Hike Breckenridge Trails

An unexpected reward for the hike up McCullough Gulch Trail near Breckenridge, Colorado, were these mountain goats who, along with a few others, stopped to pose for some hikers.
An unexpected reward for the hike up McCullough Gulch Trail near Breckenridge, Colorado, were these mountain goats who, along with a few others, stopped to pose for some hikers.

On my own for the day, I decided to hike the McCullough Gulch Trail south of Breckenridge (CO) because of the promised reward: waterfalls at the top of the trail. This was one of several trails recommended by our hosts, the Breckenridge Tourism Office. (The others lead to Mohawk Lakes and Blue Lakes.)

The trailhead begins at about 11,000 feet, just below the treeline with this picturesque assortment of pine and aspen.
The trailhead begins at about 11,000 feet, just below the treeline with this picturesque assortment of pine and aspen.

If you miss the turn-off to the trailhead from southbound Highway 9, as I did, you'll enjoy a drive over Hoosier Pass and the Continental Divide. The correct turn is actually only about 8 miles south of Breckenridge. After a mile or so of dirt road and some trick parking, the trail starts out as a double track along the lower creek. Starting at 11,000-foot altitude, the trail's elevation change is less than 800 feet, and will lead across loose rock, flat rock, steep steps, and dirt paths. It requires a little scrambling here and there, but is only moderately difficult. (I was not the oldest on the trail.) At the top, various spurs give hikers a selection of spots to settle in for a picnic with spectacular views all around.

The reward at the top: waterfalls stepping down and around the rocky mountains from the glacier lake just over this ridge.
The reward at the top: waterfalls stepping down and around the rocky mountains from the glacier lake just over this ridge.

Uncharacteristically, I forced myself to turn around short of the glacier lake above the waterfall in order to meet up with Breck and blogger pals at the popular drinking and dining spot, Modis. Over an elaborate menu of cocktails, the group enjoyed another popular Breckenridge view from the rooftop bar: the historic main street of Breckenridge.

See our other coverage of our visit to Breckenridge, here, and here, and read about all our activities over four days in September here.


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14 thoughts on “Hike Breckenridge Trails”

  1. We haven’t yet explored much of Colorado, but these photos certainly are enticing! I love that first photo, the vibrant colors of blue and green and the white contrast of the mountain goats. I think they are asking, “What are you looking at?!”

    Reply
  2. Patti, these goats were so chill! The mom even took time to lick the young one, sprucing up for the cameras, no doubt. Another walked by me not more than five feet away. These characters are not shy of people.

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    • I’m not sure how many years it’s been since your visit, but since the city reclaimed the Blue River in 1984, they continue to improve the river area as it flows north of town. We love visiting Colorado in the fall!

      Reply
  3. They WERE adorable! Fortunately, the adoring crowd that gathered to look at them kept their distance. Fluffy or not, they had young nearby. And they sure were not intimidated by two-legged people. (Enjoyed reading about your Solvang discoveries.)

    Reply

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