Teocalli Mountain is one of those mountains that one remembers whether driving by it on U.S. 135 or climbing up its steep tundra slopes. The mountain's rough, pyramid shape or its dangerous, loose rock and significant exposure is a mere reminder of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. One does not have to climb to its rugged summit to enjoy the amazing features the mountain and the area around it have to offer. With its base being just ten miles up the Brush Creek road from U.S. 135, Teocalli Mountain and its immediate child Teocalli Ridge provide many days worth of hiking, climbing, mountain biking, (and in the winter/spring) skiing. Not to mention the countless hours of wildflower viewing all along the entire Brush Creek area. A visit to Teocalli Mountain and the Brush Creek area is not only memorable and beautiful, but also captivating and something that anyone, any age, and any shape can enjoy.
The Teocalli Ridge
Summit of Teocalli
Sign as seen at the West Brush Creek Junction
The most obvious access to this mountain and the area around it is West Brush Creek, however approaching the mountain from the Aspen side of Pearl Pass could also be done but is not recommend.
From Crested Butte, travel southeast 1.9 miles on U.S. 135 (northwest 25 miles from Gunnison) and turn northeast onto County Road 738 (Brush Creed Road) and travel 5.3 miles to the West Brush Creek/Pearl Pass Junction. You can make a left onto West Brush Creek road and travel another 5 miles to the Teocalli Mountain trailhead if you have 4WD and clearance. Passenger cars are not suitable for the road.
From Aspen, travel south 13 miles on Castle Creek Road from U.S. 82. Turn right following signs for Pearl Pass. This road is a very rough, narrow, road in which only few types of high clearance 4WD vehicles are permitted. If you qualify, the continue up and over the pass about 16 miles to the Pearl Pass/West Brush Creek Junction (see above). Give yourself about 2 hours to get over Pearl Pass.
For specific information on restrictions see the Gunnison National Forest website.
Pets and mountain biking are permitted in pretty much all of the area. Driving off road is not permitted. In July/August fire bans are common so be sure to check with Gunnison National Forest in regards to any fire ban or special restrictions.
Pack it in - Pack it out
Crested Butte offers many camping opportunities. Paid camping is available at Lake Irwin and plenty of dispersed camping is available up Slate River Road, Gothic Road, West Brush Creek, and the start of Pearl Pass.
Coming from Aspen, the Castle Creek road offers plenty of dispersed camping opportunities.