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blueBlack Crystal Peak Northeast Ridge

  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

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9.5 mile 15.3 kilometer loop


Ascent: 3,139' 957 m
Descent: -3,136' -956 m
High: 13,518' 4,120 m
Low: 10,379' 3,164 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by Chelsea Taylor

This is a gorgeous hike primarily up a 4x4 road that leads to the peak with 360-degree views of the Ten Mile Range.

Chelsea Taylor

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Road legal vehicles only allowed on Spruce Creek Road #800 and Crystal Lakes Road #803.


Come experience a great out-and-back with phenomenal views of the Tenmile Range.

Need to Know

High-clearance 4x4 vehicles can make it up to Lower Crystal Lake.


The standard route begins at the Spruce Creek Trailhead parking area. Roughly 1000 feet past the parking lot, keep to the right where the road forks. The 4x4 road follows Crystal Creek and offers many views of the "waterfalls" along the way.

The area around the lower portion of the route is densely wooded with firs and has an abundant bird population. Near 1.2 miles in, there is a turnoff for Francie's Cabin (reservations required). Wheeler Trail cuts across the 4x4 trail just after the cabin road. At this point, Father Dyer and Crystal Peak will come into view.

Another mile on the road, you'll soon reach Lower Crystal Lake. At the old mine building, you'll take a right and follow the old road that turns into a singletrack to the end of the basin. This trail reaches the south slopes of Peak 10 and begins climbing the slope.

At 12,800 feet, there will be a steep cutoff that gets you on the trail to the saddle. Cairns dust the mountainside to keep you on track to the saddle, since the trail is faint. If you reach Upper Crystal Lake, you have gone too far.

Once you reach the saddle there is no distinct trail, and you'll have to choose your route up to the peak. Keeping just east of the ridge gives a decent wind barrier and is the safest route. There is a false summit that you see the entire way, but Crystal Peak is just 50 ft. beyond it. There are gorgeous views of the Ten Mile Range once you reach the top.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers galore and multiple birds, insects, and small critters can be found here.


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Jul 29, 2018
Chelsea Taylor
Went to upper Crystal Lakes before back tracking to the trail to the peak. Great wildflowers and the lakes were wonderfully blue - weather was great 10mi — 8h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote


in Breckenridge


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