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This is one of the park’s most popular hikes, providing a concise tour of the subalpine environment on Wheeler Peak.
On this loop, you’ll hike through a forest of bristlecone pines to reach tranquil views at two alpine lakes, Stella and Teresa.
The direction you take the loop doesn’t matter much.
Stella Lake is generally regarded as the prettier of the two, so you can choose to see it first or second. Both lakes are rather small, but just the right size to fit in a photo.
They’re framed beautifully by trees and a snow-streaked mountain backdrop.
Wheeler Peak rises above, and you can catch a stunning reflection of it on a calm day at Stella Lake.
These shallow lakes are fed primarily by snowmelt.
By the end of summer, they lose more water to evaporation than they gain from runoff, and Teresa Lake shrinks considerably in some years.
The best time to view the lakes and wildflowers is midsummer, but early fall is nice for cool temperatures and flecks of color in the forest. Source: https://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/hiking-information.htm