Wheeler Lake

HARD 63 reviews
#39 of 212 trails in

Wheeler Lake is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fairplay, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and off road driving and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,246 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no shade

hiking
muddy
rocky
11 days ago

Because this is also used as a Jeep trail it tends to be rather rocky throughout the full length. I hiked/ran this on a Wednesday early afternoon and didn’t see any jeeps. Had the lake all to myself! A couple beautiful waterfalls at the top. As other have mentioned, you will likely get wet... even if you avoid early on there is one larger stream near the top that is hard to pass without getting wet... embrace the water :) Also I picked up more trash than usual on this trail, please remember to carry out your trash or even help out and pick up some that isn’t yours, thanks! Got to the lake in 1:15, RT 2:20

off road driving
13 days ago

Awesome trail but do not go alone unless you are an experienced driver. The views are totally worth the drive.

hiking
muddy
rocky
15 days ago

Amazing views the entire way to the lake. Pretty busy with keeps during the weekend but worth the effort. I hiked up to the upper lake which was partially frozen still but had it all to myself

hiking
1 month ago

The mill at the bottom, the waterfalls, and the lake at the top are worth trouncing through willows to avoid countless wet areas of ponds or running water. It was more like walking through a creek, and upon reaching the waterfall, the road was closer to a river. There is a single cairn about 50 yards before the waterfall that indicates a way to scramble up the mountainside. I took this way and then wandered through the tundra keeping the creek, covered in snow bridges to my left. This way parallels the tracked trail on AllTrails. The lake is currently superb. Waterfalls trickle down the west side peaks, flowers bloom on the south bank, and snow and ice cover the northeast side. AMAZING pics worth all the detours, take a look: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2019/07/23/three-hikes-in-breckenridge/

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views, gorgeous lake. Highly recommend

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Such a gorgeous hike. You will get wet, majority of hike is walking through moving water. There are side paths around the big puddle areas. When we were close to the top, the water was high and fast coming across the trail so we had to find a way around. (See drunk looking path on recording). Lake at the top was half frozen still, views were epic. Only some snow on the trail.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

My dad and I hiked the trail yesterday. We aren’t very experienced and didn’t make it all the way, however the view keeps getting better as you go! The trail is very rocky and almost like a creek and there is still a good amount of snow; be prepared to get wet. The trail is a little difficult to follow due to snow. Would recommend good hiking boots and a hiking pole as well as something to help with the snow like spikes.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
snow
1 month ago

off road driving
10 months ago

Really fun trail, not for beginners though. Lift, skid plates and rock sliders are a must, as there are lots and lots of very big rocks. The lake is very beautiful. Lockers are helpful if you are more adventurous and want to go for the harder lines, but can be completed without. This trail is also wide enough for full size trucks. 2nd gen Tacoma single cab 3” lift, 14psi 33” TSL stickies.

11 months ago

It is a beautiful hike but there are too many Jeeps on the trail. Colorado has plenty of single track trails. This trail is best left to Jeeps

hiking
11 months ago

An overall great hike. The views are absolutely incredible all around. We started about 11AM and finished a little before 3PM, taking our time. Lots of big 4x4's on the trail but easy to navigate around.

hiking
11 months ago

An absolutely beautiful hike! The last mile or so was a bit tricky, just take your time and watch your step and you'll be just fine! And believe me, once you get to the top you'll completely forget what it took to get up there. I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My favorite hike! It even beats the fourteeners I've done.

hiking
Friday, August 17, 2018

I have been off-roading and hiking on this trail and have enjoyed it very much. The trail is challenging, especially if you are hiking-watch you footing with all of those rocks!

hiking
Saturday, August 11, 2018

Wheeler Lake is a great hike for the morning. Start early as Trailhead parking is unpredictable (there’s not a parking lot, just various intersecting roads you can park on the edge). There’s also no Trailhead sign but it’s correctly marked on AllTrails. There’s very little tree coverage and shade on the trail so I recommend sunscreen and a hat. There’s plenty of running water and streams throughout the hike and up to the lake which is great for canine companions. Keep an eye out for vehicles (we didn’t encounter any on our way up but we started at 8am). The lake had tons of wild flowers around it and a rushing waterfall from an upper lake. We sat up there and enjoyed the views and a snack. Keep an eye out for the many marmots near the lake.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Did this hike today. Gorgeous views and worth it to get to the top. Incline to the lake is demanding with loose gravel and rocks but so beautiful at the top.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A beautiful hike with awesome views. We spent a good chunk of time at the top just taking in the beauty of the lake and the incredible wild flowers. My husband and I are in decent shape, in our late 20s to early 30s and it took us a total of 3.5 hours. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen and a very gratifying hike. Will do again one day.

hiking
Friday, July 13, 2018

Family of four completed this today and had a great time. Gentle hike until the last 3/4 mile. Awesome views all the way. Crazy to see the 4x4's traversing some of the obstacles. Would definately do this hike again.

off road driving
Monday, July 09, 2018

Does anyone know of you can camp at or around the lake?

off road driving
Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Very gnarly trail with quite a few very fun obstacles! Would probably not do it alone unless you have a very, very off-road worthy rig. We took 2 JK 4-doors w/ 3 1/2” lifts & 35’s. Managed all obstacles just fine, but a few required spotting. Coming back down did get the back tire of one of the Jeeps about 2 1/2’ off the ground by not taking the right line. Wheeler Lake is a great destination. We were the only 4x4’s up there. Only 4 other hikers. Caught a rainbow and a brown in the lake and lower ponds. Highly recommend, but would easily rate this trail an 8, maybe 9.

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