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Awesome little spot and a short hike to get to it, but be careful on the roads there. It’s not car friendly by any means

Great hike, horrible road - be careful or drive an SUV type of car

Closed until further notice. Completely roped off and no other hiking in the area. 10/27/2018

scenic driving
22 days ago

Decided not to hike our second day. We took this drive and had a blast. Enjoyed the views, stopped to take pictures. The lake at Eagle’s Nest State Park is beautiful! Make sure you stop. Before we made the complete loop, we turned off on Lower Arroyo Hondo to go to Black Rock Hot Springs. Highly recommend it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked to Wheeler Peak via Bull of the Woods Trail. I was at a concert in Taos until about 10:30 at night. I decided to start on the trail afterwards, and I started about 11:00 pm. It was pretty close to a full-moon, so the visibility was good for most of the trail, I didn't need a headlamp at any point. I did have my gps to keep me on the right path. I wouldn't recommend doing this as a night hike unless there is a full moon, or close to it. There were a few parts in the trees where I could see very little, but I stayed on the trail just by going slow and feeling my way along with my trekking poles. Once you get above treeline, the visibility is great. It's gorgeous seeing the lights of the ski resort, and the stars are fantastic. I got to Wheeler Peak at about 4 am and then set up my tent on a lower saddle so I could get a couple hours of sleep before sunrise. If you plan on camping above treeline, you have to have a good sleeping bag, and an awesome tent with guylines. It gets very windy. I made sure there was no chance of rain, and the skies were totally clear. I slept for a couple of hours and then hiked back up to the peak so I could watch sunrise on the peak. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. I started hiking back down at about 9. I hadn't seen anybody at this point. I did pass quite a few people on the hike down, and I got to the trailhead at about 11:30 the next morning. Most of you will hike it in the day, which is probably the smart thing to do. But if you're dumb and adventurous like me, make sure there is good moonlight, no chance of storms. And dress warm. It gets very cold and windy. I was wearing my rain jacket just as a wind breaker, because otherwise the alpine wind would get through my clothes. You still get very sweaty, so if you're not dressed warmly it could potentially be a hypothermia situation. One of the coolest hikes I've ever been on though. If you are experienced with navigation, and have the right equipment, I'd highly recommend it.

My girlfriend, dog, and I attempted to sneak up to the top of Mount Wheeler in May using this route. The first mile up the pasture was a decent uphill climb the entire time with no level spots to recover. The trail was very wide and easy to follow up to the pasture. Walked over to check out the yurt. There was plenty of snow and water around the pasture area. It was very windy and we camped in the trees above the pasture. had a decent night even though it was well below freezing. Next morning, the wind had proceeded and broke through our shield of trees. It was even colder the next day, and we decided to go back down and head further south to Santa Fe. I was disappointed with our decision until I saw that the pasture and mountain got hit with freezing rain and several inches of snow starting the afternoon we hiked back down and continuing for the next three days. Will definitely come back as a late summer trip sometime to make the summit and finish the trip we planned originally.

Nice workout, good views!

2 months ago

A bit more than moderate IMO. Marked pretty well. Beautiful views! Watch your step as much of it is a shale type rock and can be tricky.

Entrance to the left of the parking area. Beautiful views of the Rio Grande gorge and an easy and short hike down, even with two kids. Multiple hot springs await at the bottom along the river; one super warm, the other more like bath water. Springs are clothing optional, so I wouldn’t suggest this hike for the prudish.

hiking
2 months ago

I'm so glad my friends and I chose this trail for our first climb of Wheeler peak. Bull of the Woods is beautiful at every step and relatively moderate in terms of difficulty. The main challenge is elevation which makes progress hard when you're a moderately fit 30 something from sea-level. We took the shorter William's lake trail back which turned out to be relatively crowded, steep and monotonous. Williams Lake itself is lovely but, if I had it to do again, I'd take Bull of the Woods both ways. To be clear, it's a very long hike. It took us 11 hours to make the loop. Leave early in the morning, bring lots of water, and only attempt in July, August or September to avoid snow. One of the best hikes of my life.

Fun and easy hike to the springs and river. Hardest part is getting to the trailhead. After that it’s an easy hike.

amazing hike, can be done in one day best done in two. camp at lacal basin

Great path, beautiful beautiful scenery.
A little to much for me as a novice hiker, more so for the altitude I think. I turned back less than half way through

Up and up and up it goes. Beautiful overlooks

From a Texan

We followed the written directions since the gps lost signal. The hike down is rocky at times but not difficult. River very low, possible to walk to other side, thigh-deep max. Met some wonderful people. One guy told about history of the place. Supposedly shady character Manby established a brothel by the river in this spot in late 1800s. Some brickwork still intact. Springs feature in ”Easy Rider”, early on when the guys visit a comune and go skinnydipping with two hippie girls. You can tell river was higher back then though. Lower now due to climate change (less snow in winter, very low in winter of 2018) and dambuilding in Colorado. Mesmerizing place, we absolutely loved it.

Nice short hike down the side of the gorge with excellent views of the gorge and river running through it.
Took the kids to the Hot Springs – they are not super hot but pleasantly warm. The warmer one is the one hidden in the shade. The other pool is a little cooler.
Note that the drive-in is a long dirt road and you would be better off with high clearance.

Beautiful hike down the side of the canyon, ending in two spring-fed pools (one warm, one hot) alongside the river. We saw mountain goats and hawks.
The road in to the trail head is quite rough, so go very slowly unless you have 4-wheel drive.

scenic driving
3 months ago

The only bad part was when it ended.

Very nice hike. The road in is rough so a Awd/4wd car is likely a requirement.

I hiked the Bull Of The Woods trail to Wheeler Peak with my husband on Memorial Day this year. We live in East Texas in a town that is all of 370 feet above sea level. Neither of us had any issues with elevation sickness, but we set out with plenty of water in our packs and made sure to drink frequently. We run trail and obstacle course races and have run a few mountain ultramarathons; we weren't hiking hard, but we did try to keep our pace up. That said, while I wouldn't call this trail strenuous, there were places we had to stop for a minute or two for a breather. I'm a planner and we had to drive 13 hours to get to Taos Ski Valley, so I didn't choose this time of year out of the blue: from a variety of sources (mostly www.summitpost.org and previous comments on this site) I found that the snow is usually mostly gone by June and that the monsoon season doesn't normally start until July. I'm still a novice at hiking mountains (especially of this caliber), so I'd rather avoid the cold, snow, and rain if possible. If you google "weather forecast wheeler peak nm" one of the sites in the list will be www.mountainforecast.com. I've used this site for our mountain ultramarathons and have found the predictions accurate. It lists the highs/lows for several different elevations at different times of day and night and gives wind speed/direction predictions as well. The BOTW trail is marked on Google maps in both the terrain and satellite view if you zoom in far enough, so I made my own map to carry with me. The trail itself is well-maintained and most of the trail intersections are marked with directional signs, so it was easy to navigate especially since we knew the names of the intersecting trails we should be approaching. There was only one place where we were stumped about which way to go: we had passed the second intersection of Malachite Trail with Bull of the Woods trail at Bull of the Woods Mountain and headed south down into a forested area and the trail came to a kind of "T" intersection with a switchback. Using a compass we were able to figure out that we needed to go left up the hill. I've since found out (thanks again, Google maps!) that going right would have taken us down to Fraser Mountain road.....so we might have been able to find our way back to the trail even if we had turned the wrong way (there's a cut through from the road to the trail, but I don't know if there are any signs). We had no problems from there on out, although there was some snow covering a particularly steep and narrow part of the trail leading up to Mt Walter. The wind had picked up so we were careful making our way across to Wheeler Peak and didn't hang out at the summit long. We descended via the Wheeler Peak trail down to Williams Lake trail. I have to say I'm glad we didn't ascend that route: it's steep, mostly scree fields for about a third of the way from the ridge to the lake, and not as scenic. The total distance was around 12.75 miles. We started at 8:20 am, reached the summit about 4.5 hours later, and reached the Williams Lake trail head at the Phoenix Grill (it and everything in that area is currently being rennovated) right at 3:20 pm. The temperatures ranged from mid-40s to mid-60s and the mountain forecast website had predicted windspeeds between 20 and 30 mph that day. I tend to be cold natured but overheat quickly when hiking uphill; due to the windchill, I was comfortable all day wearing a thermal/tech longsleeve running shirt over a short sleeve tech shirt and hiking tights. If you're going to wear short sleeves, sunscreen would be a good idea. We took water and snacks in our packs, but there were several streams/rivers along the way (we had filters just in case). We took waterproof jackets in case of a storm but didn't end up needing them. There were far fewer people on BOTW trail than on the Wheeler Peak and Williams Lake trails; if you prefer to see fewer people and are more interested in the scenic route, BOTW is the way to go. We are looking forward to returning to hike this trail again and are planning to camp overnight and spend a couple of days exploring the lakes and other trails in the area.

This was a great trail and hike for our family of 5! Even our 3 year old was able to complete part of Big Arsenic and all of Little Arsenic Trail! Weather was great at 71 F and the gorge was an amazing sight! Recommend this trail to all!

This is my favorite trail in Red River. The trail gives you access to both lost lake and horseshoe lake. At the end of the trail you will see a sign with direction to both lakes. I was told you can also access Wheeler peak from this trail. I plan on attempting that next year.

This trail has some of the most beautiful views of any trail in Red River. However, the first few miles are wooded. The trail really gets beautiful after you cross the bridge. My favorite part of the hike was the end of the trail to lost lake.

See my recording for pictures

Great hike, gradual climb the whole way. First 2 miles was a lot of dead-fall making it very slow going. Lake was nice and the views were amazing. Spent the night at the lake and the wind was at a minimum making the weather very enjoyable. Dogs also had a great time.

hiking
5 months ago

I totally recommend this approach to Wheeler Peak! I took up Bull-of-the-Woods trail and down Williams Lake trail. Although the Bull is longer there are no steep inclines and there is less traffic (I met one hiker going down and I saw two hikers ahead of me in a distance on Memorial Day Sunday…, Williams Lake trail was packed!) The trail is not very well marked once you get to the saddle (crossroad with Gold Mountain trail). I got bit confused as there are multiple trails but they will all eventually finish at Bull-of-the-Woods Mountain from where the trail is straightforward. Unfortunately, once you enter Wheeler Peak Wilderness the trail starts to descent to Middle Fork Red River (creek) and you lose quite a bit of an elevation. Once you are out of the tree line on the ascent towards Mount Walter you are quite in an open and the wind can get strong and cold (I was glad I had packed my gloves). So if you wish to avoid the crowds Bull-of-the-Woods Trail is your choice! Enjoy!

hiking
5 months ago

This was an excellent loop. Up Bull of the Woods Trail to Wheeler Peak, down to Horseshoe Lake for one night camp. Back up to Wheeler and down via Williams Lake Trail back to Taos Ski Valley. Views are amazing just about every step of the way. Encountered some snow and had to posthole about three miles in on BOTW. Wheeler Peak provides 360 breathtaking views. Horseshoe Lake is very secluded and makes for a nice campsite. The climb out is a bit of workout, but the trail is well marked and traverses up the east side of Mount Walter and Wheeler Peak. The weather was mild starting out, but winds became increasingly stronger as the afternoon and evening approached. We had a front move in and had sustained 40 mph with gusts over 50 mph, which made sleeping quite difficult. The following morning, the winds continued to increase and as we approached the ridgeline of Wheeler, it sounded like a jet engine with the winds. Once on the ridge, winds were 80 mph + and it was quite dangerous trying to get down from the ridge. We ended up dropping down about 40 feet below the ridgeline and traversed the west side Wheeler until we reached Williams Lake Trail. Definitely not for the faint of heart if the winds are going to be over 50 mph. We had kept a close eye on weather before departing and all reports were indicating 40 mph winds. That was not the case when we woke the next morning and reached the ridgeline. There was still a fair amount of snow in La Cal basin and around Horseshoe, but the trails were mostly clear. Saw a ton of marmots and bighorn sheep along the way. All in all, this was a great trip and I would definitely recommend this route if you haven't done it! Departed Taos Ski Valley on BOTW at 1115 on 05/10/2018, summited at 1530 (7.5 miles), Horseshoe at 1700 (2 miles). Up at 0530, started back at 0715 to Wheeler, down Williams Lake Trail and back to Taos Ski Valley at 1100. 16.5 miles roundtrip.

This is such a great trail close to town. 5 miles is perfect for an early morning get up or and afternoon get busy trail. My friends and I do this trail often throughout the year.

Nice quick hike

It’s a beautiful hike with great views of the Rio Grande canyon and river and the Hot Springs are warm, small but beautiful

So beautiful- was looking for a trail run and this was more of a steep walk/jog for the first half uphill , then a nice, rapid downhill. Not very technical, just steep and high altitude for someone who’s been living in Texas for 5 years :)

hiking
8 months ago

Pros: Beautiful views, manageable hike, great wildlife spot (We saw a herd of bighorn sheep)
Cons: Can be crowded if you go at the wrong time. Water is more warm than hot. You need a truck or SUV to get there. The road is rough.

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