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  • Writer's pictureVien R. Guenther

Mayflower Gulch - Mosquito Range, Pike & San Isabel National Forest - Colorado

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Another beautiful trail in the Mosquito Range is the Mayflower Gulch Trail. We have hiked here more often than almost anywhere else in the high country of Colorado. That is due to the amazing wildflowers found here in summer. We can’t help but keep coming back here, sometimes twice a year. It is also an easy hike even if it is at high elevation.


TO GET HERE


To get to the Mayflower Gulch Trailhead, from I-70 take the Copper Mountain Exit to Highway 91 towards Leadville. About six miles from Copper Mountain resort is the trailhead on the left side. There is a large paved parking lot here. You can easily miss this trailhead if you are not paying attention.


MAYFLOWER GULCH – 6.0 to 7.0 miles


If you want to make your hike short, or if you are not a hiker and your aim is just to see the wildflowers, you can actually drive in from the main trailhead. Just make sure you have a high clearance vehicle because it’s an old mining dirt road and it has bumps and potholes.


One thing I like about this hike is the view you get when you emerge from the trees and the trail opens up into a meadow. The first thing you will utter is... WOW! The panorama below was taken the first time we hiked here. We were lucky to be here at the right time when the wildflowers were at their peak. This meadow full of colorful wildflowers with a mountain backdrop is the best we have ever seen. Gorgeous isn't it? This must be one of our favorite wildflower scenes in Colorado.

Mayflower Gulch

Add to that the old mining structures found here in the meadows, cabins that were left behind after the mining boom was over. A perfect calendar picture that you would want to capture.

One of the old cabins

Wildflowers here have such a stunning effect on the landscape. You can easily spend hours taking pictures here or just simply enjoying the beauty of the surrounding. We always do.

So, after immersing yourself with the flowers in the meadow, there are various trails that you can take. One will take you right up to the ridge. There are wildflowers all the way up there as well. From the ridge you can look down at the Clinton Gulch Reservoir on the other side. We hiked all the way down to the reservoir one time.

View from the trail going up to the ridge
Trail to the ridge. On the left you can see the trail to the old mine.
Trail to the old mine. The sharp peaks on the ridge are called the "Gendarmes", French for "Policemen"..
Old mining site

Another trail goes to the old mine located right at the base of Fletcher Mountain (13,951 feet) and Atlantic Peak (13,841 feet). Both trails offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The views are fantastic wherever you are. The one prominent peak you see here is Jacque Peak (13,205 feet).


Timing is the key to see this amazing array of wildflowers. We don't always get lucky, sometimes our timing is off, but we always find some pockets of wildflowers somewhere. You just need to explore more, or hike a little farther to find them.

 


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