Mayflower Gulch Trail

Summit County, Colorado

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
Mayflower Gulch Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Summit County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 10,978 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 613 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Mayflower Gulch Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Summit County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 10,978 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 613 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.
Activity Type: Climbing, Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Road Biking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Summit County
Distance: 1.5
Elevation Gain: 613 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,978 feet
Top Elevation: 11,526 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Mayflower Gulch Trail
Elevation Min/Max: 10971/11526 ft
Elevation Start/End: 10978/10978 ft
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The Colorado Year Round Outdoor Guide

The Colorado Year Round Outdoor Guide

The spectacular back basin of Mayflower Gulch has long been a favorite destination for tele skiers. As we enter Week #12, the snow at this time of year can be rather icy, and we may be into the last weeks of good backcountry skiing for the season. However, Mayflower Gulch provides a late-season ski tour to a spectacular back basin, with exceptional scenery throughout the tour in this classic high-mountain cirque.

The tour ends at some abandoned cabins on the northwestern slopes of Fletcher Mountain. But the treeless basin in back of the cabins is especially popular for tele skiing. And winter mountaineers find this a short route up to Fletcher Mountain and Atlantic Peak. Be aware that while the tour is relatively safe, the avalanche danger increases greatly once you venture beyond the cabins. At least one fatality has occurred here (in 1991). The cabins were once maintained as shelters by the Colorado Mountain Club. Others have suggested that Mayflower Gulch is an ideal place for a public-use hut due to its popularity with skiers.

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Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: The High Country

Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: The High Country

Prospectors filed mining claims on all sides of superbly scenic Mayflower Gulch. Even today there is activity in the basin. The historic Boston Mine’s log buildings, including one that recently burned, anchor the rich valley. Once, gold and other precious metals put Mayflower Gulch on every assayists’ tongue. Today gold is but one of a trove of colors the wildflower treasure seeker will find on this congenial hike. Soaring mountains, including several of Colorado’s numerous “thirteeners,” surround the flower-strewn basin.

The trail follows an old road wide enough for side-by-side conversation. Bright pockets of subalpine flowers, including a couple of unusual ones, flourish. A prime-time visit would be around the third or fourth week of July when about six dozen wildflower species are in bloom. Wildflower Alert: A bonanza of wildflowers are everywhere in this peak-ringed amphitheater, and you’ll discover a veritable goldmine of paintbrush.

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Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains

Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains

A circumnavigation of the peaks and ridges ringing Mayflower Gulch. This seldom-climbed rugged ridge offers some challenging routefinding. An impressive series of both “major” and “minor” towers spouting up in the final third of the traverse has inspired local climbers to dub this “Rockfountain Ridge.”

The route can be climbed in either direction; however, the traverse from Unnamed 13,841 (“Atlantic Peak”) to Fletcher Mountain (13,951 feet) involves two pitches of technical climbing up to 5.7 in difficulty, with some loose blocks the size of refrigerators. If climbed in the opposite direction, these pitches can be rappelled. The route will be described from Gold Hill to “Atlantic.” Bring at least a 50 meter (165 foot) rope to rappel the technical sections as well as to raise the comfort level on the extensive (not to mention, very loose) 4th class terrain.

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Best Summit Hikes: Denver to Vail

Best Summit Hikes: Denver to Vail

Mayflower Gulch is the ultimate “build your own adventure” trailhead. Eight excellent summits are waiting to be claimed by a variety of routes. Interestingly, none of them have established trails (partially due to mining claims in the area).

The scrambling on these peaks is top-notch, most notably on the airy, exposed west ridge of Pacific Peak. The trio of Crystal–Pacific–Atlantic may be the very best combined hiking/scrambling route in Colorado. Besides the summit appeal, the mining history in the basin area makes for a good add-on adventure.

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Recent Trail Reviews

2/17/2011
0

AWESOME! Beautiful, gentle climb up to a beautiful mountain basin.


7/7/2007
0

Easy 4WD up to opening of meadows with abandoned mining cabins. Great views of Pacific Pk, Atlantic Pk, Fletcher Mtn and Drift Pk. Great place to park for climb of Pacific and Atlantic or just strolling around the numerous abandoned mines and cabins in the area. The hearty can continue driving 1 mile up to the beginning of the west ridge of Drift.


12/18/2006
0

Great easy hike into a beautiful basin. Route up is in the trees with enough open views to the spine of the 10 Mile Range to lure you on. Once to the basin the views are spectacular, wonderful backcountry skiing (check for avalance danger BEFORE you go! we saw a very recent slide). This is a popular hike so you won't be alone but if you're lucky you'll catch some experts carving up the powder above you. Close to Copper Mtn, easy drive, easy to find, and good parking. Enjoy!!



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May 2018