McCullough Gulch near Breckenridge is the next gulch to the south from a hike I did late last summer to Mohawk Lakes. I had planned to return to Mohawk Lakes earlier in the summer this year when the wildflowers were at their best, but I had the poodles with me on this particular day so I opted for the much-shorter hike to White Falls in McCullough Gulch.
McCullough Gulch lies in the shadow of 14,271 ft (4,350 m) Quandary Peak’s imposing north face. The hike to White Falls must be one of the toughest 1-mile hikes I’ve been on. It was fairly steep all the way and quite rocky, plus I had two dogs tethered to me who seemed to have been doing their very best to see me fall flat on my face (which I skillfully avoided doing). Nevertheless, the wildflowers were stunning and the beautiful waterfall made every treacherous, lung-busting step well worth the effort.
Along the way, we met up with this Yellow-Bellied Marmot, who proceeded to tell us in no uncertain terms that we really needed to just keep moving and leave him alone to tend to his very-important marmot business.
White Falls can be heard long before it comes into view. McCullough Creek cascades down the mountain from far above like a beautiful, white braided ribbon.
I spent a while sitting next to the falls, taking photos and enjoying the cool spray. When Cooper started looking at me like this, I knew it was time to go:
I opted not to continue on up the trail to the lake above the falls, Upper Blue Reservoir. The dark clouds were building and I hadn’t brought a raincoat, plus I didn’t want to deal with two whiney, wet dogs in my car on the way home. 🙂 I’ll have to save the lake for another hike in McCullough Gulch.
Here are a few of the flowers I photographed on my way back:
I heartily recommend this beautiful little hike, especially in mid- to late-July when the wildflowers are at their peak. It’s a very popular trail, however (and quite a lot busier than I prefer my hikes to be), so if you go, be sure to get an early start to avoid the crowds and to snag a decent parking spot at the trailhead (and to avoid the inevitable afternoon showers), or go during the beginning of the week if possible.
To view a gallery of these and many more photos from my McCullough Gulch hike, CLICK HERE.