Wheeler Lakes

MODERATE 128 reviews
#9 of 31 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 .

3 months ago

This trail was easy-to-moderate and peaceful. We did it in early October and had a picnic lunch by the second lake. I enjoyed it but I probably wouldn’t do it again.

3 months ago

Muddy hike today, 10.19.18 due to precip last night. Takes awhile to get away from I70 noise. Good workout. Lakes are meh but views at top are nice. Was peaceful and that's what I'm after but probably would not do this again. Too many other better trails in the area.

3 months ago

This trail is an excellent day hike. On October 12, my son and I ventured from Copper Mountain toward Wheeler Lakes. The first two-thirds is the steepest portion of the hike with the final third easier on the legs. Our journey included snow, which enhanced the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend this hike.

3 months ago

Great little jaunt for a last minute spontaneous hike. We got there around 1pm and there was hardly anyone there. There is actually parking much closer to where the trail turns into the mountain off 70 otherwise, you have to walk a little bit on the side of 70 before you turn in which I thought was actually pretty cool. Either way, you are pretty much right across from Copper Mt at the start. Good little easy hike for some exercise . Aspens along the trail pretty much have lost their leaves as of today.

* Short easy hike. Slow, steady incline until you hit the lakes.
* Pretty, open space at the top where the lakes are. That's the best part.
* Trail head is easy to find, right of Rt 70 across from Copper
* Good choice for beginners or a last minute hike.
* Quiet at the top by the two lakes. Although the lakes are not the typical turquoise mountain lakes, still pretty to have lunch at. Very peaceful. We were there just appreciating the silence for an hour.
* Most of the hike has good cover from trees once you get past the first mile.

* Not the pretties of hikes unless you hit it during peak aspen leaf changing. Your mostly in trees.
* Views until you get to the lakes are through the trees and are mostly of Copper Mountain if any views at all.

3 months ago

I’m a previously in shape hiker who is now super out of shape. The uphill on the way to the lakes was very tough (had to stop and catch my breath a lot), but I kept on. It was short enough that it didn’t kill me :) The lakes were decent. Back to the parking was all downhill and much easier for me. Took me 2 hours from parking lot to the top lake, and then 1.5hrs down. Great part about this hike is that much of the trail goes through the trees, so lots of shade.

3 months ago

Views are amazing and well worth all the uphill! Majestic mountain views, peaceful lakes, and a bit of Fall in the air-what more could you ask for.

4 months ago

not a steep hike, very beautiful

4 months ago

Great round trip hike. Take a lunch and sit next to one of the two lakes. Creek is dry. Be sure to take plenty of water as the trail is on the sunnier side of the mountain face. If you are overnighting, be sure to register at the base of the trail.

4 months ago

Great short moderate hike mostly in the trees. Some aspen groves. Trails well maintained It’s about a 2-3 hr round trip hike with time spent for lunch looking over the small lakes.

4 months ago

always enjoyable! easy hike with continous steady incline making it moderate. Bring bug spray - about half way mark is Mosquito haven in short switchback area next to creek. Go past lake for scenic long range ridge views.

4 months ago

Great trail. Parked in the Copper lot and then walked over the bridge. Went up early and not a single person on the trail until heading back down. Lakes were beautiful. Moderate ranking is accurate.

4 months ago

Too bad this trail starts and ends with a long walk along I-70. The rest of the hike is very nice, and the two lakes (really ponds) are incredibly tranquil and beautiful. Definitely worth the hike.
I too would rate this hike as moderate. A nice steady uphill climb to the lakes, but not too strenuous.

5 months ago

Nice trail. Quite a few flowers. We encountered a bit of snow, but manageable.

5 months 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!

5 months 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.

6 months 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!

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

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

6 months 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.

8 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.

11 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!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

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.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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!

Monday, January 08, 2018

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!

Monday, January 01, 2018

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.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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.

Friday, October 20, 2017

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.

Monday, October 09, 2017

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

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