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Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

From the parking area head east along the main road. A road splitting off to the left for Humbug Hill can be taken to get above the Wire Patch Mine and Mill to earn some short and fun backcountry turns on the way back down to the road to French Gulch. If you're just out for a snowshoe, stick to the right to follow the main road. A few hundred yards down from the parking area, keep left at the fork. This road steadily leads east, passing by the Wire Patch Mine and Mill and provides great views of Mount Guyot along the way.

The Wire Patch Mine and Mill, discovered on June 4, 1875, was named for the rare and beautiful specimens of "wire gold" found both underground and on the surface. This was a very prosperous mine, but in July 1908 a fire consumed the Wire Patch's assay office, general office, bunkhouse, and transformer house, leaving it inoperable for years. Eventually, B&B Mines, Inc. sold over 1,800 acres of the area, including the mine, to the Town of Breckenridge and Summit County Open Space.

After the mine, the road continues and passes by some unique residences as it starts to bend south into the gulch. You will reach the end of the main road where the trail begins. This will take you along the left side of the creek and into the open gulch valley with great views of Bald Mountain to the southwest and Mount Guyot towering above to the east.

The far southern edge of the clearing is a good place to turn around; however, if you want to continue, follow the trail southeast into the woods. This leads above the tree line to French Pass. Another option is to stay right, crossing the creek to find a small clearing and some good opportunities to make some backcountry turns.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great views. Not crowded. Little elevation gain.

Cons

On a residential road for the majority of the adventure.

Pets allowed

Yes

Trailhead Elevation

10,309.00 ft (3,142.18 m)

Net Elevation Gain

750.00 ft (228.60 m)

Address

French Gulch Rd
3869
Breckenridge, CO 80424
United States

Features

Big vistas
Historically significant
Mine
Cross-country skiing

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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