Climbing
Snow/glacier/ice route
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade I
Elevation Gain
3,110.00 ft (947.93 m)
Distance
7.90 mi (12.71 km)
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.

Not everyone wants to hit the slopes every weekend during the Colorado winter, though if you ask anyone in Breckenridge you may find yourself with a different answer. Just 6 miles east of town lies a gem of a beginner mountaineering route that it’s hard to pass up if the weather and avalanche conditions are right. Mount Guyot is a high mountain summit just outside of town with a wonderful view of the surrounding Front Range and Sawatch Range, between which this mountain resides. The 13,370-foot mountain is named for Arnold Henry Guyot, a Swiss-American geologist who was largely responsible for the establishment of the United States Weather Bureau, after which two more mountains are named in North Carolina and New Hampshire.

Mount Guyot has two primary routes to the top, though the majority of the route is the same in both cases. In the winter and as a mountaineering route, however, the Northwest Slopes variant on the Arapaho Natoinal Forest side of the Continental Divide is preferred to minimize exposure to avalanche terrain and protect from the wind. Always check the Colorado Avalanche Forecast and predicted wind-speeds from NOAA before attempting any high summit in the winter, as a wonderful bluebird day can quickly become a very dangerous place.

Start your morning by parking at the French Gulch Trailhead just east of Breckenridge; the road is not completely paved and neither is the parking lot, so prepare for some snow and potholes on the road. From there, continue up the road past the gate for about 1.2 miles before turning left onto a smaller road that will likely have ski or snowboard tracks. Continue hiking until you’re at around 11,300 feet and the northwest ridge comes into view. From here the climb gets much steeper as you make your way up the center gully for about 500 feet of climbing, and then turn right to meet the ridge.

After getting to the ridge, the climb becomes more straightforward as you only now need to follow the ridge to the summit ridge at 13,250 feet. Take great care to stay back from the common cornices on the south face of the summit ridge as they can easily break away under you. Follow the summit ridge to the actual summit and enjoy the sweeping panoramic view. Go down the way you came, and if you know how to glissade safely it can greatly help you descend more quickly given the right conditions.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beginner winter climb. Low crowds. Great views.

Cons

Some avalanche terrain.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

10,336.00 ft (3,150.41 m)

Highest point

13,370.00 ft (4,075.18 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,034.00 ft (924.76 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildlife
Bird watching

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

North facing

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.