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Wheeler Lakes

Length: Approx. 6 miles roundtrip
Spectacular views of Uneva Pass
Difficulty Rating:

Below: one of Wheeler Lakes surrounded by pine forests

Take I-70 west from Frisco to the Copper Mt. exit(195). The trailhead is on your right just before you cross the bridge over I-70. There is a small parking area here.
However, you need to continue across the bridge and park in the "free skiers" lot at Copper Mountain and then walk the short distance back to the trailhead.

Description: This hike is about a six mile roundtrip that begins with a steady ascent through aspen and pine forests and culminates at two lakes that provide

views of Lake Dillon to the northeast and Uneva Pass to the northwest. The elevation gain is a bit over 1,300 feet to a high point at the lakes at approx. 11,100 feet.


 Below: A steady climbing offering fantastic views

While completing a triathalon is not a prerequisite for this trek, fitness buffs can be assured that the steady climb will elevate the heart rate sufficiently to provide some aerobic benefit. The beginning of the hike provided our geriatric SCE crew with interesting views of hang gliders soaring over Copper Mountain to the south.


After more than an hour of steady climbing (not counting numerous rest stops) we reached the first of several meadows that afford spectacular views - look for Vail Pass off to the west.

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Above:  Sign marking Gore Range Trail (making a right turn will lead you to the lakes.  

Below:  Heading back down into the forest of pines


At about two and a half miles a sign marks the Gore Range Trail and a right turn that will takes you to the lakes.

Be sure to continue on to the second lake where a short climb over the hill leads to a perfect spot for lunch with impressive views of Lake Dillon to the northeast and Uneva Pass to the northwest.




  beginner intermediate advanced
    Black Powder Pass   Mohawk Lake   Quandary Peak  14,265'
    Lily Pad   Chihuahua Gulch   Lincoln & Bross 14,291' / 14,177'
    St. John's   Mt. Royal   Bierstadt Peak 14,060'
    Mayflower Gulch   Wheeler Lakes   Willow & Salmon Lakes
    Loveland Pass   Radical Hill Trail   Upper Crystal Lake
    Salt Lick Trail   McCullough Gulch   Gray's & Torrey's 14,278' / 14,267'
    Mesa Cortina Trail   Mt. Sniktau   Mt. Democrat 14,152'
    St. Mary's Glacier   North Ten Mile Trail   Mt. Victoria
    Sally Barber Mine   Willow Falls  

Mt. Elbert  14,433'

    Oro Grande Trail   Eaglesmere Lakes   Buffalo Mountain  12,777'
    Meadow Creek-Salt Lick   Mosquito Pass   Eccles Pass
    Shrine Mountain Trail   Webster Pass   Mt. Huron  14,003'
    Ptarmigan Trail   Ptarmigan via Wilder Gulch    
    Peaks Tr. Barton Gulch   Wheeler Lake - Park County    
    Hoosier Pass Loop   Lenawee Trail    


  Spruce Creek Loop   Nightmare on Baldy Mine    
    Tenderfoot Mountain Trail        

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Note: The Summit County Explorer website is for entertainment purposes only. SCE will not be held liable for the any accidents or injuries resulting from the activities listed on this site. Trail conditions change daily and we assume no responsibility for the safety of any individual during any of these activities. Please consult actual trail guides and maps before attempting any of the activities mentioned here.