Quandary Peak
standard East Ridge
 Class 1 
Ski/Board: Intermediate, D3 / R1 / II  
Risk Factors:Exposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
Start:10,850 feet
Summit:14,265 feet
Total Gain:3,450 feet
RT Length:6.75 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:839 reports
Cell Signal:28 reports
Sheriff:Summit: 970-453-2232
Forest:White River
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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? (Summer Parking) Remember, there's limited parking and it requires a reservation. View the trailhead for more information.


? (2022 PARKING ISSUES) Between June 1 and September 30, a reservation is required to park at the Quandary Peak trailhead. There are only a few spots and the cost is very high. Your other option is to pay to use the provided shuttle service from Breckenridge but this isn't great for very early starts. Please visit for more information.

If you are unhappy with the Quandary parking situation or have comments, we encourage you to contact Christine Zenel, Resource Specialist, Summit County Open Space & Trails at or 970-668-4061. You can also contact the U.S. Forest Service Dillon Ranger District at or 970-468-5400.
From Breckenridge, drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9. Turn right (west) on the 850 (Blue Lakes) Road. Drive a few hundred yards and turn right on the 851 (McCullough Gulch) Road. Drive 0.1 mile to the signed trailhead and small parking area. If the trailhead lot is full, cars should park along the 851 road or in the overflow lot, down at the start of the 850 road. PLEASE DO NOT park on the side of the 850 road, in front of homes. The trail starts just above the trailhead, on the 851 road.


1 shows the route from the east. From the trailhead, walk up the road a short distance and turn left up the marked trail - 2. Continue through the forest to a large rock on the right side of trail ( 3), turn right and follow the great trail up through the forest - 4. Above 11,300', pass through some clearings ( 5) before hiking up a hill where the trees begin to thin out. Gain the crest of the east ridge near 11,600' and continue through a flat area ( 6) to reach the base of a slope - 7.

Follow the well-built trail toward the left (south) side of the east ridge and gradually ascend west - 8 and 9. Near 12,800', re-gain the ridge ( 10) and continue west to a 13,150-foot point on the ridge - 11.

Walk west along a flat section and begin your ascent of the final 1,000 feet - 12. The route is obvious - stay on the ridge where you can see across Quandary's upper east slope to your right - 12, 13, 14 and 15. Gain the summit ridge and walk over to the top - 16, 17 and 18.

In Winter

To avoid possible avalanche terrain between 11,800' and 13,000', do not follow the summer trail left (south) to the south side of the ridge. Instead, ascend the slope in 7 to gain a 12,100-foot point and continue along the ridge crest to reach the 13,150-foot point shown in 11.


This is a popular ski route. Through June, the upper and lower east slope bowls usually have decent snow coverage.


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

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Caution: The information contained in this route description may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this route description provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the route description author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.
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