Mohawk & Mayflower Lakes is one of Colorado’s favorite day hikes. This hike has it all. You begin at 10,390′ elevation and reach 12,000′, with alpine lakes, old cabins, creek crossings, summer wildflowers, a dazzling waterfall, and incredible views. It is Colorado at its best.
MOHAWK LAKES via MAYFLOWER LAKE
I don’t normally take a trail over and over, but this is one of my favorite hikes. Today we found Spruce Creek Trail (the regular route to Mohawk Lakes trailhead) closed at 2 miles for trail maintenance.
We opted to hike the 4×4 road up to Mohawk Trailhead. Found a maintenance sign that stated to go right via Mayflower Lake to reach Mohawk Lakes. Following this route, we are soon enthralled by hiking a new adventure.
Instead of wandering through dense forest on Spruce Creek Trail, we are high above in the sunshine with vista views.
Not long though, we were scrambling through the brush, deep muddy waters and getting confused at times about where the trail was. But, not to worry, it ends at Mayflower Lake.
In such a wet summer, the trail is surrounded by lush greenery and covered in soaking leftover rain. It’s pretty!
Taking a left at Mayflower Lake, we crossed a bridge, then after several trail attempts, found the wide rocky trail straight up took us to just below the Continental Cabin. Now, we are on our way to Mohawk Lakes.
HEADING TO MOHAWK LAKES!
Continental Cabin, a remnant from the early 1880s, is a needed shelter at times when the weather turns from sunny skies to dark with hail, wind, sleet, and lightning.
Do all the options on the signpost!
Lower Continental Falls at 11,385′ is Mother Nature in charge, thundering down the mountain with water cascading from far above. Need a break? This is the place.
Now onto Lower Mohawk Lake. It’s a 1/2 mile of steep terrain and at times a mystery trying to find the trail through the rocks. Watch for rock cairns, human-made stacks, mounds, or piles of rocks along the way to help navigate you to the top.
Hike behind the old mine and up the rocks to the path.
NOTE: The views at this mine site are breathtaking of the valley below. Stop and take it in before heading onward.
It’s getting muddy and wetter (all doable without special gear) as we get closer to the lake. The trail is gentle now with mini waterfalls that increase the excitement of reaching Lower Mohawk Lake!
LOWER MOHAWK LAKE
After navigating through the brush, beautiful Lower Mohawk Lake sits at treeline (11,810′), nestled below Mount Helen 13er and Pacific Peak 13er.
Lower Mohawk Lake is the end of our day hike due to time and weather conditions heading our way. However, it is impressive farther up in the right conditions.
Hike to Upper Mohawk Lake for even more tantalizing alpine splendor and ridiculous views!
From here, follow the lake to the left and find a steep twisting trail that leads to Upper Mohawk Lake (12,219′) and hike past Upper Mohawk Lake, then across the open alpine tundra to 3 more unnamed lakes with surrounding dramatic views.
Note: Weather conditions can change rapidly. Start your hike early in the morning and be below tree line by early afternoon. Turn back if the sky darkens or thunder or lightning occurs.
The trail begins at Spruce Creek Trailhead
6 miles out and back – to the lower lake
6.7 miles out and back – to the upper lake
Crazy crowded in the summer months – come early!
Nearest Town: Breckenridge, CO
Open to: hiking, snowshoeing, dogs on leashes, horses, and mountain bikes
Dillon Ranger District – dispersed camping information
Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).