Quandary Peak & McCullough Gulch Shuttle & Parking
Beginning July 30, 2021 Visitors to Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch Trails will be Required to Reserve Parking Online or Use the Free Shuttle from Breckenridge
Due to a significant increase in visitation the past several years, hikers at Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch often find no parking available at the trailheads and have been parking illegally on county roads and in neighbors’ lawns. Parking on county roads puts hiker safety at risk and makes it difficult for emergency vehicles to access the trailheads.
The new parking reservation system and free shuttle service should make it easier for individuals to access Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch, and will allow hikers a more flexible schedule for arriving at the trailhead, no longer needing to arrive at 4:00 a.m. in order to find a parking spot.
The pilot program will begin on July 30, 2021 and run through October 31, 2021. Starting July 30, parking for Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch Trailheads will be by reservation only. In addition, a free shuttle will be offered as an alternative to parking at the trailhead, which is limited.
Beginning July 30, individuals without a reservation who park at the trailhead will be ticketed and/or towed. While Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch trails are maintained by the Forest Service, the parking lot and roads are jointly owned and operated by Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge.
How to Hike McCullough Gulch Trail
Visitors to McCullough Gulch will need to reserve a parking space at the Quandary Peak Trailhead and ride an on-site shuttle from the Quandary Peak parking lot. A limited number of spaces in the Quandary Peak parking area have been designated for short term use specifically for the McCullough Gulch trail area. Hikers can also catch the Quandary Peak shuttle from the Airport Road parking lot in Breckenridge, and then board the McCullough Gulch shuttle at the base of Quandary.
Be Prepared - Tips for Hiking in the Area
- Hikers should be advised that there is no cell phone service at the base of Quandary Peak, at McCullough Gulch, and in the trailhead parking area.
- Quandary Peak Trail is a 6.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail that is rated as difficult and can take a minimum of 4-7 hours depending on ability.
- Hikers are encouraged to start early and should be prepared to descend before midafternoon when thunderstorms are common. Thunderstorms are dangerous above tree line.
- Hikers should bring plenty of food, water, and layers. It can get extremely cold on the summit, particularly if it rains. Sturdy close-toed shoes are recommended.
- Quandary Peak is the most popular hiking route in the area and is heavily trafficked in the summer. Visitors are recommended to hike mid-week to avoid some of the crowds.
- Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be kept on a leash. Visitors bringing dogs are encouraged to reserve a parking space and not ride the shuttle. However, dogs are currently allowed on the shuttle. Please bring poop bags and clean up after your pet.
Breckenridge Free Shuttle Information
The Quandary Peak shuttle is free and will operate from the Breckenridge Airport Road Lot from 5:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., 7 days a week and will run every 30 minutes.
The shuttles are operated on a first come, first served basis. The last pickup at the Quandary Peak trailhead is at 7:00 p.m.
The McCullough Gulch shuttle will run from the Quandary Peak Trailhead to McCullough Gulch Trailhead and back starting at 5:30am and running every 30 minutes. Hikers will either need to reserve a parking spot at the Quandary Peak Trailhead or take the Quandary Peak shuttle from Breckenridge to the Quandary Peak lot.
How to Make a Parking Reservation
To make a parking reservation at Quandary Peak Trailhead, visit: Parkquandary.com. *Note the website will go live on Monday, July 26 for reservations beginning July 30. Visitors will be able to reserve parking spots in the Quandary Peak parking lot two weeks in advance.
Parking reservations are as follows:
- Half-day shift: 4:00am-11:30am ($20)
- Half-day shift: 12:00pm-7:30pm ($20)
- Full-day shift: 4:00am-7:30pm ($50)
- 3-hour shifts starting at 4:00am ($5) – 10 spaces will be allotted for these shifts
The Quandary Peak Shuttle & Parking pilot program was started through a joint partnership between Summit County, US Forest Service, Towns of Blue River and Breckenridge, and Colorado Springs Utilities. The program is one result of an intensive study of the area that resulted in a comprehensive, adaptive management framework linked below.