From Breckenridge, drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9. On a sharp corner of Colorado 9, turn west onto the 850 road (Blue Lakes road). It is 2 miles to the trailhead below the dam. Continue on Blue Lakes road as it climbs west. After 1.2 miles, keep right. After 1.4 miles, keep right again. By early June, the road is usually open to the dam. If not, drive as far as possible and hike the remainder of the road. There is a large parking area below the dam.
Most of the route is seen in Photo #1. From the dam area, Fletcher is to the north and not visible. Climb up to the dam and drop down from the right side to find a trail. There are two ways to begin your climb to the basin south of the lake Photo #2 shows the two way - seen from the dam:
1) This is the standard route but there are a few sections where it‘s easy to lose the trail. Turn right and locate a trail that climbs the steep slope. There are a couple of small trails that lead up from the lake but your goal is to climb briefly to a larger trail that heads west toward the basin. Photo #3 shows the location of the trail. Once you reach the main trail, traverse west across the slope. Near 12,100‘, the trail angles northwest as it leads to the basin. Follow the good trail to the center of the basin near some mine remnants.
2) Follow a trail by the shore all the way to a stream outlet before turning right to reach the basin. Continue less than 1/2 a mile along the shore. Near a stream, turn right (north) and follow a small, broken trail toward the basin above. Reach the main trail after the slope eases (near 12,100‘).
Photo #4 shows the view ahead. Continue north through the basin on a good trail. Locate a steep slope on the northwest end of the basin. Without snow, there is a large rust-colored stain down the center of the gully - Photo #5.
The trail ends near the base of the gully. Climb the left side of the gully on loose rock. On the plateau above the gully turn right and hike north across large boulders. Pass under snow fields near 12,800‘ and continue toward the end of the basin. The ridge that leads right (east) up to Quandary Peak is ahead. Near 13,100‘, turn left (west) and exit the basin by ascending a slope covered with large rock slabs - Photo #6.
Above 13,200‘, reach the large open area south of Fletcher‘s summit. The final summit pitch is completely visible - Photo #7. Cross the large basin by heading directly toward Fletcher and gradually gaining ground on the right side of the basin. Climb the southeast ridge by staying on the left side of the ridge crest - Photo #8. There are serious drop-offs on the east side of the ridge. The ridge steepens between 13,600‘ and 13,800‘ and the rock is fairly loose. There are a couple of notches on the ridge from which you can peer down into McCullough Gulch (east). Continue up to the summit. Photo #9 and Photo #10 were taken on top.
This route often holds snow into early summer.
The trail is good to the rust-colored gully and it’s mostly talus hiking after that. The ridge leading to the summit has some loose rock but nothing difficult.