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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.

trail running
2 days ago

Ran the loop in about 1 hour, 20 minutes. For the most part, trail is in good shape with moderate elevation gains and losses. Almost no one on trail after the 2 mile marker.

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.

Great hike! It was around 100 degrees but plenty of shady spots to take a quick break if needed. Took us 2 hours up and an 1 hour and 15 minutes down. Took about a 20 minute rest at the top for snacks. Gorgeous views! Definitely glad we did this one!

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!

backpacking
10 days ago

Backpacked from McKittrick Canyon Day Use Area to McKittrick Ridge Campground. You can park overnight in this day use only area with a backcountry permit, which you put on the dash of your car. The trip was approximately 7.6 miles and 2800 ft elevation gain. The first 3.5 miles to The Grotto are very moderate, but consist of hiking through a substantial amount of riverbed wash. The next 4 miles are much more strenuous, especially with a pack. 1 mile past The Grotto is The Notch, which offers some great views of the canyon and would be good for a day hike. Importantly, The Notch is not marked on the trail, so you will have to keep an eye out. It is distinguished from the trail as an outcropping of rocks on either side of the trail (going up from McKittrick Day use area, about a 10 ft tall pillar on your left and a canyon wall on your right). The views of the canyon become increasingly beautiful as you hike past The Notch. We did this in the dead of summer, and it was a pretty hot day. That being said, if backpacking during this time of year, I recommend taking about 5 liters per person per day, because both my hiking partner and I drank a little more than the 1 gallon recommended per day by the park. It makes for a heavy pack, but it was better to be safe during this time of year. We hiked up in 6.5 hours and down in 4, but were moving pretty fast on the way down. The campground is marked along the trail, so you can't miss it. There are at least 10 campgrounds. We were the only ones there overnight and were visited throughout the evening and night by a small group of very curious mule deer.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice hike but on the high end of moderate. The last 1.5 Miles was walking a very loose and rocky dirt road of an abandoned house community. Looks like they got the roads and the fire hydrants put in but stopped. Now the roads are deteriorating to the point of difficult to walk down.

Awesome trail! Great one to do early in the AM and to take visiting friends and family. I'd go on it again.

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.

I hiked this November 22, 2017. The weather was partly cloudy and windy. My friend and I started around 9:00. My friend had a double bypass open heart surgery 14 months earlier. He was stopping every 10 minutes so at 0.5 miles from the trailhead i told him to go back to the car. I was 65 and Scott was 62 at the time. We both had 25 to 30 pound packs, 1-1/4 gallons of water each. We used up most of the water because it’s necessary at altitude.

We are both from Arizona and 560 miles from the trailhead.

I continued up and reached the summit in very windy and cold conditions. My wind meter showed 57 mph on the summit. I had some food and took some photos and i did stop and take several photos on the way up and down. At 500’ vertical feet below the summit here was Scott. This totally surprised me and i was impressed. I continued down about 1/4 mile and waited for Scott. This was a place where i wasn’t blockIng the trail.

I never would allow any person i hike with to be behind me on the way down. Especially a person with a double bypass. If something went wrong then he would be up there on his own, not good. He summited and came down to me and continued down.

I told him to continue down and i stayed behind to help another hiker who had knee problems, i am a EMT. I wrapped his knee and helped him down.

Anyway the man i was helping needed help
to walk out even with his knee being wrapped. The trail is extremely rocky with large steps which are hard on you. I had to use my headlamp and it took me over 4 hours to descend from where i helped the hiker. We didn’t get down until around 7:00 pm over 90 minutes after dark. Scott got down just as daylight was fading.

The view is great from on the summit and as stated earlier lots of wind. I have over 45 years of mountaineering including Mt McKinley
and Mt Rainer via 6 different routes including Liberty Ridge. Even though this is a trail i take any mountain seriously. This isn’t for bragging but to show that i never treat trips like this lightly. I lived in Washington State for 60 years until i retired.

I suggest good boots and hiking poles to
help with the decent which is tedious because your always stepping downs 12 to 24”. There is one small traverse on a mildly exposed slab 150’ below the summit. Two hikers in front of me turned around there because they didn’t want to risk a fall. Nothing wrong with knowing your limits and staying with them.

4.5 hours to summit because of issues with Scott the first 0.5 mile, 30 minutes on summit. Waiting for Scott to summit and to descend to where i was waiting 80 minutes. Helped another hiker with a knee issue and wrapped it, 30 minutes. Then another 4 hours to descend with him to his vehicle. Almost two hours in darkness with my headlamp. I will always help anyone with a issue even if it cost me the summit.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and i hope the message is clear. Also that times can almost double, if issues occur in your party, or with another.

Ron

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

Beautiful trail. Great for a low key hike in the morning.

This trail has everything, great views, easy to follow, easy, moderate & challenging in different areas, lightly trafficked, just a really enjoyable trail to hike. I would suggest starting on T93 and then T92.

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.

This was my first trail to ever hike and it was amazing! Nice path to follow. Not to steep, but at times a bit challenging. The map says 6.7 miles, but Runkeeper app said 7.0. Some signage was a little confusing, but I’m a novice so it was probably just me. Definitely take water. I didn’t need a walking stick, but the other 5 people I encountered had them. It took me 2 hours 10 minutes, but I went pretty fast. I’m 51 and 120lbs and in pretty good shape. It was sunny and warm when I went at 10:00am, but big storms came in afternoon so make sure you check the weather. Would have been bad to have gotten stuck in that storm.

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Started at T93 and the hike up was good. You will know when you start the steep assent up to the top. It can be steep at times but manageable. Once you make the top, the views are great. At the top, you will see the split where T93 crosses with T92. Once you start the steep descent down, it can be very rocky. The last 1.3 miles or so is basically a dirt road loaded with rocks of all shapes and sizes. Footing can be very unstable at times. That made the trail less enjoyable.

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.

Pretty cool

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.

hiking
17 days ago

Good trail. Fairly steep at the north end starting point then a 1/2 mile in its all down hill; until you turn around, then a moderate uphill.

Awesome views of the lake. Saw 2 snakes, some lizards, a rabbit and some birds. Did not see many hikers until the end where it combines with other shorter trails. LOTS of switchbacks and a bit rocky at times, but well maintained. Signage can be a bit confusing. Had cell coverage the entire hike so you can see where you are on the maps. Bring water, sunblock and a hat if you plan on doing the entire loop as it can get hot and shade can be sparse at times.

One tough cookie! It’s very well constructed and maintained. The trail switchbacks it’s way up the face of the southwestern facing bowl to the ridge followed by a short jaunt to the summit. Happy hiking!!

Awesome trail. A little bit bumpy at the beginning because of the rocks, but once you get to the hot springs it really pays off. We camped about 4 miles deep into the trail and it was beautiful. We saw a fox, two deers and a snake. No signs of bear or wolves. Really amazing place if you want to be far from civilization.

hiking
22 days ago

It was 98* and had a toddler so we improvised and took the shorter fisherman loop instead. Not sure I would classify this as easy. It starts off easy around the lake but then there is a bit of elevation you go up. Should have planned to go swimming afterwards. The scenery is beautiful!

Nice morning hike. A little bit of a steep incline in places. We weren’t used to the altitude so took a bit to acclimate. Took the mine trail on the way back saw a small cave.

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