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Nightmare on Baldy Mine Tour Loop

 Directions and Description found exclusively on Summit County Explorer.com!

Length: Approx. 7.25 miles roundtrip
Historic mining ruins, Views of Breckenridge and 10 Mile Range and solitude (except for occasional mountain bikers).
Difficulty Rating:
Elevation Gain: Approx. 1,300 ft (highpoint approx 11,200 ft.)

Head north out of Breckenridge on route 9 (Main st.) to Wellington Road. Make a right on Wellington road and proceed for 1.1 miles to French Gulch Rd. Drive almost 2 miles to French Gulch Trailhead on your right. Park here.

Before heading out be sure to pick up a copy of the latest "Summit County Colorado Trails Recreation Topo Map" from Weber's bookstore in Breckenridge. The insert on Breckenridge is quite useful. On this hike you will pass the Sally Barber Mine, Iowa Mill, Tommy Mine, Corporal Mine and Gold Bell Mine.

Above: This is a photo of the Sally Barber mine which is located 1.5 miles from the
French Gulch trailhead.


 Below:  Trailhead at French Gulch leading to Rd. 2651 and the Sally Barber mine 1.5 miles ahead.


There are numerous ruins and a recent restoration project at Tommy Mine to intrigue mining and history buffs. Interpretative signs are located at the Sally Barber Mine. Nightmare on Baldy Trail and Baldy Rd. feature sweeping vistas and an exhilarating alpine adventure!

From the parking lot, exit the upper side and walk down to the gate that marks the beginning of a gentle 1.5 mile ascent to Sally Barber mine on road #2651.


As you reach the Sally Barber Mine look for the Nightmare on Baldy Trailhead on the hill above the mine on your left. Follow this trail for about a mile as it switchbacks across an old mining road before joining a wider path marked by a log fence on your left. In just a few dozen yards you will see another log fence on your right that blocks access to a drainage ditch.

Continue straight on Nightmare on Baldy until you exit the national forest (marked by a yellow sign on your left) and make a left onto Baldy Rd. As you continue a steady climb up Baldy Rd. you will come to Iowa Mill (circa 1935) on your left. As you continue on Baldy Rd., the first ruins you encounter will be Tommy Mine on your right. This is a little less than a mile from where you exited the national forest onto Baldy Rd. Continue past Tommy mine to where Baldy Rd. turns right and continues to climb.

Above: Beginning of Nightmare on Baldy trail right across from the Sally Barber Mine.

Above: A series of switchbacks from the Sally Barber mine keads to this junction. You will be coming up the trail on the left and continue straight through the gate ahead
(This photo was  taken looking back).

Above: This is the gate you will come to after the junction shown on the above photo.
(This photo was  taken looking back).

 Continue on through the gate and you eventually come to the end of the national forest and make a sharp left turn on to  Baldy Rd. (Photo taken looking BACK so that is the edge of Baldy Rd. shown on the right ).


DO NOT CONTINUE ON BALDY but instead bear left onto an unmarked road that takes you past the ruins of Corporal mine and Gold Bell mine. About a mile after turning off Baldy Rd. you will rejoin the NIghtmare on Baldy Trail where you will turn right and retrace your steps back to Sally Barber Mine and the French Gulch Trailhead. Be sure to look for the log fence and sign that points to your left turn back to Sally Barber.

The image to the left is a rough illustration of the loop you will take. A stop at the visitor center in Breckenridge would also be helpful in preparation for this hike. We found the personnel there to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic!


Above:  Iowa Gulch Mill circa 1935. You pass this on your left as you hike up Baldy Road.

Above: Next on your right will be the ruins of Little Tommy Mine.

Image/Map Above: Courtesy of Paul MacDonnell, contributing editor.

Above: After bearing left at the junction off Baldy Rd. (see hike description) the trail back to Nightmare on Baldy is littered  with the remnants of old mines.

Above: View from Little Tommy Mine




  beginner intermediate advanced
    Black Powder Pass   Mohawk Lake   Quandary Peak  14,265'
    Lily Pad   Chihuahua Gulch   Lincoln & Bross 14,291' / 14,177'
    St. John's   Mt. Royal   Bierstadt Peak 14,060'
    Mayflower Gulch   Wheeler Lakes   Willow & Salmon Lakes
    Loveland Pass   Radical Hill Trail   Upper Crystal Lake
    Salt Lick Trail   McCullough Gulch   Gray's & Torrey's 14,278' / 14,267'
    Mesa Cortina Trail   Mt. Sniktau   Mt. Democrat 14,152'
    St. Mary's Glacier   North Ten Mile Trail   Mt. Victoria
    Sally Barber Mine   Willow Falls  

Mt. Elbert  14,433'

    Oro Grande Trail   Eaglesmere Lakes   Buffalo Mountain  12,777'
    Meadow Creek-Salt Lick   Mosquito Pass   Eccles Pass
    Shrine Mountain Trail   Webster Pass   Mt. Huron  14,003'
    Ptarmigan Trail   Ptarmigan via Wilder Gulch    
    Peaks Tr. Barton Gulch   Wheeler Lake - Park County    
    Hoosier Pass Loop   Lenawee Trail    


  Spruce Creek Loop   Nightmare on Baldy Mine    
    Tenderfoot Mountain Trail        

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Note: The Summit County Explorer website is for entertainment purposes only. SCE will not be held liable for the any accidents or injuries resulting from the activities listed on this site. Trail conditions change daily and we assume no responsibility for the safety of any individual during any of these activities. Please consult actual trail guides and maps before attempting any of the activities mentioned here.