ft, you'll start to pass through some clearings, some of which are fairly flat, at 11,300'. The trail crosses some abandoned mining roads, but clear signs should keep confusion to a minimum.

At 11,700' the trees become sparse. The ridge pops into view around 11,800'. The trail brings you along the left side of the ridge. Follow the switchbacks up towards the ridge proper, which you should reach at around 12,400'. From here the summit is visible and it's more or less impossible to get lost. At 13,100', angle left along some flats to stay on the ridge. From here the trail gets rockier but is still clear; the grade gets steeper but is still manageable. At 13,400' ft trail stops switchbacking and heads more or less straight up until you hit the 14k' mark. From here, continue up along the summit ridge and celebrate!

Flora & Fauna

You'll find yourself above tree line for the vast majority of this hike. While the wildflowers aren't that remarkable, the overly friendly mountain goats and marmots are. For those unfamiliar with the former, mountain goats are sodium-deprived brutes and will go to great lengths to acquire any salty fluid, including drinking any human or dog urine they come across.

History & Background

Quandary Peak, while lumped in with the Mosquito Range Fourteeners, is the only 14er truly in the Tenmile Range. It is consistently one of the most crowded routes every summer.

Contacts

Rate Featured Hike


   Clear

4.4 from 27 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jul 6, 2017
Brian Rempel
My first fourteener!!! 7mi
Jul 6, 2017
Jennifer Jacobsen
With Brian took us 9 hours, lol 12mi
Jul 2, 2017
Ian Shane
Jul 2, 2017
Jared Harley
7mi — 8h 45m
Jun 30, 2017
Stephanie Petersen
Jun 28, 2017
B Ar
Jun 25, 2017
Emily H
Jun 17, 2017
Ryan McDonough

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 27 votes

#1

in Front Range

#47

Overall
  4.4 from 27 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
15%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Front Range

#15

in Colorado

#47

Overall
1,439 Views Last Month
3,902 Since Mar 19, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
8%
15%
65%
12%
0%

Conditions


Minor Issues 14 days ago
Snowy - Small patches of snow near the summit, but nothing too severe. You shouldn't need any traction devices unless it provides additional comfor...
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking