Peaks Trail to Gold Hill Trail

Distance*7.96 mi
Elevation Gain*924 ft
*Estimated
My Time*3 hr 48 min
DifficultyModerate
*Estimated
Closest TownFrisco
Food NearbyLost Cajun

Peaks Trail

The Peaks Trail runs between Frisco and Breckenridge. I took it from the Frisco side where it follows a Creek for most of the way and has a nice lake a mile in. There are also connecting trails that go all the way to Copper Mountain.

Rainbow Lake

The trailhead is located not too far from Main St. in Frisco and just a few minutes off of I-70. From the Frisco side, peaks trail starts in a residential area before heading deeper into the White River National forest.

There is also a trail for Mount Royal at the trailhead so you want to make sure that you are taking the correct trail but the trails are very well marked.

The first mile of the hike is in a pretty heavily wooded area with a mix of pine and Aspen trees and isn’t too difficult. The trail is wide and well maintained through out the hike and has more of a gentle slope than any extreme elevation gain.

At the one mile mark you will find yourself at Rainbow lake. Rainbow lake is a small lake that has some really nice views of the surrounding area mountains. There are a couple of area’s that let you get close to the water. When I went in late November the lake was mostly frozen but still had a great view.

The Creek

After leaving the lake you will be in the forest. My experience was that a lot of people went to the lake and stopped and much fewer people continued on. Miner Creek will gently run next to the trail for most of the hike from here on if you stop at Gold Hill.

Sounds of running water can be heard as you make your way up through the woods on another mostly gentle slope that never get above a 20% grade. There a several small bridges on the trail that allow you to cross the creek and there are also some sections where you get to walk right next to the water.

Gold Hill

Three and a half miles into the hike you will come a junction with the Gold Hill trail and the trail will open up a bit as far as tree cover goes. You have the option of staying on Peaks trail and heading to Breckenridge (also another half mile away you will intersect with Miner Trail that takes you towards Copper Mountain) or you can head on Gold Hill trail towards the trail head at CO-9.

What ever choice you make here make sure you take a moment to enjoy the first unobstructed view of the mountains.

The mountain views from the junction with the Gold Hill trail

At this point I walked a little bit further on Peaks and saw this giant space that looked like it had a bunch of tree’s blown down. it didn’t really look like a burn scar but had the same effect.

The area with many trees down from what looked like blow down.

After the open space I headed back and took Gold Hill trail a bit but the snow was a little deeper so I just decided to head back. I wanted to make it all the way to Breckenridge but laziness won out on and I figured I would end the hike around 8 miles.

Distance and Elevation

I’ll be honest, it was pretty chilly and I didn’t start my recording until I felt better about taken my hand out of my glove. So these numbers are a bit of estimate based on my math skills.

If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 7.96 miles and had a total elevation gain of over 924 feet including undulations. The high point was actually in the parking area at 10,038 feet. I was also moving for a total of 3 hours and 48 minutes.

Effort

This was more of gently slopping longer trail. The cold weather (16 degrees at start) and the snow and ice on the ground was the biggest challenge. here is the step count from my Fitbit.

The step count from today's hike was at 19,367 steps.

Terrain

On this late November day the terrain was mostly ice and snow. The trail appeared to be plenty wide and well maintained with several man made bridges throughout. With the snow and ice and I wore micro-spikes and didn’t have any problems at all.

Access

While this trail connects all the way to Breckenridge, I parked at the Frisco trailhead. The trailhead is located off on S. Cabin Green Rd in Frisco. There is a lot that has room for about 25 cars. No restroom facilities are available at the trailhead.

Wrap up

I was so/so on this hike. Mostly it was my fault and I wasn’t terribly well prepared for how cold it was in the morning. Especially in the first part of the hike that was mostly in the shade. It warmed up and my mood got better but it might have been too late.

The creek running next to the hike was amazing. Having the water, half frozen cutting through the snow was really incredible and beautiful. I really did like that part and kept stopping to enjoy the little moments. Also, I am very glad that I brought spikes on this trip as the trail was pretty well snow or ice covered and it made the hike a lot better.

I really want to do this hike again when I have a bit better mindset and I think I will really enjoy it. The mountains are great and the lake and stream make for a really enjoyable setting.

I have added this hike and all of the hikes on my interactive map page you can find here. If you have any suggestions for a hike or comments feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com or you can follow me on any of the below social media channels. Happy Hiking!

Leave a Reply