August 29, 2017 Slideshows » Columns

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Road Trip Hike: Mohawk Lakes 

Located just south of Breckenridge, in the shadow of popular 14er Quandary Peak, the hike to Mayflower Lake, Continental Falls and Mohawk Lakes has a bit of something for everyone.
Bob Falcone
The trailhead parking area. The road does continue past this parking lot and can cut a few miles off our trek, but the rest of the way is high clearance/4WD, and closed during the winter. The trailhead itself is on the left side of the parking area.
Bob Falcone
General area information kiosk at the Spruce Creek Trail parking lot.
Bob Falcone
The start of FS Trail 58. All mileages in this slideshow start from this spot.
Bob Falcone
FS Trail 58 information kiosk at the trailhead.
Bob Falcone
The trail winds its way through a nice forested area — the shade is welcoming during the summer. Blue diamonds mark the trail for the first 1.5 miles or so. The trail is wide and easy to follow, so these markers are more for snowshoeing and cross country skiing, presumably.
Bob Falcone
There are several bridges along the trail, some are simply wide planks, some more elaborate bridges such as this one.
Bob Falcone
At about 1.6-miles the Spruce Creek Trail crosses the Wheeler Trail. Continue straight through the intersection.
Bob Falcone
Just past the trail intersection there is a nice pond with great views.
Bob Falcone
At approximately 2.15-miles the trail meets the 4WD road. Continue straight.
Bob Falcone
A few hundred feet down the 4WD road the trail beaks off and continues to the right.
Bob Falcone
A couple hundred feet from the road the trail then turns left and begins a short, steep and rocky climb.
Bob Falcone
Mileage sign after turning off of the 4WD road.
Bob Falcone
About 2.6 miles from the trailhead Trail 58 meets with Trail 355. Trail 58 goes right a short distance to Mayflower Lake. Bear left on trail 355 for Continental Falls and Mohawk Lakes. This sign conflicts with information on the USFS website, however, the Dillon Ranger District office confirmed that the sign is more up-to-date than the website. Immediately after turning left onto trail 355, pass the remnants of two cabins and then cross a footbridge. Turn right after the bridge.
Bob Falcone
After the bridge there's a short climb to a flat area with the remnants of two more cabins. The cabin on the left is fully enclosed and still usable as a shelter, if needed.
Bob Falcone
There are a number of old visitor log books in the first cabin. They appear to have suffered from the elements and hungry animals.
Bob Falcone
Behind the second cabin is a short out-and-back trail to near the bottom of the Continental Falls. To continue to Mohawk Lakes, turn left, then, after less than 100', turn right. From here to the lakes there are more instances of steep uphill sections, but they are short and usually followed by relatively flat, easier sections of trail.
Bob Falcone
On the way up to the Lower Mohawk Lake. there are a number of side trails to different parts of the long, rumbling, Continental Falls, with spectacular views such as this one.
Bob Falcone
After a short scramble over some large rocks, the trail passes some old abandoned mining machinery.
Bob Falcone
Shortly after passing the machinery, the trail passes the Lower Mohawk Lake.
Bob Falcone
There is a trail that cuts off of the main trail that goes partially around Lower Mohawk Lakes, and this view is probably one of the best along the entire trip. You'll need to go back to the main trail to continue to the upper lake.
Bob Falcone
The trail continues around the side of Lower Mohawk Lake. As you approach the end of the lake, the trail to upper Mohawk Lake continues straight ahead (easy to miss), while a trail that goes around the lower lake goes to the right. Continue straight ahead for upper lake.
Bob Falcone
The hike from the Lower Mohawk Lake (left) to Mohawk Lake is about a half-mile and has its own great views. On the way up you'll pass the small pond seen on the right side of the picture.
Bob Falcone
At about 3.5 miles you encounter Mohawk Lake — almost at eye-level from the trail. There are hills on either side from the trail that provide nice views of the lake and the surrounding area.
Bob Falcone
Mountain goats are frequently seen at the upper lake. They are pretty docile if you give them space and don't approach them. Also, if you brought your dog with you, have them on leash when around the mountain goats. It is illegal for your pet to "harass" wildlife.
Bob Falcone
The route from the trailhead to the lakes. This does not include side trips around the lakes, to the waterfalls or other side trips. Your hike will probably be longer than the straight out-and-back hike to the lakes.
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Bob Falcone
The trailhead parking area. The road does continue past this parking lot and can cut a few miles off our trek, but the rest of the way is high clearance/4WD, and closed during the winter. The trailhead itself is on the left side of the parking area.
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