Quandary Trailhead


Range: Tenmile Range
Coordinates: 39.38491, -106.06178
14ers: Quandary Peak
Elevation: 10,850'
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Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

From Breckenridge, drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9. Turn right (west) on the 850 (Blue Lakes) Road. Drive a few hundred yards and turn right on the 851 (McCullough Gulch) Road. Drive 0.1 mile to the signed trailhead and tiny, fenced parking area. The trail starts on the left of the 851 road, just above the tiny trailhead. If the trailhead area is full, park in the large overflow lot down at the start of the 850 road and walk up the roads to reach the trail. PLEASE DO NOT park on the side of the roads.

Winter Access

Closed at the start of the 851 road, 0.1 mile below the summer TH. 2WD accessible with parking in a signed lot at the start of the 850 road. Please, do not park along the 850 road.

More Info

Parking: Reserved only - see notes.
Camping: No good camping spots in the area.
Restrooms? Yes, in summer
Fees? Yes, in summer
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: berko89
Info: Arrived at the new main Quandary lot at 6:30am 10/8/22 (reservations no longer required after 9/30/22) and it was less than 25% full. Several cars were parked in the old Quandary lot as well - log fence gate was open. Portable toilet restrooms in the main lot were still in service and were clean (last service date was 10/6/22). Vulgar signs from the disgruntled person were still there too. Main lot was full when we arrived back at our vehicle at 11:20am.
Posted By: JBELL1561
Info: hiked quandary today Wed 9/7/22. lot on 851 road across from trail entry point was blocked with log fencing. had to park in reservation lot at 850/9 intersection. no big deal because i parked at 530am and i was only the 3rd vehicle. is this the norm during the summer now, that you have to park in this lot?
Posted By: jimdvr
Info: The parking system works very well There are numerous vulgar signs posted by a disgruntled property owner surrounding the lot. In comparison to my last trip here the lot was barely half full. In the past the number of cars lining the road was dangerous and cars were parked every where.

the trailhead is well marked and easy to find.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Remember, parking reservations are required starting June 1st. As of today, the reservation system is NOT online but it should be soon.


More info...
Posted By: blade73
Info: There is no more parking in McCullough Gulch and there is a parking fee at the main TH parking. There is also a shuttle from Breckenridge Airport parking that will run every 30 min. 5 am to 6:30 pm, June 15 to Sept. 18. There is also a shuttle from the main TH to McCullough TH. For more info see parkquandary.com
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: TH is still open without reservations needed. At 8:40 AM on a Thursday the lot was only about 1/5 full.
Posted By: broncosRZbest
Info: Had no trouble parking at 9am on a Sunday in late March. Lot was dry in the morning, muddy by the evening.
Posted By: Carl_Healy
Info: Lower winter lot in fine shape as well as the roads leading to it. No access issues.
Still in winter as well so no shuttle system etc.
Posted By: jploy
Info: Did a successful sunrise winter summit of Quandary. Although the peak got a couple of inches during the week, the snow was firm and the route was packed down (very low avalanche danger). The trailhead was easy to get to as the main roads were all plowed.
I’m not sure how the trailhead and route will do after this winter storm that Colorado is supposed to receive during the week of 1/31/22, but it’s safe to hike at the moment.
Posted By: RyanOhNoPleaseStop
Info: Im sure any AWD car or better could make it to the lower parking lot. I however couldnt even turn onto Blue Lakes Rd because it was unplowed and i wasnt risking getting my Honda Civic stuck. So i turned around 100 yards short around the intersection of HWY9 and Blue Lakes Rd.

I dont know if i could have gotten away with parking down the road (on the shoulder well out of the way of plows and traffic), but i didnt test it. I drove down to the shuttle parking lot in hopes that the shuttle would be running in the morning. it was not.

... i should have kept the jeep. smh.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The shuttle/parking system ended for the summer on 10/31. You can now park at the trailhead as usual, free.
Posted By: mtnbkr1
Info: Just a quick note - The new reservation system is the bomb. You can reserve up to 14 days in advance and are guaranteed a parking spot. This only applies at the ’overflow’ lot at Blue Lake Road and CO9 and not the USFS small lot across from the trail. Although technically not needed, I would definitely recommend that you print out the reservation and put it on your dash (you won’t have cell reception if you need to access the reservation system for some reason).
Posted By: collerant
Info: Yesterday was the 1st day of the shuttle’s service.. The morning shuttle had A-line and some people did not get on the 1st shuttle they could have. The shuttle’s only run every 30 minutes so so if you miss one it’s a long wait. In the afternoon some people had to wait for 3 shuttles to pass. Almost an hour and a 1/2. Needless to say. Frustration. Once you are on the shuttle, very easy and efficient. They just need more shuttle’s at peak hours
Posted By: EMan
Info: If you don’t feel like paying $20-$50 for a reservation (July 30-Oct 31), or taking a shuttle from Breck, park for FREE at Blue Lakes Dam and follow Quandary’s West Ridge Route to the summit. (Class 3). No snow on route.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: NOTICE: Starting July 30, 2021 you will need to reserve a parking spot for this trailhead or use the new free shuttle service from Breckenridge.

Posted By: 123tqb
Info: Still closed at the winter trailhead, and the very bottom of the trail was completely bone dry.
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: Snow packed...
Filled up by 8 a.m., mostly because people don’t know how to park.
Posted By: chassis
Info: Arrived at the TH on 9/3/20 at 5:10am, we were the 10th car or so. The small parking area at the TH was just about full. There needs to be more parking at this TH. The TH is marked clearly and is in good shape. The road to the TH is bumpy but can be navigated with a small car like a Honda Accord or Toyota Corolla. One large pothole in the road can be avoided if you pay attention.

No sheriffs, no tow trucks, no tickets. Everything was good.
Posted By: Gandalf69
Info: I drive past this th to work everyday. If you park outside of lot, expect a ticket or worse. Don’t park on shoulder, I saw tow trucks there last week. Ive seen sheriffs around too enforcing everything. Arrive early for quandary, thanks everybody

P S I’d be pissed if someone parked in front of my driveway to hike, just saying lol thanks again
Posted By: nilaoire
Info: We did the class 3 route from the reservoir this am - the road to the reservoir is pretty torn up in places. My Outback was no problem, but my friends Impreza had more difficulty. If the line of traffic going up later this am was anything to judge by, don’t expect it to get any better.
Posted By: dcruz654
Info: Not my pictures and didn’t hike there, but come on people. There are so many other trails around. Don’t park on 9 like idiots.
Posted By: DSwans
Info: Parking lot and most of 851 full at 4:30AM. Come early and prepare for a crowded climb.
Posted By: jordanthebuff
Info: On the Monday after 4th of July, the trailhead lot was about 90% full at 7:45. If you are trying to hike on the weekend, it’s probably a good idea to get there around 6-6:30 to grab a spot before the lot fills up. There are port-a-johns in the lot as well.
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: The road is still open to the summer TH for the East Ridge route but i saw a few vehicles almost get stuck when the packed snow/ice got soft.
Posted By: ClimbCO
Info: Great conditions and clear weather made for the perfect late start day. I had some trouble when I arrived at the trailhead, as this was my first 14er with my new pup. I had locked my keys in my car at about 9:15 in the morning, so I had to wait for a tow driver to come over from Fairplay to unlock my vehicle before heading up. Even with starting at 10:50 AM , I had plenty of time to enjoy the views and take breaks as desired while summiting around 1:30 PM. There were some clouds in the late afternoon, but no rain, which did match up with the forecast of the multiple weather sites I had checked. Bring your Trail Runners and pick a sunny day to hike. It is still warm enough to only wear a light windbreaker or microfleece.
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