Hiking Project Logo

Wheeler Trail

Very Difficult
 5.0 (2)

Stunning alpine scenery on extremely steep singletrack.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

10.3

Miles

16.5

KM

Point to Point

12,508' 3,812 m

High

9,770' 2,978 m

Low

2,286' 697 m

Up

3,424' 1,044 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Description

WARNING: This trail has HUGE high alpine exposure. Several miles are above 12,000'. This is not the place to take your buddy visiting from low altitude... or if there is any question of thunderstorms... or if you lack enthusiasm to hike a fair bit of steep sections! This is a big, high-mountain adventure and will take much longer than its 8 miles might suggest.

From the trailhead on McCullough Gulch Road (well past the Quandary Peak trailhead), start off with grueling climb on moderately rough surface for about half a mile. The final grunt is steep a staircase that will push both your legs and lungs. Turn back around at this point and admire 14,265' Quandary Peak right in your face. If you look closely on a clear day, you'll see hordes of people on the summit ridge.

The painful climb pays right off though - the next section gently descends through beautiful forest carpeted with green woodruff for over a mile. You pop out at Miner's Creek Trail with views of beaver ponds and 13,000' mountains all around. Continue on enjoyable singletrack past Spruce Creek and enjoy a couple miles of superb singletrack just below treeline. Come to a road intersection and take a break for the big hill ahead.

The next stretch climbs almost 1,500 feet in a little over a mile. It's butter smooth, but will push your endurance. Hoof it up to a spectacular ridge and enjoy huge views in all directions.

The next few miles cross high alpine tundra-like terrain that is often quite wet. Don't damage the trail. It's relatively flat but moderately technical through these sections. The views of the ten mile range are unbeatable!

One final climb of a few switchback will take you to a saddle between Peak 8 and 9. All of a sudden you'll have views of the other side of the range, extending from Copper Mountain to the Gore Range. Soak in the views and then cruise down a couple miles on steep terrain until the trail intersects the Colorado Trail at the Miner's Creek Trail junction on the right of the trail. Continue past Miner's Creek Trail down to Copper Mountain. Cross a bridge to a parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#3

in Blue River

#843

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Blue River

#132

in Colorado

#843

Overall
272 Views Last Month
2,044 Since Aug 11, 2017
Very Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
33%
67%

Photos

Nice views at the Spruce Creek Trail/Wheeler Trail junction.
Dec 21, 2018 near Brecken…, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 48 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 15, 2020
Dominic LaRoche
Aug 9, 2019
W Walker