Quandary Peak & McCullough Gulch

The parking reservation and shuttle system for the 2023 summer hiking season has ended. This means that the Quandary Peak Trailhead parking lot is now free and first-come, first-served. Anyone interested in hiking either Quandary Peak or McCullough Gulch can park at the Quandary Peak Trailhead lot without a reservation. Please note that there is no shuttle service at this time. In addition, parking on all County roads (McCullough Gulch Road and Blue Lakes Road) is prohibited at all times of the year. Thank you, and see you next summer!

For detailed information about the 2023 shuttle and parking reservation system, please see below.

Landscape photo of Quandary Peak in the summer by John Fielder Photo courtesy of John Fielder

Accessing Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch

Significant increases in visitation at Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch over the past several years have led to numerous public safety issues. Illegally parked vehicles block emergency access on roadways and limit residents' ability to access or feel safe in their own neighborhood. Summit County, in collaboration with its partners, adopted a pilot parking reservation and shuttle system in 2021 to help address public safety issues in the area. The parking reservation system and shuttle service alleviates these pressures and makes it easier for hikers to safely and legally access the trailheads.  

Visitors wanting to hike Quandary Peak or McCullough Gulch between June 17 and September 17, 2023 will be required to reserve a parking spot at the Quandary Peak Trailhead OR take a shuttle from Breckenridge to access the Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch trailheads. Parking at the Quandary Peak Trailhead is free and first-come, first-served before June 17 and after September 17. There is absolutely no parking on County Roads (i.e., Blue Lakes Road and McCullough Gulch Road) at any time, regardless of the time of year. Illegal parking is enforced.

How to Make a Parking Reservation 

A parking reservation is required to park at the Quandary Peak Trailhead from June 17 - September 17, 2023. To make a parking reservation, please visit hikequandary.com. Visitors can choose between full-day and short-term reservations. Reservations can only be made two weeks in advance of your intended hiking date. 

  • Full-Day Reservation (5am-3pm) - recommended for Quandary Peak
    • $30 Monday - Thursday (excluding holidays)
    • $55 Friday - Sunday (plus holidays)
  • Short-term (4-Hour) Reservation - recommended for McCullough Gulch
    • $10 Monday - Thursday (excluding holidays)
    • $20 Friday - Sunday (plus holidays)

Parking is free and first-come, first-serve after 3pm. Visitors hiking Quandary Peak are STRONGLY encouraged to start their hikes early in the morning to avoid dangerous afternoon thunderstorms. The average time to hike Quandary is 6 hours. The average time to hike McCullough Gulch is 2 hours.

How to Ride the Shuttle

For visitors wanting to ride the shuttle between June 17 - September 17, 2023, tickets can be reserved at hikequandary.com. Visitors must choose a date to ride the shuttle, but do not need to reserve a time as boarding is first-come, first-serve, with proof of payment. The shuttle runs seven days a week, 5am-5pm, between the Breckenridge South Gondola Parking Structure and Quandary Peak. 

Visitors going to McCullough Gulch will take the same shuttle as hikers going to Quandary Peak, and then board a second on-site shuttle at the Quandary Peak Trailhead to go to McCullough Gulch. Visitors will not need to purchase a second shuttle ticket for this on-site shuttle (it is included with a round-trip shuttle ticket or parking reservation).

Shuttle tickets can be purchased two weeks in advance of your intended hiking date beginning June 1, 2023. Fare costs are: 

  • $0 for residents (round trip) - proof of residence can be submitted at hikequandary.com
  • $7 for visitors (round trip)

Visitors are required to show proof of payment to board the shuttle. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle, however, we strongly encourage you to make a parking reservation if you plan to hike with your dog.


  1. Questions related to parking reservations and shuttle tickets can be directed to hikequandary@spplus.com or 303-629-6859.
  2. All other questions related to hiking Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch can be directed to openspace@summitcountyco.gov or 970-668-4060.