Wheeler Lakes

MODERATE 121 reviews
#8 of 26 trails in

Wheeler Lakes is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Frisco, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
1,568 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


cross country skiing


horseback riding


trail running






wild flowers





Moderately-strenuous section of Gore Range Trail passes through intervals of aspen. Lake is near treeline and Uneva Pass. Great views and exceptional views .

6 days ago

Nice hike! A good bit of the first part is along I-70, and the sound of traffic is annoying. Once you get beyond that, it is a nice, moderate incline to the lakes at the top. We will do this one again!

19 days ago

Hiked the trail today with my family including two kids ages 10 and seven. The incline was harder than we expected, but we pressed on because lots of other hikers told us about the lakes at the end. Definitely harder than moderate, but we would definitely recommend it for those who want to get the full 6 to 7 miles of exercise and great sites.

1 month ago

We hiked this today, 7/16/18. We are still acclimating to the altitude, but we stopped numerous times on the way up and it wasn't too bad. Lots of shade along this trail for most of the way. Wildflowers are in full bloom right now. Pack plenty of water!

1 month ago

Hiked this trail 7/2018 and flowers were beautiful as well as the lakes at the end.

1 month ago

Nice trail. Lots of good camping sites in the trees above the lakes. I would recommend the Gore trail also.

1 month ago

The trail and scenery alone are exceptionally beautiful. However I'm only giving it three stars due to the proximity to I70. There are other trails with easy access in the area that don't require hearing the interstate for a good portion of the hike.

A recent review mentioned no aspens... This is inaccurate. The first mile to mile and a half of this trail is jam packed with aspens as well as many different types of wildflowers. There are beautiful spots with running water on the trail although with the dry conditions those will be gone soon.

I agree with the moderate rating of this trail. Trail is well worn and easy to follow. Tons of salamanders in the lakes. Worth hiking, but probably not more than once.

1 month ago

Would use this trail for a good out and back leg stretch along i70 if you’re car sick or want to hike to kill time to avoid a 70 traffic jam (although I’d rather jog the frisco bike path then this).... FYI the trail doesn’t pass through intervals of aspens but through pines all the way to wheeler lakes. I don’t think I saw one aspen tree so the description is baffling, and the lakes are unimpressive as far as Colorado lakes go. Other more scenic hikes in the area I would recommend instead.

3 months ago

Have done this trail a few times. Definitely a more difficult trail. Trail is difficult to find with snow, but this app helps a lot. Most of the way is uphill, but worth it. Especially if you continue up to the ridge to see Lost Lake. Gorgeous views.

5 months ago

Did this a few weeks ago and it was tough in snow shoes! The bottom of the trail is along the highway but if you park in the free copper lots it’s way better. We were the only people on the trail with fresh powder, Doesn’t get much better than that!

6 months ago

If you're picking this trail because of the lake(s) - I'd say don't. We hiked this in the late summer/early fall and while the trail itself was nice, the views were a little disappointing.

7 months ago

Pretty difficult, but very enjoyable. Great views of Copper. Lakes completely covered and barely visible this time of year but still beautiful while it’s snowing. Definitely need snow shoes! Make sure you park in the Copper parking lot which is just across the bridge- easy access to the trailhead!

7 months ago

Tons of snow at the top and great views of Copper! Beautiful but definitely steep and challenging. We were the ONLY people on the trail! Worth it once you get to the top!

7 months ago

Trail to Lost Lake was nonexistent, so bring a topo just in case. Trail to Wheeler lakes was clear but definitely need snow shoes this time of year, pack the crampons just in case.

7 months ago

We used the recommendation of parking at Copper Mountain Alpine Lot. It was worth it! Only hiked along the highway briefly. Spikes are highly recommended especially coming down the trail, snow shoes would’ve been nice once we got to the lakes but a pain to carry up. You can survive without them though. The views of the mountains are completely worth it once you get up near the lakes. The lakes are covered in snow so a little disappointing but everything else made it a great day. Oh and if you find a dog bootie let us know ;) we lost one in the snow.

7 months ago

Something you should know that no one commented on previously —half this trail is along the highway. This is the least scenic hiking we have ever done—you walk right along the highway like a hitchhiker for the first mile and you can still hear traffic 40 minutes Up the trail. You will inhale lots of exhaust fumes. Once you get up to the trail split for the wheeler lake spur the trail is much more scenic and peaceful however the wheeler lakes are really more like ponds. The views of the mountains at the end of the trail are worth it but this is probably not the most worthwhile hiking trail around. The snow was packed down pretty well until the last half mile and the trail was easy to find. The grade isn’t very steep and the footing was good. We took just under 3 hours round trip with breaks from the gore valley trail head.

8 months ago

Made the mistake of backpacking this trail in late May. Still knee deep snow, so the lakes were under a foot or so of snow once we got up there. We did manage to find some dry ground in the trees near the lakes and camped out for the night. The views were great even without the lakes and I would love to go back later in the summer and give it another go!

Also free (limited availability) parking near the Conoco across from the Copper Mountain parking lot not far from the trailhead.

9 months ago

follow the protrails info on this hike to get directions closer and bypass some of hiking along i70. I liked this hike! got the heart pumping and great views. especially do the spur at the second lake. I slipped 3 times on ice but I was too lazy to put on my spikes. also I ran into two sets of hunters, so just be aware and I would recommend dogs on a leash.

10 months ago

This is a great trail. Hiked the beginning of October. Snow on the upper half. Some slippery spots. Beautiful views at the top!

10 months ago

We did this hike on a Saturday. It was busy, but not too busy. I think the reason it is rated as hard is because the incline is non-stop until you reach the lake. I prefer more of a rambling trail with both incline and some leveling out. The trail itself was well-worn and easy to follow. Not many views...mostly forest of aspen and pine. It was beautiful...but just know that it is a constant uphill.

10 months ago

Very nice trail. Although it is rated on this site as "Hard", I would rate as "Moderate". My only guess for the hard rating would be because there is a steady upward grade for about 2 miles. The trail itself is well worn and easy to follow. The trail to the top was about 3.6 miles and took about 1.5 hours. Total for the hike was 7.2 miles and 4.25 hours (this included 30 min for lunch). Take plenty of breaks on the way up and you'll be fine. Pretty views of the ponds and the mountains at the top. Bring some extra warm clothes. There was a cold wind blowing and it hailed for a short time. Only downside was hearing the traffic on 70 West for a period of time.

11 months ago

Great trail. Not difficult. Wish the skies were blue and clear as the views are beautiful. Very hazy from the fires.

11 months ago

Not a difficult trail. There is a short maybe .5 mile section that is "difficult" but because most of the trail is not like that, I'd say it's moderate! Really good views and a great place to hike to to eat lunch.

11 months ago

We enjoyed everything about this hike EXCEPT for the initial 3/4 mile along I-70. So unnecessary! Don't park in the scenic overlook parking lot to begin your hike - unless you have a fondness for the sights & sounds of interstate traffic. Take exit 195 and either park off to the side as you exit westbound or park near the Conoco station on the eastbound side and walk across the bridge over I-70 to the trailhead. The trail is beautiful through aspen forest, meadow, and along the lakes. Be sure to continue beyond the 2nd lake for a gorgeous view down Tenmile Canyon and the surrounding mountains.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Great trail. First mile or so, the trail follows 1-70 and you aren't far from the highway, so expect traffic noises/music from town. Next mile or two is a steady incline up to the lakes. Beautiful views!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The trail starts at the Gore Range trailhead. The first 2 miles have a lot of incline, but after that you'll come to a clearing and from there it's a pretty flat trail to get to the lakes. We ate lunch at the top and it's beautiful. Lots of bugs though! I would say this was "moderate" not "hard".

Friday, July 21, 2017

Just hiked this route yesterday. Beautiful from start to finish. Trees and wildflowers, butterflies and salamanders. Lunch at the top. There were bugs, not bad if you kept moving. Nice lot for parking. Definitely worth it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Scenic, moderate hike. Saw a bunch of deer near the lakes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Good steady climb, the lakes are beautiful. It was a little swampy but it was to be expected with all of the rain over the past few days.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Steady incline. Bring bug spray. Gorgeous views at the end of the trail.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The hike up to the lakes was a decent little workout. The lakes themselves are beautiful, as are the surrounding views. However, I would NOT recommend trying to camp anywhere near the lakes. We were constantly surrounded by a cloud of mosquitos, and both my dog and I were covered with bites by the time we left - despite bug spray. There are plenty of nice spots off the main trail for camping though!

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