Wheeler National Recreation Trail #39


The Wheeler National Recreation Trail can either be started outside of Blue River just north of McCullough Gulch or near Copper Mountain. The trail climbs into the alpine and crosses over the Tenmile Range and has spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy the lower elevations as it passes through a mix of lodgepole and spruce/fir forests. Because this trail travels above timberline, you should begin your hike early in the morning because of the ever changing mountain weather. There is always a strong chance of afternoon thundershowers accompanied by lightning.

View a printable Wheeler National Recreation Trail #39 guide (PDF)

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Closed to motor vehicles. Open to Hike, Horse and Mountain Bike.
Closest Towns: Trailhead access at Blue River, CO; Copper Mountain, CO
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Dillon Ranger District; 680 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, CO 970-468-5400

General Information


Access #1 (Wheeler Junction near Copper Mountain): From I-70 take Exit 195, Copper Mountain / Leadville, and travel south on HWY 91 toward Leadville. Immediately past I-70, turn left at the gas station and continue on the road to the parking area.

Access #2 (North of McCullough Gulch) From I-70 take Exit 203, Frisco/Breckenridge, and travel south on Hwy 9 toward Breckenridge. Continue through Breckenridge and travel approximately 7.4 miles past the last traffic light in Breckenridge at Boreas Pass Road. You will pass through the town of Blue River on the way toward Blue Lakes Road (FDR 850) where you will turn right. Turn right onto McCullough Gulch Road (FDR 851) approximately 0.1 miles from HWY 9. At the fork in the road in approximately 1.7 miles, stay right. You will come to the trail marked with a small sign.



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
14.2 miles

  Elevation : 
9,718' - 12, 502'


picture of different recreation quicksheets

Recreation Quicksheets

Hiker on some rocks.

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