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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
1 month 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
2 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
3 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
5 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.

Did this as the loop and 164 had sections of ice and snow. There was nothing technical about the hike at all. Beautiful scenery along the way but harder to see at the peak because of denser trees. Biggest cairn ever and stone chairs let you know you made it.

I went up at the beginning of February. Apparently there was less snow than usual for a February. This made the last stretch to the summit easier but there was still plenty of snow down below tree line and it would have been impossible without snow shoes. Bull of the Woods May be safer in winter but is is very difficult. You will need lots of time and energy.

Great hike today. Beautiful views

hiking
7 months ago

Fun hiking trail! It is on the sunny side of the mountain, so it’s warmer on winter days than trail 164 which is shady and cooler in the AM. The trail is wide and mostly dirt and rocks.

Nice hike but be aware that currently long stretches are covered in solid ice.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice trail, difficult if you're not used to the elevation. Don't underestimate it if you're from the lowlands!! Nice trail, not real well marked though - we had some confusing spots so be careful. The Summit was a little underwhelming - you have to go to the edges for vistas. And make sure to not step on the prickly pears - they're prickly.

Dis silly damn trail gon’ take you into the bulls kaboodle. 10 bulls at the top, eyes glarin red, head real low, kicking they feet. Don’t panic tho not a damn good thing will happen they sense fear. Listentomenow, what you gon’ do is run straight at ‘em, fast as you can and when fire come out they nose and horns tryin to split your privates you JUMP. And for chrissakes you plant your foot right between a bulls eye and launch yourself over the other side that beast. Like punchin a shark in the nose. But on land, dummy. Turn a god damn war machine into a scared puppy, feel me? Thing’ll drop like sacka potatoes. Think a beta bull gon’ mess with ya after takin’ down the big boy? Not a chance. Have a good hike.

Mini spikes or something similar highly recommended for this trail, encountered snow and ice.

Beautiful hike, albeit rocky at times, but worth it for beautiful hot springs , views, and proximity to the Rio Grande

Super easy trail with some beautiful vistas of the Rio Grande river ending in a sweet hot spring pool.

hiking
9 months ago

Great relaxing spot, watch out for the tarantulas. Pools are not too hot.

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