Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Teocalli Mountain - July 2015

Teocalli Mountain with an old Barn along Brush Creek road near Crested Butte, Colorado
Old farming house with Teocalli Mountain - Prints Available

KD ready to go!

Cami, KD and I drove down to the Brush Creek road with the intention of 4 wheeling up to the Teocalli Mountain trailhead to set up camp Wednesday night, but by the time we had everything loaded, it was almost dark and raining hard.  We drove a couple hundred yards up the trail on the ATV and turned around to take refuge in the truck where we slept that night.

The next morning after sunrise, we headed back into town to grab some food and explore the scenery around Crested Butte before giving it another try that afternoon.  The entire area was just filled with fields of color.  Crested Butte is called the "wildflower capitol of Colorado."   After this trip I'm inclined to agree with this label:

Sunrise in the Elk mountain range with bright yellow wildflowers and lupines
Sunrise the first morning.

Gothic Mountain in the Elk Range near Crested Butte, Colorado with wildflowers and low hanging clouds
Gothic Mountain
Mount Crested Butte in summer with lush alpine wildflowers
Mt. Crested Butte - Prints Available
Lupine wildflowers with dew drops from the rain
Lupine Wildflowers - Prints Available

We 4 wheeled up the road and set up the tent right at the base of Teocalli Mountain. KD is now 2 years old and getting much better at not driving her parents crazy on long trips. She loved riding the ATV and "helping Daddy drive."

I woke at 3am and headed out in the dark hoping for a unique sunrise view of Castle Peak, the tallest 14,000 ft. peak in the Elk Range.  I reached the ridge right about at sunrise, but the cloud cover was pretty dense.  In fact, there was only a quick 30 second period of time where the actual summit of Castle Peak was visible before the clouds engulfed it again.

Fire on the mountain
Photograph of Colorado 14er Castle and Conundrum Peak at sunrise in the Elk Mountains
Castle Peak - Prints Available
Black and white version of Castle peak with a fresh dusting of snow in the summer sunrise
Fresh dusting of snow at the top!

Here's a time-lapse of the sunrise.  It's about 2 hours condensed into 30 seconds:

The views south were also stunning!

Distant alpenglow

Sunrise on Mount Crested Butte and Whetstone Mountain from the Teocalli ridge
Mt. Crested Butte and Whetstone Mountain from just below the summit.


There almost no visibility on the summit.  We were literally walking in the clouds.  Hiking back down through the fields of wildflowers was awesome though.  Hmm... I must have missed them on my way up.

Looking back down the route.


KD actually fell asleep in my arms while riding the ATV on the way back to the truck.  It was a quick, but beautiful trip that I would highly recommend.

Teocalli Mountain reflected in a small pond near Crested Butte, Colorado
Parting Shot


  1. Nice lookin' shots! And nice job on a cool summit.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Ben. I really enjoy your hiking blog too!