I wasn't really planning to make a trip report on this one, but I noticed there were no summer-conditions trip reports for this mountain (that and I don't have anything better to do at the moment). Wheeler Mountain is located in a beautiful drainage and has a number of 14ers and high 13ers as nearby neighbors and is well worth a visit, especially given its easy access from Summit County and Front Range cities.
The forecast called for a bluebird day, so I started out at a reasonable time. I parked my car at the Montgomery Reservoir and hiked a little over 3 miles west on the Wheeler Lake Road. Parts of this road reminded me of the road to Como Lake in that only a well-modified, skillfully-driven vehicle was going to be able to deal with some of the obstacles on the road.
Wheeler Lake Road
Ridiculous obstacle on the "road"
The road ends at Wheeler Lake and I took a few moments to enjoy this interesting place.
Wheeler Mtn from Wheeler Lake
Old, abandoned car at Wheeler Lake
I followed a faint trail around the west side of the lake and hiked a short distance to the unnamed upper lake, which I'll call Upper Wheeler Lake.
Waterfall seen on hike to Upper Wheeler Lake
Upper Wheeler Lake and Wheeler Mountain
From Upper Wheeler Lake I hiked up to Clinton Peak/Wheeler Mountain saddle on scree and grass mostly following a faint trail.
Hiking up to the Clinton/Wheeler saddle
On the saddle looking at the south ridge
From the saddle I headed towards Wheeler's south ridge. Cairns led me around the west side of the ridge and up, over, and around a number of gullies. Cairns led the way for the most part but I did have to do some route-finding in a couple of places where I didn't see any. This part of the route was a loose scramble and I would recommend a helmet, but the scrambling itself was not difficult or exposed (I would say it never exceeded moderate class 3).
Starting on the south ridge
When I finally saw the summit block, which is marked by a couple of easy to spot stripes of light-colored rock, I climbed up a final loose gully and gained the ridge. The final scramble to the summit was about 30 feet on a fun, narrow bit of ridge crest.
Gaining the ridge crest
Final scramble to summit
It was a beautiful day and I took my sweet time on the summit.
I descended the way I came and snapped some more shots of my surroundings on the hike back to the car.
Upper Wheeler Lake
Another look at the old car
This was a nice, moderate outing. Final numbers at the end of the day: just under 3000 vertical feet and about 9.8 miles round trip.