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Wheeler Lakes

MODERATE 144 reviews
#11 of 42 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.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,568 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

walking

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

snow

Moderately-strenuous section of Gore Range Trail that passes through intervals of Aspen, near Treeline and Uneva Pass.

hiking
14 days ago

Unspoiled powder winter wonderland! That said my pups and I did some serious trailblazing, as it was clear no one has been here for at least a week. We were able to figure out a “trail.” Gorgeous day. Spikes at a minimum.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked to the first lake last weekend and there was around a foot of snow on trail which made it take like 6 hours round trip. Only thing that was lame was that you have to walk along 70 for a solid mile or so. The solitude was nice tho, lakes are frozen fyi

hiking
2 months ago

Super fun moderate trial- leaves not ready yet- had the lakes to ourselves

hiking
3 months ago

Parked at the scenic area/rest area just east of the Copper exit. Added an extra mile but worth it to have a parking space and stream for the dog to cool off in at the end. Hiked with our 9 and 6 year old who are seasoned hikers but still like to whine. It was a perfect “challenging” hike for them. We stopped at the first lake and had lunch. Dog got to swim. Only thing keeping from 5 stars is the proximity to the highway for the first bit.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy, slow, steady climb. Beautiful, sunny day. Trail is well marked. Can walk around upper lake. Well worth it for photo opportunities of lake w/ Peak One in background. Still a lot of flowers blooming. A few people on path, but not crowded. Agree with others who suggested parking by gas station on other side of road.

hiking
3 months ago

started a bit late - so really hot, but very beautiful views and still great wild flowers. bring lots of water. RT 3 hours. Not crowded even on a Sunday.

hiking
3 months ago

Starts off along I 70 for 3/4 mile and then heads into the woods. Lots of wildflowers, views of Copper Mountain and of course, the two lakes at the top. No bugs and only a few people

hiking
4 months ago

The Good, The Bad, The Overall Trail The Good: Easy little hike that goes to some cool alpine lakes. Unless you’re going to Lost Lake that’s much more difficult and long. Crazy amount of wildflowers through the first mile of fields. Just beautiful. If you go a little past the Upper lake, there is an insanely pretty view and more wildflowers. The signage at the trailhead is actual posted, relevant, and updated. The Bad: Lots of bugs at the lake. The lakes are cute, but not the most impressive alpine lakes. There is no trailhead toilet/latrine. The trailhead is very strange to get to. It’s right off the Copper Mountain exit. There a small road that 3 or so vehicles can park single-file, but most people park at the gas station across the street and walk over the bridge. The first mile is along I-70, so it’s loud with highway traffic, but the wildflowers definitely make up for it. The Overall Trail: Don’t miss the right-turn at the fork to go to the lakes. If you go the other way its the Gore Range Trail (see photo). Make sure your dog is on-leash. This is usually the case, and its a sensitive subject but they are extremely strict about it on this trail. Even the locals are bossy about it. We had a dog on-leash and had one gentleman “informed us” and another woman gave us a nasty look and almost said something until she realized the dog was leashed. The trail even to the Upper Lake was less than 3 miles. So RT was less than 6 miles. This is a beautiful little hike that has some stunning wildflowers and the first mile may not be your typical “hike” view due to I-70 and Copper Mountain, but once you’re a mile in the sights, the woods, and the trial itself are beautiful. This is a very unique trail that reminds you of how easy it can be to escape into the woods.

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked this trail yesterday to Lost Lake. This is our third time going to Lost Lake and it never disappoints. We parked in the Alpine lot at Copper. It is about 11 miles if you go straight to Lost and skip the Wheeler cut off. There was a little snow and mud on the trail but other than that the trail was in great shape. The best part of this trail is after you pass the Wheeler cutoff. Total elevation gain is around 2000 ft.

hiking
4 months ago

Loved the hike and the views from the top, but hated the mosquitos at the lakes; they swarmed us when we stopped. There are still muddy spots on the trail and the trail between the lakes is very muddy.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. Was a bit muddy in places but snow free. There is a bit of snow around the upper lake but only on the shady side in the trees. Wildflowers are in down lower but not up higher yet. A bit of I70 noise at the start. Parked near the Conoco and crossed the highway to cut off the section along the freeway but still get a lot of noise from trucks etc until you get about 1 mile in. Nice mountain views before the first lake and after the second lake!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hiking through poplar trees and pine forests; also some beautiful meadows toward the top and around the lakes. Wheeler lake #2 is the best. Did not try fishing, bummer! Only reason it’s not a five star is due to the portion that parallels the highway.

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

GREAT hike. Started at Scenic parking lot off of I-70. Aspen groves, forest, open meadows, views galore. Trail runs along the creek the entire hike up. Took the Wheeler Lakes trail and both lakes are stunning. Had multiple snow patches that we had to get over in the shadier spots, but they were still pretty packed down and it wasn’t an issue . Temps were in the 70’s on Saturday, so remaining snow was melting quickly and causing run- offs on the trail. Definitely recommend waterproof boots !

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Hiked it this week lake was still frozen over. Trail is snow covered in many places.

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Parked in front of the Conoco station to avoid the section along the highway. One part of the tail was snowed in and difficult to navigate without GPS. Great view next to the first lake!

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Finished the trail today. Still a lot of snow, and it's easy to lose the trail at times, but were able to make it up to the lakes. The lake was still frozen, but the views were beautiful and well worth the effort.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

I’d recommend waiting a few more weeks. Snow requiring snow shoes or determination to post hole (knee deep) two miles into the trek. We brought snowshoes and ultimately turned around at the crack of thunder. Still just a bit to early.

6 months ago

I did this trail on May 6, 2019, with other members of the Colorado Mountain Club. The description of the trail in the books included here is pretty accurate. It is not particularly difficult or long. The round trip is only about 5 miles and the elevation gain is about 1300 ft. It does start at about 9700 ft, however, so you may huff and puff some. The trail starts across the road from Copper Mountain, the ski resort and it takes a while to get rid of the highway (I-70) noise or views. The trail is almost entirely below the tree line and you hike mostly in an aspen and pine forest. You do get above the tree line towards the end and the views are better. Even though it was the beginning of May the trail and both lakes were still covered with snow and we made the mistake of not taking our snowshoes. So, it was very slow going because of post-holing, especially on the way back when the snow had become slushy. Because of that and because one of the hikers had a minor injury it took almost 6 h to complete with a 45-60 min break at the top. Also, the trail was not always visible and my recording shows us meandering in and out of it. All and all it was an OK hike but it may be better to do this in the summer when the wildflowers are out. Also, this trail continues to Uneva Pass as described in the books listed here and reaching that pass in the summer may make it more enjoyable.

snowshoeing
snow
8 months ago

We picked this trail because it’s close to Copper where the rest of our group was skiing. The snow was deep and beautiful, but way too soft in places and we punched through waist deep more times than I could count...even with snowshoes. The trees and views were really breathtaking once we got up and away from 70, but too much of the trail follows the highway. We were the only ones on the trail all day and it was hard to follow much of the time, even with the app. A few trail markers in the trees would have been helpful. Not sure I’d rush back to do this again...at least not in the snow. If you go in the snow, we highly recommend the earlier suggestions to park at free Copper lot and walk across the bridge the the trailhead that avoids the .8 flat portion along the highway! We parked at the first trailhead and regretted it.

Mon Oct 22 2018

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.

hiking
Sat Oct 20 2018

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.

hiking
Mon Oct 15 2018

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.

hiking
Mon Oct 01 2018

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. Pros: * 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. Cons: * 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.

hiking
Sun Sep 30 2018

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.

Thu Sep 27 2018

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.

Thu Sep 13 2018

not a steep hike, very beautiful

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