“An incredible loop in the wilderness near Crested Butte.”
— Jason Smith
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Teocalli Ridge is a classic hike in the Brush Creek area outside Crested Butte. It's the perfect option if you want a full value hike, but weather may be too spotty for a longer day in the high peaks. The high point is right below treeline & while it's never good to get stuck in a thunderstorm, you are never too exposed on this route.
Need to Know
There are two creek crossings. One on the way up the doubletrack before you get to Teocalli Mountain Trail, and the other the way out on Brush Creek Road. In early season (late May/June) these may be high due to snowmelt, use caution.
Start by driving out Brush Creek Road (738) East from Colorado Highway 135. Once the road starts climbing, there will be an intersection with West Brush Creek Road (738.2A). Take a right here and look for an informal parking area approx 1/5 of a mile on your right. Park here.
Start hiking back west on the road and take West Brush Creek Road (738.2A). Once on West Brush Creek Road, the climb starts to get steeper. In approximately 1/2 mile, you'll come to another intersection, take a right here at the sign directing you toward the Teocalli Mountain Trail. Soak up the views in the next couple miles along the West Brush Creek drainage.
When the road ends you'll take a right to get on Teocalli Mountain Trail #554
. This is where the climb gets tough, but that is offset by stunning Elk Mountain scenery. When you get near the top of the ridge you'll take a right onto Teocalli Ridge #557
**Big bonus option from here - Bang a left to bag 13,208' Teocalli Mountain as an out and back. If you do this, be sure of the route & plan accordingly with energy & layers.**
After awhile you'll come to a break in the trees with a nice view point and stopping area. Soak in great views of Teocalli Mountain, Castle Peak
, Pearl Pass, and the Middle Brush Creek drainage on your left. If you are on the mellow train, this is a good place for lunch.
The trail continues along Teocalli Ridge and then begins a gradual downhill. Expect some roots/rocks as the trail descends through the timber and then into Aspens near the end of the ridge Eventually the trail opens up into a meadow and dumps you back out onto Brush Creek Road/Pearl Pass. Take a right here and follow the road back to the standard parking area.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers go off on summer on the southern flanks of Teocalli Mountain.