Mayflower Gulch -Summer

Round-Trip Length:  6 miles
Start-End Elevation:  10,994 – 11,980′
Elevation Change:  +1,040’
Skill Level:  Moderate
Trailhead Location:   From I-70 take Exit 195, Copper Mountain / Leadville, and travel south on HWY 91 toward Leadville.  Travel south 5.3 miles.  The Mayflower Gulch trailhead and parking area will be on the left side.

This hike is relatively easy and leads to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Tenmile range.  I hiked the trail a couple of years ago in August up into Mayflower Gulch and and have included a few pictures of that hike as well.  The wildflowers were even more plentiful on that hike although there still were quite a few this time around.  Lisa and I also did a snowshoeing trek up to the cabin ruins in Mayflower Gulch in December a couple of years ago.  You can read about the winter trek here.

Lisa, Janet, and I headed up early on a Sunday morning to attend a church service at the Dillon amphitheater before heading out on our hike.  The amphitheater looks out over Lake Dillon and the Tenmile range – a beautiful spot for a church service.  Free concerts are also held here on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.

Church Service Dillon Amphitheater1


After the church service we headed up to the Mayflower Gulch trailhead and started up the trail around 11:15am.


The trail begins on an old ore wagon road.  A short distance up the road/trail we came across an old ore shoot . The chute shows how miners employed gravity to move heavy ores and load them into wagons.


We continued on up the road.  Of course, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to take a reflection picture of Lisa and Janet heading up the road.


A view through the trees as we continued up Mayflower Gulch.



There were still many wildflowers along the trail.





We reached the old Boston mine camp around 12:20pm.  The camp once occupied this splendid setting and hummed with gold mining activity around 1912. The mine was established to mine a thick vein of mountain-bound gold outside Leadville. The Golden Crest, Golden Eagle and Resumption hard rock mines, as well as the Boston Placers, a surface mining venture, filled the mountain bowl with noise and bustle.   However, the ore’s purity was lousy, and this would-be gold town busted before it boomed.



Another shot of one of the old cabins with 13,995-foot Mt. Fletcher in the background.


Looking back down the valley we had come up with Tucker Mountain as the high peak on the left.


Framing some nice pictures through the old boardinghouse windows including Northeast, Crystal and Pacific peaks.



A shot looking back to the north of Tucker Mountain.


At the cabin ruins, Lisa and Janet headed up the valley past the cabins and I took the right fork of the old road to head up to Gold Hill.  A few shots just past the cabin ruins that I took a couple of years ago when the flowers in this meadow were more plentiful.




Another shot of the cabin ruins with Tucker Mountain in the background.


This shot was also taken a couple of years ago but it looks back at the old road up Gold Hill that I will be heading up on this hike and gives you a good perspective of where I’m heading.  You can see the road switchbacks to the right.  It then switchbacks to the left and heads up between the break in the snowfields.  I will end up to the left just above the large snowbank in the picture.


Looking across the meadow in the direction that Lisa and Janet are heading up.


There were meadows of aspen daisies along the old road as I continued to head up.



A close up view of the snow-banked ridge as I continued up.


As I made it to the top of Gold Hill, I had a great view of the Gore Range to the northwest.


A view to the west of the Saguache Range, southwest to the giant retaining pond of the Climax Mine in the distance with Clinton Lake in the foreground.


Another view of Tucker Mountain to the north.


I came down off of the top of Gold Hill down to the big snowbank along the ridge to get out of the wind. I sat here for a while for a lunch break and to take in the views.






I headed back up to the summit of Gold Hill. Some rock cairns marking the top.


A few more shots of the aspen daisies, including one of me lying down in the middle of them!



As I approached the Boston mine cabin ruins again, I saw Lisa and Janet across the valley.


A close-up shot of some black sandy mineral near one of the cabins.


Janet heading back down the trail.


More flowers along our hike back down the trail.





One last shot looking back up Mayflower Gulch as we approached the car.


We arrived back at the car shortly after 2:30pm and headed back to Littleton.




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