| 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.
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 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):