Photos: author

Colorado’s Quandary Peak is an ideal first ’14er’ for hikers and travelers.

At 14,265 feet, Quandary is the highest peak in the Tenmile Range. There’s straightforward, all-season access via Highway 9, with the trail head just eight miles south of cushy Breckenridge.

Quandary’s wide, mild East Ridge slopes make for an excellent introduction to hiking above treeline in the summer and backcountry skiing when the snow falls.

Consequently, you’ll never have Quandary Peak to yourself. The weekday I climbed, I set out at a laughable 11:00 AM and passed other hikers—though not frequently, fairly consistently—even on the way down.

But regardless of whether reading this makes you want to book it to Breck or jot a mental note to stay clear, let me assure you the views from the top can be enjoyed by visitors of all levels of expertise.

A word of warning: approaching the summit from directions other than east yields technical slopes. These are prone to avalanches in winter and can be dangerous any time of year. Don’t underestimate.

Community Connection

Planning to hit up Quandary while the snow’s still on the ground? Before you go, brush up on our First Timer’s Guide to Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding and 8 Pieces of Gear to Keep You Warm and Safe in the Backcountry.