Pacific Peak - East Slopes

Difficulty:  Difficult Class 2 
Ski: Advanced
Ski "D System": D7 / R3 / III  
Summit Elevation: 13,950 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,400 feet
Elevation Gain:3,650 feet (starting at the lower trailhead), 2,925 feet (starting at the end of the road)
Round-trip Length: 10.5 miles (starting at the lower trailhead), 6.5 miles (starting at the end of the road)
Trailhead: Crystal/Spruce Creeks
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 08/18/2004
Last Updated: 01/24/2014
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’.


If you parked at the lower, 2WD trailhead, begin your hike up the road. After 0.2 mile, pass the junction for Crystal Creek and after 1 mile, pass the Aqueduct road. Follow the remaining road all the way to the end, near 11,100’.

From the end of the Spruce Creek road, follow the well-marked trail into the forest. After a short distance, you’ll encounter multiple trails in this busy area - follow signs for Continental Falls or Upper Mohawk Lakes and stay left at most trail junctions. Pass some old mine buildings, turn left near a lake and ascend a steep hill, left of the falls. At the top of this hill, pass an old mine tramway and continue left past Lower Mohawk Lake. Hike west up another slope (Photo #1) to reach Mohawk Lake. Cross the stream running out of the lake and follow a smaller trail over some rock outcroppings (Photo #2), past another small lake (Photo #3) and into the large basin between Pacific, Father Dyer, and Crystal Peaks. Follow the faint trail to an unnamed lake, at 12,391’ - Photo #4. Pass this lake, turn left and locate a large gully to the southwest - Photo #5 and Photo #6.

Hike up to the gully and begin climbing - Photo #7 and Photo #8. This is the crux of the route. Without snow, this slope is loose. With snow, crampons and axe are strongly recommended. When the angle eases, continue northwest (Photo #9) to reach 13,400’ and the final pitch - Photo #10. Climb west toward the summit by staying on or left of the ridge crest (Photo #11 and Photo #12) to reach the summit - Photo #13.


This is the standard way to hike Pacific Peak from the east. The trail is good to Mohawk Lake.


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