Colorado Attractions & Outdoor Things to Do

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Waterfall Hikes

Peace and tranquility, something we are all in search of. When the snow starts to melt take the time to hike up to a waterfall, sit and listen, no worries no stress. Your problems seem to go away and all you hear is the rushing of water cascading over the rocks.

Here are 3 beautiful hikes for you to enjoy.

Hike 1: McCullough Gulch:

Hoosier Pass Loop:

Just 45 minutes or less of walking along a beautiful stream (1.2 miles) brings you to a series of eight or so gushing cascades which comes down from a glacial lake. From tranquil water to torrid whitewater is scene you are imagining. The snow usually clears sometime in July.

There are two trailheads you can use to access McCullough Gulch. The newer, lower access parking lot is located about 7 miles south of Breckenridge, on the right side of highway 9 opposite the Skier’s Edge lodge. From here you can access a beautiful woods trail, turning into the old road that leads up into McCullough Gulch following the rock-strewn stream. Starting here makes the hike about twice as long, being that it starts 1.5 miles down the mountain from the upper access.

Another access is to park at the end of County Road 851, and you can access the McCullough Gulch falls with just a 1.3 mile hike. Drive south out of Breckenridge, a couple switchbacks up Hoosier Pass (7.9 mi), and take a right on Blue Lakes Road (CR 850), and another right on CR 851. This hike is pretty high in elevation, starting at about 11,000 feet.

Hike 2a: Mohawk Lakes – Continental Falls:

Continental Falls, from one of the switchback off shoot trails.

Spruce Creek Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in the Breckenridge area. Just south of town about 2.4 miles, opposite the Goose Pasture Tarn, take a right on Spruce Creek Road (CR800). Follow signs to the main trailhead parking lot, where low- clearance vehicles must park. You can opt for the rough 4wd road and continue another 1.5 miles to park closer.

From the lower parking lot, the hike to Upper Mohawk Lake (6.7 mi round-trip) is usually rated as moderate, but some might find it pretty strenuous at the steep points. Before climbing the steep switchbacks beside Continental Falls, however, there’s beautiful Mayflower Lakes with its quaint set of cabins and a view of the falls. It’s a good spot to rest before the push to the lakes. Continental Falls is the largest waterfall around Breckenridge, tumbling through three chasms in its deeply eroded gully down the rocky face. On several switchbacks, small side trails lead to the edge of the falls for not-to-miss views of the white water and cliff faces.

Hike 2b: Mohawk Lakes – Between the Lakes

Once you crest the hill and see Lower Mohawk Lake at eye level, you’ll realize it was worth the uphill hike. Walk around the lake to its other end and find a trail ascending the rock, following the water to the upper lake, the true Mohawk Lake. Spruce Creek churns into a skinny whitewater cascade as it hurls down over the rocks from the upper lake.

Hike 3: Blue Lakes – Monte Cristo Gulch

From Blue Lakes Road (CR850) you can continue straight instead of turning right into McCullough Gulch, and access Monte Cristo Creek. Upper Blue Lake is a reservoir water source for Aurora and Colorado Springs, and the gulch is spectacular. There’s more hiking above the upper lake too.

Keep your eye out for a small waterfall visible from the road as you drive up through Monte Cristo Gulch. You can explore the Granite cliffs and wildflower meadows between the lakes after parking in the lot below the upper dam.

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