By Ericka Kastner
Some hikes are just worth repeating, and the trek to Mayflower Gulch in the Tenmile Range is absolutely an adventure to revisit time and again. In the summer, the basin is filled with wildflowers, and in the winter, Mayflower is a snowy wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Mayflower Gulch is the site of the historic Boston Mine Camp, which had its heyday back in July of 1884, when a thick vein of gold was found in the Fletcher Mountain basin. Miners quickly realized the vein wasn’t pure, however, and the camp fizzled out. More than 130 years later, the well-preserved cabins are still partially intact and make for a fabulous winter nordic ski or snowshoe to the site, particularly under a full moon.
The old mining road to Mayflower Gulch is accessible approximately 16.5 miles north of Leadville on Hwy. 91. The pullout for parking is on the right side of the road coming from Leadville, and the lot is typically packed on weekends year-round, indicating the popularity of the hike. The best time to visit is early morning on a weekday in winter, where you’ll be more likely to have the route to yourself.