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
   

Trailhead:  

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’.

Details:

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.

Notes:   

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

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