Overcrowding on one of Colorado's most popular fourteeners has led to conversations about parking, seasonal shuttle services, limiting the number of hikers, and potential fees.
Summit County is seeking public input on the future development and management of the Quandary Peak area, including surrounding trailheads McCullough Gulch and Blue Lakes.
The Quandary Peak area has seen increased use over time, and stakeholders want to hear your perspectives and experiences as they plan for the future. Even if you haven’t visited before, your opinion is important. Please visit https://t.co/GI10q1P6nF to participate.#QuandaryPeak— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) April 13, 2021
Visitor numbers have been growing over the past several years, with hiking surging in popularity in 2020 as people turned to outdoor recreation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hypothetical solutions presented in the online survey to manage increased use, preserve the visitor experience, and protect resources include the following:
- Limit parking to one side of all roads in the Quandary Peak area
- Expand the main Quandary Peak parking lot
- Consistent enforcement of parking restrictions
- Improved education and communication to users
- Add permits/reservations for parking
- Add permits/reservations for using the trails
- Add a mandatory, seasonal shuttle service
- Add a voluntary, seasonal shuttle service
- Implement paid parking
- Add a park and ride/carpooling location in Breckenridge or Blue River
Quandary Peak is located in the White River National Forest, and is one of the easiest and most accessible fourteeners in the state of Colorado. The 14,265-foot summit is located just 20 minutes from downtown Breckenridge and about two hours from Denver. It's estimated that more than 35,000 people climb the mountain each year, with more than 1,000 on the peak during a busy day.
Editor's Note: If you’re planning on climbing a fourteener, 14ers.com is your best resource. You’ll find maps, trail conditions, and several photos climbing through each route.