A view from the road up Hoosier Pass
Victoria enjoying the early morning
The upper route on Quandary
And finally the summit, can you see
Cameron, Lincoln and Bross in the background?
And last but not least a
picture of Horton the Quandary Wonder Dog. Horton lives at the base of
Quandary and tags along with hiking groups year round. Victoria and I met
Horton coming up as we were going down but never took his picture, duh!
Wouldn't you like a hiking partner like Horton who always tags along and
doesn't bail on you at the last moment?
Scramble: Class 1 – Steep Hiking
Altitude: 14,265 ft, Trailhead 10,850ft
Elevation Gain: 3,400 ft approx, Round trip 6.75 miles
Start Time: 5am to 8am to be on your way down by noon and
avoid potential lightning storms
Ascent Time: 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 Hours
This scramble is easy, has some great views of Cameron,
Bross and Lincoln. If you’re lucky you will meet "Horton" the Quandary
Wonder Dog. Horton, a gold colored lab lives at the base of Quandary and
likes to attach himself to climbing parties and escorts them up Quandary.
Probably has the record for most summits of Quandary. We met Horton on our
way down as he had attached himself to a couple and their dog.
Quandary Peak Trailhead – 10,850ft – No Restrooms
From Breckenridge, drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9.
Turn right (west) on the Blue Lakes 850 Road. Drive a few hundred yards and
turn right on the McCullough Gulch 851 Road. There is a sign for the
Quandary Peak Trail at this junction. Drive 0.1 mile to a small parking area
on the right side of the road. This is the trailhead. The U.S. Forest
Service has installed a sign/kiosk that faces away from the road. Walk up
the road to the next corner and the trail starts on the left. This is a new
trailhead and replaces the previous trailhead 1 mile up the road. The new
trailhead is fairly small (perhaps 7-8 vehicles) so come early for the best
parking. There is parking along the road further up.
From the new trailhead you can drive a couple of miles up
the road to McCullough Gulch trailhead. Near the end of this road stay left,
don’t take the road down into the Gulch and you will come to the end of the
road where there is a locked gate. This is the McCullough Gulch trailhead.
Along this road and at the locked gate there are a few spots and pullouts
that could be used for dispersed camping. Of course there is the old sleep
in the vehicle at the new Quandary trailhead if you want the earliest start.
The Quandary Peak Trail starts across the road from the
trailhead and winds its way up the slopes all the way to the summit. Once on
the trail it’s almost impossible to get lost. As you near what you think is
the summit (ie some red colored rocks) you are close but the true summit is
a hundred yards of fairly level hiking farther back. The descent takes
almost as long as going up due to the type of rocks and terrain. Rocks on
the trail are baseball size and it is hard to descend very fast.