McCullough Gulch

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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McCullough Gulch


  • The parking area.- McCullough Gulch
  • A trailhead usage sign.- McCullough Gulch
  • Applying skins at the trailhead.- McCullough Gulch
  • Touring up the unplowed road.- McCullough Gulch
  • Passing through the first road barrier gate.- McCullough Gulch
  • Quandry Peak signage.- McCullough Gulch
  • Quandry Peak information.- McCullough Gulch
  • Cutoff for Quandry Peak.- McCullough Gulch
  • Quandry Peak Trailhead.- McCullough Gulch
  • Looking back down the valley.- McCullough Gulch
  • Typical views along the snowy road.- McCullough Gulch
  • Continuing along the snowy road.- McCullough Gulch
  • The road continues gradually uphill.- McCullough Gulch
  • Pacific Peak.- McCullough Gulch
  • Mountains all around.- McCullough Gulch
  • Trail 477 sign.- McCullough Gulch
  • The unplowed road continues.- McCullough Gulch
  • The road leading into the gulch.- McCullough Gulch
  • Mountains in the distance.- McCullough Gulch
  • Looking up toward Atlantic Peak.- McCullough Gulch
  • Wide open view of the gulch as two backcountry snowboarders make their way up the road.- McCullough Gulch
  • McCullough Gulch Trailhead.- McCullough Gulch
  • Snowshoeing along the road.- McCullough Gulch
  • Reaching the next road barrier gate.- McCullough Gulch
  • Atlantic Peak.- McCullough Gulch
  • Looking back down the valley.- McCullough Gulch
  • What is left of the McCullough Gulch trail sign.- McCullough Gulch
  • Snowshoeing up the trail.- McCullough Gulch
  • Bridge crossing.- McCullough Gulch
  • An old cabin.- McCullough Gulch
  • An old cabin buried in snow.- McCullough Gulch
  • The trail continues climbing.- McCullough Gulch
  • Touring farther into the gulch.- McCullough Gulch
  • Mountainside views off Quandry Peak.- McCullough Gulch
  • Looking back down the valley.- McCullough Gulch
Overview + Weather
Beautiful mountain views. Easy access. Options to explore. Historic interest.
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
665.00 ft (202.69 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,840.00 ft (3,304.03 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


This adventure begins by following the unplowed Summit County Road 851 to the north, gaining a moderate amount of elevation as the road wraps around to the west to enter McCullough Gulch. On a clear day you can enjoy all the surrounding mountains including 14,265-foot Quandry Peak to the south and 13,950-foot Pacific Peak to the north. Quandry Peak was named by some prospectors who were puzzled by minerals found on the mountain's slope. The trail for Quandry Peak will be passed on your left just a little ways after the information signs for this popular climb. If you are looking for some good backcountry skiing or snowboarding, take this cutoff to ascend Quandry Peak and earn some turns off its impressive face. Otherwise continue up the road.

At 1.7 miles take the fork to the left to stay high in the gulch and find the McCullough Gulch Trail marked by a sign that has been over-used for target practice. The trail bends up to the left and leaves the road, becoming a bit steeper as it winds through the ponderosa pines. In about a half mile, after crossing a small bridge, you'll reach an old cabin that belongs to an off-limits mining claim. The trail continues to climb to the right of the cabin and can be taken all the way up into the basin beneath Fletcher Mountain if you are looking for a longer adventure. If not, simply return the same way you came up the gulch to reach to the parking area.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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28 Adventures Explored
16 Adventures Published

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