Peak(s):  Teocalli Mountain  -  13,208 feet
Date Posted:  07/10/2013
Date Climbed:   07/03/2013
Author:  pw
 Wildflower Phantasmagoria on Teocali   

I saw a report on Teocali on Gerry Roach's site, and with the grassy slopes, it looked like a nice outing. Although it turns out to be a pretty straightforward hike, a thing or two in his brief description seemed a little off from what I found. So mostly pictures and some directions.

Start from the turnoff on W. Brush Creek Road off highway 135, just south of Crested Butte. Initially a 2 wd road, it becomes a moderate 4wd road a couple of miles in. I didn't check my mileage immediately, from a couple of miles in, where the road for Pearl Pass branches off, it was another 3.8 miles to the end of the road and the trailhead.

A couple of shots from the drive in -

Lots of these on the drive in

Only a few of these things

There is the goal for the day. That's just about the top, it's not one of those peaks where the top is hidden away. The trail angles up the grassy slope to the right and through a short stretch of pines, then switches back to the left on top of the ridge.

Teocali from about where I parked

After following the abandoned road, now trail, for a few minutes, turn right at this sign post.

Sign at the start of the trail up Teocali

Near the start of the trail

The view up the slopes when you emerge from the trees.

View of Teocali when you emerge from the trees

Roach suggests the route with the blue arrow to skirt that steeper part. On the way up I went where the red line is, involved some very easy scrambling, took the route with the blue line on the way down. Somehow on the way up it was not completely clear which way was simpler, coming down I could see a large cairn around the side of the steeper part.


Finally! Some scree and talus and loose rocks, I knew something was missing. Goes pretty quickly.

The final stretch

Nice view of Castle Peak from the top.

Castle Peak

As Roach says, the view is Elkerrific. You can see 5 fourteeners in this 2 shot stitch, plus Castle off to the right, previous photo.

Looking north

Looking back down the valley and the route for the drive in.


Heading down, here is the trail into the trees, this deer came out of the trees for a snack.


And one last shot of flowers, near the bottom. The entire hillside was covered, it was the most flowers I've ever seen in the mountains. Overall it was a wonderful hike, relatively easy, around a 5 hour round trip, pleasant grassy slopes to walk on, and great views into the Elk Range.


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Comments or Questions
I try to explain to people
07/10/2013 20:16
what the flowers are like around Crested Butte. Great photos! #2, the blue flowers are Flax, same thing you make linen out of. Someone was asking about mellower hikes around Crested Butte in the forums, this would be perfect.

07/10/2013 22:58
Thanks for this. Headed there Friday and was thinking of doing Teocalli. Hoping to get some good pictures.

07/11/2013 19:06
Great shots of a great place! Thanks!

Love those wildflowers!
07/11/2013 20:01
Great hike with all that color! One question since you've just been up that Brush Creek Rd. How far up do you think a ”medium” clearance CRV or RAV4 could get on that road without getting banged up? If not all the way, I wouldn't mind walking an extra road mile or so if there are small pulloffs. Thanks for the info!

The Road
07/11/2013 23:00
I think a CRV or Rav could get all the way up. Like I said, it's pretty moderate as 4wd roads go, maybe even an Outback type thing could get up there. I was up to Yankee Boy Basin (not the top) a day or two later and saw a CRV and Jeep Compass up there, and I think the upper stretches of that road were rougher. I have an Xterra if that is of any use.

Tight bushes on the upper road?
07/12/2013 13:49
Thanks, pw! Sounds like it is doable with careful driving. Planning on the weekend of 7/20. Did you find the bushes tight on the last section of the road? A couple of older reports tell of ”desert pinstriping” on their vehicles due to the bushes! Of course, my vehicle already has some of that decoration...

Tight Bushes
07/12/2013 14:02
I read that same report and was going to stop if I saw such a thing, but I never did, I wonder if someone has trimmed them back since that report was written.

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