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Quandary Peak

Length: 6 miles
Ranks 14th of Colorado's fiftysome 14ers.
Difficulty Rating:

Below: Quandary's inspiring 14,265 ft. peak

If you're intrigued by the challenge of bagging a
fourteener and interested in experiencing oxygen deprivation, then this is the hike for you. Quandary Peak located south of Breckenridge will provide an exhilarating, lung-popping experience for all who conquer its summit.

Directions: Drive south on highway 9 about 7.5 miles from the last traffic light in Breckenridge to Blue Lakes Road on your right. After turning right onto Blue 

Lakes Road (No.850) you turn right again onto No. 851 and proceed approximately 1.1 miles to the trailhead. There is not a large parking area here so most hikers park parallel along the road.


Looking back from where we had come on our ascent of Quandry.

The trail starts moderately but soon begins a steady, relentless ascent of about 3 miles as it gains over 3,100 feet in elevation. Hikers will find a copy of Mary Ellen Gilliland's THE NEW SUMMIT HIKER or NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S TOPOMAP OF BRECKENRIDGE-TENNESSEE PASS to be helpful companions on this trek.

Spectacular views of other 14ers can be found in all directions. To the south, you'll see Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross. Some distance to the northeast you'll be able to make out Mt. Grays and Mt. Torreys. 




As you survey the landscape to the south from the steep summit, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the Blue Lakes at the base of Quandary.

You need to be in decent shape to take on Quandary. If you just got off the plane from Boston, this is not the hike to begin with as altitude sickness could lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, or worse. Expect this hike to be an all day affair. (approximately 8 hours). If you want the exhilaration that comes with a sense of accomplishment after a good hard ascent, Quandary will do that for you. But you will be rewarded. At the rocky summit you will truly feel as though you're on top of the world.


Ascending Quandry. The close appearance of the peak is very misleading.

Right: Another awesome shot of Quandary Peak.

Two of SCE's staff members sign in and take a break at the peak of Mt. Quandry




  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.