PATROL ONE OUTINGS
Wheeler Lake Trail 2
Near Alma, Colorado
On September 18th 1999, we all met at the IHOP restaurant at 6th and Simms at 8:30 am and headed up to do the Wheeler Lake Trail. The trip was led by Jon Brule followed by Pete Ramirez and Chris and Debi Vieth. Jon had already done the 4.3 mile Wheeler in late July, so he already knew what the trail was going to dish out. The Wheeler Lake Trail is one of Colorado's premier jeepin' trails and is rated as "difficult" and an "8" on a scale from 1-10. From Hwy 9 about a mile south of Hoosier Pass, turn left at F.S. Road 408, then another mile to the trailhead at the lake.
Click on photos to enlarge
Upper Wheeler Lake with an early dusting of snowfall in September
We got to the trailhead at Montgomery Lake as fall color was in full swing at 10,000'+, and it wasn't long before we got to the first obstacle. Jon conquered this challenge with ease and Pete also climbed right up the obstacle. Chris made it up too, with a little help from Pete and his tow strap and Jon's spotting.
Hobo Chris V on 2 wheels at the first obstacle!
Jon climbing up the 2nd "V" obstacle with ease
From there we traveled up the narrow rocky trail to the second obstacle. Again, Jon made this look easy and Chris followed right behind with no problems, but Pete needed a little help from a tow strap on this one. Then it was on to the mud hole. All three made it through with no problems.
"The Obstacle" to which Wheeler Lake Trail is famous for awaits for it's next victim.......
From the mud hole to the third obstacle (which is the tough one) it's a long gradual climb up a very rocky trail with a few water crossings. The third obstacle (at mile marker 4.0) looked and was tough, but with Pete's spotting and Jon giving it a few good tries, he made it up and thru (and only scratched a few undercarriage parts).
Chris attempted to climb this obstacle but, after a couple of tries decided to pass on this one, but definitely plans to try it again with a little more experience and lower gears. Not attempting an obstacle when the conditions are not right, is just as smart as actually conquering it. If you ever don't feel right about an obstacle, ask for a strap or don't attempt it, you may pay for it in $$$ in the end if you don't.
Chris maneuvers his YJ to take a shot at the obstacle.
Jon attacks the obstacle from the lake side, nice articulation!
Pete was unsure (having open differentials), but took a great line and with just a little tug from John with a tow strap; Pete had made it, too. From there it is a short drive (0.3 miles) to Wheeler Lake, which is where we stopped for lunch.
The return trip (one-way up, one-way down), was fun although the obstacles were not as challenging with gravity on our side but they did create great photo-ops. All three vehicles completed the trip without breaking any parts (yea!), and we all had a "great time". Thanks go out to Hobo Jon for leading the trip.
Debi Vieth HoboJeepers
More Wheeler Lake 2 Photos:
Here are some other Wheeler Lake Trip Reports:
Wheeler Lake Trip Report by Steve Cavender
Wheeler Lake Trail Report by Brad Lovell
COSPORTS.COM Wheeler Lake Trail Report
Wheeler Lake Trail during ALL-4-FUN 99' by Flatlander
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