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This a great, local, high altitude, hike to train on if you are going to be doing other hikes like the Inca Trail. I credit this hike for making us very well prepared for our trip. I am a little late with a review as snow has already begun to accumulate but in early October the trail was mostly clear. Hard to follow at the beginning through the ski resort and construction. Just look for the signage. Above the treeline it is incredibly windy (like have to hunker down at times windy) and cold. I recommend a very warm jacket / windbreaker, warm gloves and a hat. It is hard to appreciate the amazing view from the top if you are freezing. Take the time to go see Williams Lake if you can. We had lunch there and it was beautiful.

hiking
17 days ago

So fun walking through the dunes. Definitely plan on adding a bit on to your total mileage, it’s really easy to wander around and get off trail once you’re out there.

Pretty white sands

hiking
25 days ago

We hiked the trail in Mid-November. The weather was perfect. Mid-60s during the day and no wind. Absolutely beautiful and a great hike if you are looking for something different. You won’t find a landscape like this in many places. The silence of the place is astounding. The trail is well marked and most of it could be rated as moderate. Although the south side of the trail is more difficult and calls for lots of climbing up and over sand dunes; which can be fun but also a bit challenging for some. Eventually the trail smooths out and is fairly easy. I would recommend starting on the south side of of the loop in order to get the difficult sections out of the way early.

Beautiful, only able to get to Williams lake due to heavy snow in the past month. Trail is easy to follow and packed down good to the lake (very popular hike) I tried going up to wheeler but it’s still soft and deep snow. Not many people summiting anymore. A hiker coming down informed me the trail disappears after timberline so it looks like next year will be my summiting chance.

hiking
1 month ago

Took off 1 star for no trash cans on trail equals litter & alot of trails were closed.

Amazing views! This is a beautiful route through the colorful sandstone cliffs. The hike itself is fairly flat except for the steep traverse up the cliff side. There is a rock scrabble that can be challenging. The top of the mesa is white and creates an incredible contrast to the red, yellow and tan cliffs and blue sky. This was a great autumn hike as the changing foliage added even more color.

This is an awesome trail, wry easy to moderate 3/4th the way. The last 100 ft vertically is very challenging with several areas where the trail is not easily discernible. Any fear of heights should only go to the point of a thin shale slope, beyond that point, anxiety can set in.

súper cool área! very hard to find trail. ended up just walking around, but worth the pit stop!

hiking
1 month ago

If you are a photographer, you already know about this surreal location. Famous photo ops include the Alien Egg Hatchery, the Bisti Wings, the Brown Hoodoos, Vanilla Hoodoos, Conversing Hoodoos, Manta Ray Wing and more petrified wood logs than you can imagine.Great location for nightime Milky Way photography too. Take a GPS to help you find the spots and to find your way home after dark.
No trails, bathrooms, water or food. Bring your GPS and leave no trace!

Easy hikes to the cave and volcano! Both were awesome to see.

Did an overnight trip and camped at the lake. This was such a great experience and it was my first backpacking trip. I would recommend and will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

My mind was blown. I did lose my track for about an hour and you can get turned around fairly easily. Bring plenty of water and GPS if you can. Felt like you were on another planet.

hiking
2 months ago

We were here in Oct., and the weather was perfect - partly sunny, light breezes and 75-80 temp at midday. We were a little short on time, so only hiked out about 1 mile and then returned. I wanted to get past all the mounds with footprints, for good pictures, and found that in spades! We returned over some dunes that weren't directly on the trail, but in the general direction of the trailhead, and that was neat to be the only ones you could see for quite aways. In the distance we hiked, it was easy to navigate. Very easy to hike barefoot, and this is preferred, especially in the looser sand of the dunes.

Breathtaking October hike. Needed to give dogs a boost over sheer climb about half way in.

Trail and hike are generally good, but lots of construction along first 0.5-1 mile from parking lot. Hiked all the way up today, but wind was howling. Wind-breaker and warm hat a MUST, and you’ll want gloves too!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail some trails blocked off. Main trail is good
Hiked to the top of the volcano at Vulcans loop me and the dog. The last 600 yds or so could be tricky. Loose rocks and soil. Would be very tricky if it was rainy or muddy. Watch the weather. About 2.5 miles in. Bring water.

Beautiful trail!! Love the atmosphere there! Last mile is the hardest but as soon as you get to the top makes the whole struggle worth it!!! It is very windy and cold at the top so bundle up.

The trails and scenery are beautiful and the staff are very friendly and informative.

Trails are decent. Climb is challenging. Views are breathtaking. A must for anyone hiking/backpacking in Taos area

I would give it a five because the views at top are amazing, but kind of want to give the trail itself a 3 since many parts are in bad condition.

completed this a number of times, latest was today after a 4 year hiatus due to injuries. terrific above tree line views. The climb as always is relentless, even considering the new switchbacks put in a few years ago. Be prepared for rapid changes in weather, especially in monsoon season.
The lower Williams Lake section has been rerouted to accommodate mountain development, in my estimation it has not disturbed the major portion of this section.

Great hike, start early!

Really good and tough ride!

hard but fantastic hike.

Great hike. I stayed at Alpine Suites Inn and made an early start (drive to trailhead is 1.4 miles). The lake is 2 miles in, not overly hard but will get your breathe up for sure. Trail is well-marked. From the lake, the second 2 miles are all switchbacks, first through forest and then into open-air hillside. This is when the hike gets steep. It is strenuous. An hour walk and you will get about halfway through switchbacks, where you will come to a high meadow. From afar it seems the path is overrun with rockfall and you’ll see a well-trodden path through the grass. So I took this cut through to where the path becomes almost all rock further up. Looking back from above, I could see the path was actually above the rockslide but I saved time cutting uphill anyways (it’s totally safe and more comfy to walk on grass anyway). Marmots were everywhere and pika too. Your attention to footing is necessary for the final mile as it is all scree and rock and pretty darn steep, though the path is easy to follow. I got spooked a couple times, as wind and clouds got ferocious. The marmots didn’t seem to mind so I got over it and headed up, finally reaching the saddle just before the summit. I was rewarded with a gorgeous, sunny view of the valley on the north side of Wheeler (I could see Horseshoe Lake sparkling in the distance). Also a stunning view of the other high peaks in the area. Took some pictures at the summit, hung out about 20 minutes, then headed back down. Not nearly as intimidating or hard on the way back. I reached the peak at about 10:00am with a 7am start at trailhead parking lot, and a stop at the lake for a few minutes. Saw a handful of deer near summit and on the way back.

Overall a fantastic hike, I’ll be back!!!

Really fun hike. Spectacular views of you make it to the top. The last part of the hike is rocky and definitely took its toll on people. Still worth it though. Great view of the lake on your way up too.

Had fun seeing the cave and the volcano!! Easy hike to both and I liked the landscape going up to the volcano!

11Aug2018 Saturday, Taos NM
I'm so proud of myself today for completing this incredible hike to New Mexico ' s highest peak - Wheeler Peak. The terrain is spectacular and today the weather was absolutely perfect.
This hike took me just under 5 hours (total traveling time) to complete. The final 1.5 miles to the top was the most difficult for me; stopping frequently to check my internal gage of will power and sheer determination. My body's strength was testing me and my mind was saying, "don't you dare think of turning around." I realize that not all who make the trip - complete the journey, yet there were a lot of people up there today - and I was among them.
Days like today challenge me in so many ways, change me - shape me into someone new, making me stronger, more determined, more patient, and appreciative. And if I could have just one wish granted as I settle in for the evening, - it would be in the order of a really long foot massage.

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