Total distance: About 10 miles
Getting there: From either Breckenridge or Frisco, head north on Highway 9 towards I-70 (from Breckenridge, you want to drive towards Frisco). Continue straight on Highway 9 past the on-ramp to I-70 East and enter the roundabout. Take the 3rd exit (a dirt road paralleling I-70 W) and follow the dirt road until you reach the parking lot for the Meadow Creek trailhead.
The hike: Although strenuous, this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. The views at the top of Eccles Pass are breath-taking, that is, if you have any more breath to give away after the hike up! The trail passes by mining relics, and in late summer, high mountain meadows are filled with wildflowers. Begin the hike at the Meadow Creek trailhead. After hiking up steep switchbacks through Aspen forest, the trail splits. The Meadow Creek trail heads left and up through pine forests before finally giving way to open meadows. Navigate a few stream crossings, and don’t forget to turn around occasionally for spectacular views of Lake Dillon. When you get to the junction with the Gore Trail, you’ll see Eccles Pass ahead of you to the right. Follow the Gore Trail as it switchbacks up to the Pass. At the top, catch your breath, and take in the panoramic views of the Gore Range and the 10 Mile Range. Descend the same trail to the parking lot.