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

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Mayflower Lake

This is a great campsite if you want to take younger kids along! We took the 4WD road all the way to the end. It's a burly road but doable if you have 4WD. It's a short .5 mile hike to Mayflower Lake and the views and campsites are perfect. It's a great basecamp from which Mohawk Lake and the Continental Falls can be reached.

Gorgeous hike to alpine lakes

This is one of my favorite hikes mostly because of all the lakes. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and if you hit the trail during peak conditions you will be treated to some spectacular wildflowers. The trail past Upper Mohawk is not as highly traveled, but will take you to three more lakes. Travel lightly and stay on the trail if you venture onward, the tundra is extremely fragile.

One of the best hikes in Summit County

Completed this hike on a cool evening in August. The trail is so clearly marked that I was able to easily get back to my truck in the dark with a headlamp. This was such a great hike that I decided on the spot to grab my backpacking gear and find a dispersed site off in the trees to make camp. Woke up early, did a short hike up to the marshy meadow to look for a moose and then headed 10 minutes back into Breckenridge for a bagel and coffee.

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