Day Hike to Lower & Upper Mohawk Lakes

Mohawk Lakes - Search Nearby - Added by Amy Kesic

Hike to 2 (or more) alpine lakes just outside of Breckenridge. Take in stunning scenery and a beautiful waterfall, and depending on time of year, wildflowers or fall foliage. 

I recently spent the weekend in Breckenridge, and not being from the area, there was one hike that was on my bucket list: Mohawk Lakes. It didn’t disappoint! In late September, the Breckenridge area is full of gorgeous golden aspen trees, providing spectacular long-range views. In summer, abundant wildflowers are the name of the game.

This hike starts out deceptively easy. But the rule of thumb is that the best views are the ones you have to work for, and this is no exception. The first two miles are a wide, well-traveled and soft trail with a gain of only about 700 feet. Once you cross a 4WD back road, however, the climb—and the fun—begins. The third mile (to Lower Mohawk Lake) has a gain of about 800 feet, and the remaining half-mile to Mohawk Lake is 300 feet gain, with most of it occurring in the last quarter-mile.

Once you get warmed up and pass the 4WD road, the good stuff starts, and this is what makes it such a good hike. There are a number of historic log cabins and abandoned mining equipment along the trail, including one cabin that is in good enough shape to serve as a storm shelter. Mayflower Lake is a small diversion if you have the time. The trail more or less follows Continental Falls, a fabulous opportunity for some photography, as the rock outcroppings allow you to get pretty close.

Lower Mohawk Lake is small and shallow, a pretty setting with beautiful pine trees and lush vegetation. Mohawk Lake is a short but stiff climb up to the ridge. It sits at tree line and is bordered by a rugged ridge on the south, and is that wonderful aqua color that alpine lakes are known for. Look for wildlife—when I was there, I saw 5 mountain goats high up on the ridge! Also, moose and elk love the marshy areas full of willow.

If you have the time and energy, follow the lower ridge towards the west, and you will find three more unnamed lakes in the shelter of Pacific (13,950’) and Crystal (13,852’) Peaks. (I did not go that far, due to time constraints and weather concerns.)

Distance

7 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1800 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $145/night

The Greens

Frisco, Colorado

From $385/night

The Woods

Frisco, Colorado

From $168/night

Copper Springs

Frisco, Colorado

From $205/night

Wheeler House

Frisco, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Doooooope

It was dope

Get In Early!

Coming from the Midwest I could walk around any part of Colorado and not be disappointed, however this hike was one of the top hikes I have ever done! It kicked my butt but it was well worth it. Trails are a little goofy at times but it's pretty easy to navigate. Upper Mohawk is beautiful and the views from both lakes are breathtaking. Get there early because parking is a little nuts! My wife and I left around 1 pm and there were cars all the way down the road. Well worth a visit!

Beautiful Hike Lots Of People

First arriving at the trail head parking was a hassle. There were tons of people all over the place. We had to park about 3/4 of a mile from the trail head. Once we got to the trail head we were on a moderately difficult hike, along beautiful wild flowers and some streams. After you get to the ruins of what seems to be an old mining operation, you get the chance to see a large waterfall and extraordinary views of the distant mountains. Continuing up to the first lake I was a little disappointed, so we decided to head up to the second lake and it made it all worth the trip. We saw a beautiful lake and even some mountain goats!

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