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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
13 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.

16 days ago

Neat!

Pretty white sands

hiking
21 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.

Hiked up to the summit on 11/3/18. The trail is now broken (until the next snowstorm), but microspikes or Yaktrax are necessary.

Great views, lighting was perfect against the mountains in the morning. Fall weather was perfect-cool, but sunny. Trail is fairly narrow and a little overgrown thanks to recent rains. Saw three different tarantulas.

Hiked 10/26. Only one there up and back. 27 degrees at TH. Snow last mile plus, up to 8-12 inches in some places but passable.

on Pine Tree Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike late in October , spectacular scenery and streams were running from recent rain , go to the left at beginning of loop , other hikers told us this too and it seemed like the better way , took us 3 hours to complete , not in a hurry cause we were taking lots of Pics

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike with SNOW in places! Recent wind had knocked some trees and branches, but was passable!

Great trail, well marked, great views at the top. Light dusting of snow on the trail. Winds were around 30 mph above treeline, glad i brought some extra cold weather gear. Started at 6:30 AM, finished at around 12:00 PM.

Hiked 10/16, snow on upper 1/3 of trail, so far not more that 1-3” so still easily passable. Trekking poles were helpful on some slippery bits and creek crossings

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyable hike with pretty views. Trail is well-marked. It is uphill for the first half, but not too steep or difficult. We finished in about 3 hours going at a leisurely place and stopping for lots of pics.

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

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.

Awesome views and trail. Bring your water did this early and enjoyed the sunrise. Bit of a challenge but trail in good condition.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful trails in Aguirre Springs. Although it was a rainy day, we enjoyed a lot the astonishing vistas of the pine tree forest and the rock formations, a wonderful landscape!

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!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. 2 1/2 hours stopping for lots of pictures. Take breaks! went early saw the sunrise on the drive to and that alone worth it. Not a soul around, nice. Wear hike boots.

Incredible hike. Started at 9am and the weather was comfortable the whole way up. Mountain provided plenty of shade. I actually split off at the end of the La Luz to go up to crest and think it was worth it. Had a nice lunch at the Cafe at the top and then took trail along the ridge over to the tram. Allowed me to knockout the stone cabin as well. Adds about 2 miles, but if you have the energy I'd recommend it.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a beautiful but decently strenuous day hike. Avoid FR 639 as you come out of Truchas unless you want a fun 4-wheeling experience. Going around to FR 207 (El Valle Road) is a more relaxing route. Only a couple of cars there when we arrived. Make sure to stop and look around occasionally, as it is easy to keep looking down and focus on the trail. Didn’t see anyone going up until we got to the lakes, then saw a couple of camping groups there. A very beautiful area.

Great hike, some up and down, great views of the city and the mountains! Some shade, but a hat and water definitely needed.

Just finished this solo. 4 day 3 night. Amazing trail. Well marked with minimal deadfall. I did counterclockwise up Beaty’s to Skyline then West to Jack’s creek South. Didn’t summit anything as the weather was schizophrenic. Rained and hailed 80% of the time, so, plenty of water. Woke to ice covered everything on day 3. Lots of thunder and lightning shows. Had a coyote play hide and seek for a couple of miles on day one.
Will return.

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!

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!!!

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