Hiking The Oh Be Joyful - Peeler Lakes
The 14th most popular hiking trail in Colorado.
Saturday 23 July 2016 04:21 GMT
North of Crested Butte, the Oh Be Joyful - Peeler Lakes loop is a 14.7 mile route. The loop combines the popular Oh Be Joyful Trail up to Blue Lake, and then follows the rarely used Daisy Pass Trail (#404) from Blue Lake over Star Pass into the Peeler Basin. While Blue Lake is known to be popular with locals for camping (although there is little evidence of camping), for a remote unspoiled campsite, try the lone-rarely used site at Lower Peeler Lake. The route to and through Peeler Basin is rarely hiked and the route up to Lower Peeler Lake is difficult to find (i.e. bushwack).
The trailhead is at the Oh Be Joyful Campground on Slate River Road. Start by hiking west up Oh Be Joyful towards Blue Lake. You will see a lot of other hikers on the way to the lake. About 0.25 miles before Blue Lake, there will be an small, unsigned trail meandering off one of the switchbacks heading east towards Star Pass (the low saddle in the ridge to the west). Trek through open wildflower meadows following rock cairns on the way to the final ascent over the pass. Its quite steep and loose. The pass (by GPS) is actually 11,900 feet (as compared to topos which show it as 11,700 feet). Across the pass, the trail descends into Peeler Basin. Again, the trail disappears in meadows so follow the rock cairns. As the trail levels out in the basin, it enters dense pine forest so none of the Peeler lakes are visible from the trail. A GPS is pretty much required to find the lakes, so set a waypoint ahead of time.
Overall, Oh Be Joyful - Peeler Lakes is the 14th most popular hiking trail of all 72 hikes in Colorado. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Oh Be Joyful - Peeler Lakes including Deer Creek, Green Lake Trail, Snodgrass Trail, Lower Loop Trail System, East / West Maroon Trail Loop, Yule Pass Trail and Copper Lake Trail.