Mohawk Lakes

Breckenridge

Salida

Moderate hike among waterfalls and mining ruins to surpass the treeline and reach alpine lakes in a high valley.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
11 km
Ascent
586 m
Descent
586 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
3.2 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
18˚
VIEW ON MAP
Mohawk Lakes Map

Description

The Mohawk Lakes sit high in alpine valley beneath craggy mountain slopes, and surrounded by wildflower meadows above treeline. Reach them with a hike of roughly 6.5 miles round trip from Spruce Creek Road. Spruce Creek Trailhead is the recommended starting point, though if the gate is open 4WD vehicles may be able to continue 1.1 miles to a higher trailhead near a water utility station. From the lower trailhead, find the trail just left of the road. From the higher lot, cross the dam and find the trail in the trees to the right. Either way, you’ll enjoy a gently inclined stroll among dense spruce-fir forest along Spruce Creek. Shortly after the higher trailhead, the trail steepens significantly as it climbs above 11,000 feet.

Follow signs toward Mayflower Lakes. The path becomes braided as social trails lead off in different directions. Continental Falls and an old miner’s cabin are two bonus destinations you can find on spur trails. Continue heading generally up the valley to find Lower Mohawk Lake (11,810 ft). This is a beautiful blue lake from which you can see Mt. Helen rising above. Views are nice but somewhat limited because you are still below treeline. Continue along the shoreline then follow the trail for a final half mile of steep uphill to reach the upper Mohawk Lake, which is just above the treeline and even prettier. From here you can see clearly up and down the valley, hemmed by steep walls on either side. More lakes sit even higher in this valley, but the official trail ends at Mohawk.

Sources: http://www.protrails.com/trail/368/summit-county-eagle-county-clear-creek-county-mohawk-lake-and-lower-mohawk-lake

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area