Trail Profile + PHOTOS: Mayflower Gulch & Boston Mine

The short hike up Mayflower Gulch finishes with incredible views and mine ruins. Photo by Ken Frank

The short hike up Mayflower Gulch finishes with incredible views and mine ruins. Photo by Ken Frank

Route: Mayflower Gulch is a short, easy out-and-back up a scenic gulch
Start/Finish: The trailhead is located on highway 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain. The parking lot is just under 6 miles from Copper and will be on the left.
Mayflower Gulch seasons: hike it in summer/fall; ski or snowshoe in winter

One of the things I love about Mayflower Gulch is that the surrounding peaks look remote and craggy; however the trailhead is very close to home (and all of Dillon/Frisco/Silverthorne). On our post-Thanksgiving (Black Friday) snowshoe, we encountered a decent amount of Nordic, backcountry and snowshoe travelers, but the trail never felt busy.

The trail meanders up a mellow gulch (a road that’s drivable in summer) to the wide-open Boston Mine site, a meadowed area boxed in by a series of craggy peaks. The early-season snow to the south seemed the most popular for backcountry skiers seeking turns, and we saw quite a few tracks through the trees. At the end of the day, this short and super-sweet snowshoe inspired the desire to go backcountry skiing.

Even from the start of the Mayflower Gulch hike, staggering peaks can been seen in the distance. Photo by Eric Zerowin

Even from the start of the Mayflower Gulch hike, staggering peaks can been seen in the distance. Photo by Eric Zerowin

The snow up Mayflower Gulch had a crazy ice crystal look to it. My guess for cause was that temperatures were pretty cold, yet the sun was drying things out -- what's your guess? Photo by Eric Zerowin

The snow up Mayflower Gulch had a crazy ice crystal look to it. My guess for cause was that temperatures were pretty cold, yet the sun was drying things out — what’s your guess? Photo by Eric Zerowin

Something about the way the ice crystals stuck to the branches reminded me of cherry blossoms. Photo by Rachel Zerowin (that's me!)

Something about the way the ice crystals stuck to the branches reminded me of cherry blossoms. Photo by Rachel Zerowin (that’s me!)

Our friends Ken and Judy recently moved to Colorado -- I think they're psyched to be enjoying the Centennial State, and especially the views up Mayflower Gulch. Photo by Eric Zerowin

Our friends Ken and Judy recently moved to Colorado — I think they’re psyched to be enjoying the Centennial State, and especially the views up Mayflower Gulch. Photo by Eric Zerowin

Eric sure does love selfies. He's pretty good at it, too. Standing around in the open meadow at the end of the Mayflower Gulch trail got a bit chilly.

Eric sure does love selfies. He’s pretty good at it, too. Standing around in the open meadow at the end of the Mayflower Gulch trail got a bit chilly.

The walk back from the Boston Mine site and Mayflower Gulch was a quiet one. The speck in the distance is Judy and Ken's dog Thor, who gave us all quite a laugh when he took a major dive into fresh snow. Welcome to Colorado, Thor. Photo by Eric Zerowin

The walk back from the Boston Mine site and Mayflower Gulch was a quiet one. The speck in the distance is Judy and Ken’s dog Thor, who gave us all quite a laugh when he took a major dive into fresh snow. Welcome to Colorado, Thor. Photo by Eric Zerowin


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