This past Labor Day weekend, Lexi, Todd, Greg and I spent a few days in Summit County. In true Life Bus fashion, we picked a hike we had never done before, the Mohawk Lakes Trail in Breckenridge, Colorado. The best website I found that fully describes the trail is the Summit County Explorer. The only thing I somewhat disagree with is the intermediate rating. I think it is closer to advanced and not sure I would say this is the best family hike unless your kids are in really good shape and used to the altitude. The elevation gain is roughly 1,700 feet over a 3.5 mile distance which is quite steep. I do agree with the Summit County Explorer comments that this hike, “encapsulates everything wonderful about Summit County. From sweeping vistas, historic ruins and ore cars to waterfalls and close-up views of massive, rugged peaks.” Once you get to the Lower Mohawk Lake, the views are spectacular.
Todd and Greg brought their fishing poles and threw in their lines at the Lower Mohawk Lake. They didn’t catch anything but it was well worth the effort to bring the poles and practice their casting skills. If you take a moment to look up at the surrounding mountains, there is a good chance you will see mountain goats dotting the hillside. It is always a good day when there is a wildlife sighting. I hear moose have started to migrate to Summit County, perhaps you will get lucky and spot one of these gorgeous guys milling around.
If you are in the Breckenridge area in the summer time, I highly recommend this 7 mile round trip hike despite the rating. The descent was manageable and not nearly as tricky as I thought it might be. My only caution is a good portion of the trail either has exposed roots or rocks so if it is raining, the chance of slippage is very high.
Key tips: Bring hiking and fishing poles, wear good ‘sticky’ shoes for climbing over rocks, load up on food/drink and plan on a picnic at one of the Mohawk Lakes. Also, if you are ever hiking in Colorado, beware of weather in the late afternoon – things can get nasty so bring a rain jacket and a fleece.