Mohawk Lakes are a collection of alpine lakes south of Breckenridge, notable for ease of access and the fact that much of their water is pumped under the Continental Divide all the way to Colorado Springs 100 miles away. Colorado Springs Utilities infrastructure is evident along the trail, a testament to the thirst of Front Range cities for Western Slope water. The hike itself follows the Spruce Creek Trail moderately for 2.5 miles, reaching a junction in a pretty meadow surrounding one of the Mayflower Lakes. The trail gets steeper as it climbs into the basin of Lower Mohawk Lake, past a waterfall. This small lake is surrounded on three sides by stark rock cliffs. Hikers can continue another half-mile to the upper lake at 12,129 feet, where you’ll find wildflowers and rocks but no shelter. Return the way you came.
- Backcountry camping can be found at Mayflower Lakes and the lower Mohawk Lake, but there is no shelter at the upper lake.
- Good snowshoeing and cross-country skiing can be found here in winter, and the trailhead is accessible year-round. Nordic skiers may want to descend on Spruce Creek Road, which runs parallel to this trail.
- Wrap up your hike with a stop at nearby Breckenridge Brewery, on the south side of that town. You earned it!
Recommended season(s): Summer to early fall.
–R. Scott Rappold