McCullough Gulch Trail

Upper Blue Reservoir + White Falls Loop

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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McCullough Gulch Trail

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  • McCullough Gulch Trailhead sign.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Wildflowers on the McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Wildflowers on the McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Mountain Goats near Upper Blue Reservoir.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Resevoir- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Reservior.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • McCullough Gulch Trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Reservior.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Reservior.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Reservior.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Looking back down the valley.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Upper Blue Reservior.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Trail junction to White Falls Loop.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • White Falls is a short detour of the main trail.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • White Falls.- McCullough Gulch Trail
  • Wildflowers and White Falls.- McCullough Gulch Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Scenery. Waterfalls. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
Crowds.
Region:
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
11,100 ft (3,383 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
810 ft (247 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
61°F
43°

Sun

Light rain starting in the afternoon.
59°F
43°

Mon

Rain throughout the day.
59°F
44°

Tue

Light rain starting in the afternoon.
59°F
44°

Wed

Light rain until evening.
57°F
42°

Thu

Drizzle in the evening.
58°F
41°

Fri

Light rain starting in the afternoon.
60°F
43°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

With its close proximity to Breckenridge, the 2.6-mile round-trip McCullough Gulch Trail is a popular trek that ascends past waterfalls and wildflowers to the picturesque Upper Blue Reservoir on the doorsteps of 14,265-foot Quandary Peak to the south and 13,950-foot Pacific Peak to the north.

The trailhead is located 2.4 miles west of Highway 9 at the end of unpaved McCullough Gulch Road, which is suitable for passenger vehicles during the summer and fall months. Arriving early helps to secure parking and avoid the peak-season crowds.

The hike begins at 11,100-feet on an old mining road and immediately ascends a steep grade through wildflowers and boulder fields. Watch for the surrounding mountains that occasionally peek through the pines. As hikers climb above tree line the forest gives way to open tundra and expansive views of the valley. At 1.3 miles lies Upper Blue Reservoir, where hikers can picnic, spot mountain goats, or play in the remaining snow during the summer months.

The short detour to White Falls Loop is a must-do, as it brings hikers right up to a set of steep waterfalls with various flora lining the banks of the falls. The loop returns back to the McCullough Gulch Trail, where hikers descend back down to the trailhead and parking area.   

 

 

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(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado has worked with communities around the state for over 50 years in pursuit of our mission - to protect Colorado’s environment and quality of life by mobilizing people and electing conservation-minded policymakers. We fight to protect the air, land, water, and people of Colorado. Our collaborative approach and focus on electing pro-conservation officials has yielded successes in addressing climate change, supporting clean energy development, conserving water resources, and protecting our public wildlands and rivers. These priority issues, and the incredible natural resources of our state, inspire our motto - The Future is Worth the Fight.

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