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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.

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!!!

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.

My 13 year old daughter and I started Friday 7/13 and hiked the 5.6 miles (2.5 hours) to Trampas Lakes. We were the only soules there and we had the whole place to ourselves! Stayed one night and made the return hike in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Finally saw one couple hiking up as we we're headed down.

Definitely uphill on the way to the lake and we took a few breaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, make sure you have 5 dollars exactly to pay for parking at the station, it has to be left in an envelope. It's very easy to get off the trail, so pay attention.

Great hike! Fantastic views. A few more people on the trail than I had expected based on the trail description - though it was Sunday. In the late summer, you want to start this hike early so that you don't get caught in early afternoon storms that sweep in - we barely missed the thunderstorm that rolled in quickly around 1 pm. The last mile is very exposed, so plan to be off the peak by noon or so.

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.

God is good !!!

Hiked this last summer. Started at the bottom of the ski resort (approx 8000 ft and change). There is a beautiful and breathtaking view when you get to Williams Lake (around 11000 ft). I made sure to take my time and take all of it in.
Don't forget to sign the book at the top of the mountain and enjoy the incredible view. Also, pack a light jacket b/c it is very windy up there, Visited at the end of June and there was still snow at the peak.

Incredible views and worth every step! The climb gets more difficult starting at the fork with the lake. The last 2 miles are very difficult, but very satisfying to look over what you accomplished.

This was a great hike, the trails are well marked all the way to summit. Definitely a challenge the last 1.5 miles, footing on the rocks and incline. It took us 2 hr to ascend and the same coming down. Beautiful day all the way around, even saw a Big Horn sheep close to trail!

Beautiful scenery! Great to do early in the AM. Some parts were strenuous, but overall good hike! Breathtaking view at the highest elevation.

Definitely hard, definitely worth it. Lots of different terrain. After the tree line summit seems to take forever up the scrawl but crazy views. Also definitely felt the altitude effects after the tree line. Wind and altitude the last mile or so made it pretty cool.

Summited, sat May 30th.
(Some comments below say it's closed bc of fires so read those/ check the area online)
beautiful hike, amazing views from the top, crazy windy and even cold early in AM.( bring At least a light jacket, gloves, and something for ears depending on time of year/ time of day). when driving at night we came to an area with a ski resort and across the way there was a drop toilet with a sign that said it was a trail Four Wheeler Peak. There were a few cars parked there but we decided to keep going. That was a good choice because we came across another parking area where most people seem to park where the porta potties are. we explored a little bit further and found another parking area. We chose to park there and that was the closest we were able to get. If you park anywhere else past that you might get ticketed or towed. The area is patrolled by a cop. the initial Ascent isn't too bad. It's just like with climbing any mountain you're going to get your heart pump in a little bit. It is the final part that gets a little killer. We did one of the social Trails( because from our standpoint it looked as if the trail had been covered by a rock slide. But that was just the perspective of it from where we were) which basically went straight up and cut off a portion of a Switchback. After doing it we wished we had just done the Switchback as the social trail was steeper than we thought.
this was our third tallest peak in a state to date (Utah, NV, NM) and was definitely pretty short compared to most peaks we've done and well worth it. I think it took us about 5 hours including our break at the top. We hike at a pretty good pace. we started around 645 am on the Saturday of memorial day wknd) . there were a few others in front of us on the trail, but we were first to summit. if you want the peak to yourself start closer to 6. it got busy on our way down.

oh , almost forgot we did do a pit stop at the lake there. I recommend doing that if you have time as it is a nice little stop.

Attainable but difficult for an average person. Walking through the first few miles below the tree line is strenuous but not bad. Above the tree line is quite difficult. The switchbacks made of loose rocks are not easy to keep solid footing on and can be really taxing. I slowed down and took my time. Took me more than 4 hours to summit but well worth it. Being from Texas, the biggest challenge for me was the altitude. The air felt really thin as I got higher on the mountain

(Drove in from Houston last night, hiked Baldy today.)

Beautiful, long, reasonably hard hike.

The 3 creek (very small, more like “criks”) crossings were beautiful. At 3.5 (half way to top), there is a nice creek to rest or cool off your feet.

The terrain is (mostly) loose rock. I just wore tennis shoes (mistake).

It is an “up” then long ramp “down”, then “up” until you reach baldy.

The last mile is tough. I had to walk 100 steps, then rest. Of course, my heart was racing the entire time due altitude (and fat belly...ha).

Once you get to top, keep walking to the next ridge (maybe 40 yards) and you look down on a beautiful lake (Lake Catherine...I think.)

The locals love this one. If you aren’t used to the altitude, just take breaks so you don’t blow yourself up. It’ll still be tough.

I was committed to walking slowly enough for this hike to take all day. It did. 5 hours out. 4 hours back.

All in all, beautiful hike. As I was about making my way to summit, a man said to me “your almost there, it’s worth it.” He was right. Wow. 360 degrees of Gods beautiful creation.

(One note: as I was leaving the state police where setting up to search for a lost hiker. It’s a beautiful, well marked hike, but just be careful.)

Great trail, took about 3 hours up and 2 down. The last mile or so is a lot of rock, but overall a great trail. Saw a black tail deer, a couple beavers and lots of marmots

Great trail with a challenging summit. Took 3 hours to get to the peak. Getting to the lake is pretty easy, but once you pass the tree line, the trail becomes very steep and rocky. At some points towards the top the trail is actually made of rocks. The last mike took more than an hour. But the peak is amazing and well worth it.

on Jicarita Peak

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I hiked Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak on Saturday 7/28 with our dog. From 518, take FR 161. There is a large parking area at the end of the road. The road is very rough in spots; I wouldn't want to drive anything without a decent amount of ground clearance on it.

The first part of the trail was very muddy when we hiked it due to monsoons. There is also a lot of horse poop. It is well traveled and easy to follow most of the way, though rocky. The only place we found the trail a bit difficult to follow in spots was across the saddle, but just keep heading toward Jicarita. The views of the Truchas and looking down on Serpent Lake are great.

We saw a large herd of pronghorns (I think?) on the ridge. They were several hundred feet away and hardly seemed to notice us on the way up, but then another group of hikers let their three dogs chase them. The herd had come up to the trail by the time we came back down, so we went off trail to give them a wide berth.

We ended up with just over 12 miles roundtrip with Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak. This is a nice hike to get away from crowds; we only saw a few other groups all day.

Pretty challenging hike for the average person. Took me 4 hours up and 3 hours down. The parts above the treeline were much more beautiful than I would imagine them to be. Gorgeous up there. The lake is very pretty. I had great weather, warm and sunny. Lots of marmots and a bighorn sheep ewe let me walk within 30 feet of her. The only bad part was the rocky jeep trail around the ski area for the first half mile. It can be crowded and the parking lot will fill up on weekends.

Fun but difficult, especially the last mile above the treeline. Took just shy of 3 hours to reach the peak. Above the treeline there are several scree fields that you will cross that could easily twist an ankle. The views are great and wildlife was abundant including marmots, pikas and bighorn sheep—one that almost ran into me on the trail. A mule deer doe grazed just six feet off the trail in the forest. At the saddle you can turn right for the peak of Mt. Wheeler, which is 13,161 feet or turn left for the peak of Mt. Walter, which is 13,141 feet. We knocked out both peaks before heading down.

Great trail. First 2 Miles is pretty gradual. Clocked in just under 4 hours to get to the summit. We take lots of pictures and kiss a lot. Stopped for a sandwich at the top. Saw a big horn sheep and a long horn goat. Detoured to Williams Lake on the way out for a rest and view. Total time was 6.5 hours and 9.5 miles clocked on the Suunto. Afternoon storms are wicked right now. Suggest an alpine start with a turn around of 11. Hail covered the mountain after we left yesterday.

We really lucked out with just the right conditions to hike this trail. Recent rain had packed the sand making it easier to climb the dunes. It also cooled it off into the mid 80’s which seems quite unusual for July. We hiked later in the evening and arrived at the flats just before sunset. We climbed one of the last dunes, spread out a blanket, and enjoyed the sunset over the mountains and flats. After sunset, The was still plenty of residual light to make the trip back. My shoes kept filling with sand so I opted for walking this one barefoot. The damp sand was cool and quite pleasant on the feet.

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