Father Dyer Peak - East Ridge

Difficulty:  Easy Class 3 
Upper Elevation: 13,615 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 11,000 feet
Elevation Gain:2,700 feet
Round-trip Length: 6.0 miles
Trailhead: Crystal/Spruce Creeks
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 08/10/2012
Last Updated: 08/05/2013
GPX File: Download Login required


From the south end of Breckenridge, drive 2 miles south on Colorado 9. Turn right on Spruce Creek Road. Stay right up a small hill and turn left at an intersection. Stay on the main road and drive 1.2 miles (from Highway 9) to the Spruce Creek trailhead at 10,400’. There is a large parking area here.
To continue to either of the upper, 4WD trailheads, pass through the parking area and continue up the rough road:
Crystal Creek: After 0.2 mile, turn right and follow a narrow, rough road approx. 2 miles to reach Lower Crystal Lake, near 12,000’.
Spruce Creek: From the lower TH, drive nearly 2 miles on the easy 4WD road to reach the upper Spruce Creek trailhead, near 11,100’.


No 4wd: If you don’t have a 4wd vehicle, park at the main trailhead and start walking up the Spruce Creek road. After only 0.1 mile, turn right onto the Crystal Creek road and walk 1.3 miles to reach a junction with the Wheeler trail, near 11,400’.

4wd: If you have 4wd and want to park higher, drive approx. 1.1 miles up the Spruce Creek road to reach a junction with the “Aqueduct” road. Turn right and park at the gate near on the south end of the Aqueduct road (11,000’) – Photo #1. Coordinates for this location are 39.42953 North, -106.06895 West. Pass the gate and walk 50 yards to find the Wheeler trail leading off the road to the left - Photo #2. Take the Wheeler trail north into the forest and continue for 0.7 mile to intersect the Crystal Creek road, near 11,400’ - Photo #3. Note: If you can’t find the Wheeler Trail entrance on the Aqueduct road, walk north up the Aqueduct road for 0.7 mile, turn left on the Crystal Creek road and continue to the trail/road junction at 11,400’.

Follow the Crystal Creek 4wd road west (Photo #4) for nearly 1 mile to reach Lower Crystal Creek Lake at 12,000’ where you’ll get an excellent view of the remaining route - Photo #5 and Photo #6. Continue south on the road for another 0.25 mile, leave the road (Photo #7), and hike directly over to the base of the east ridge - Photo #8.

Hike 400’ up the ridge (Photo #9) to reach a flat spot with an excellent view of the remaining route - Photo #10 and Photo #11. While some easy Class 3 terrain is ahead, most of the remaining ridge is Class 2. Continue to a notch and ascend a steep section (Photo #12) to reach some light-colored rocks, near 13,000’ - Photo #13. Continue along the ridge crest (Photo #14, Photo #15 and Photo #16) to reach the top of the east ridge - Photo #17 and Photo #18. Turn left and continue to the summit - Photo #19, Photo #20 and Photo #21.


If you start at the lower trailhead and follow the "No 4wd" directions above, the round-trip distance is 7.0 miles.


Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13 Photo #14 Photo #15 Photo #16 Photo #17 Photo #18 Photo #19 Photo #20 Photo #21