Explore Taos Area - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Taos Area Map
5 days ago

Took the trail in early November, so the landscape was covered in snow, but not to the point that you needed serious gear to complete the hike. It was pretty strenuous hiking up, as someone whose lived below sea level their whole life, but the view of the frozen lake, surrounded by snowcapped peaks was absolutely spectacular. Be sure to carry a couple liters of water, as even in the winter, the altitude dehydrates you quickly.

Visited on a Saturday in late October around 9am. A good number of cars at the parking lot but had the trail to myself for the majority of the hike. The trail was good except for a few icy spots once you get further up. Saw a good amount of snow but very manageable. The views at the lake are phenomenal. Recommend this hike.

17 days ago

Gorgeous view at the end; it moved me to tears! Plus, there were some bighorn sheep sightings.

Short walk to hot springs! Water was beautiful and crystal clear! Enjoy the peaceful setting.

This was great. In late October it was a little snowy but the weather cooperated and it was really pleasant. The first half mile or so had construction going on but once you pass that it is well marked and absolutely beautiful. Ends up being around 4 miles or so and is absolutely worth it. Lovely hike.

on Williams Lake Trail

21 days ago

Hiked this am. If the altitude doesn’t get you the ice will! I’d bring yak tracks if you have them or be prepared for some slipping and sliding. Beautiful nonetheless. Port a potty and garbage cans in parking lot.


28 days ago

The trail isn't too bad, but it is a bit strenuous if you are not used to thin air. Being from south Texas, we hadn't fully acclimated when we did this hike up to the lake, but we overcame it anyway. On your drive to the trail head, you'll be going through the Taos Ski Valley, up some slightly winding roads until you arrive to the lodges. Once there, you'll go up some steep, possibly muddy roads to the actual trail head. Be advised, if muddy, you may need a 4x4 or a vehicle with enough power to make it up. There are some bathrooms at the parking area; they may not be the cleanest, but at least there's the option to use them. At the very bottom, you'll be walking through some construction before you get into the forested area. Admittedly, this kind of threw us off a bit, we thought we were in the wrong section for the trail. You'll see some signs guiding the way, so fear not. There are a few sections that get a bit tricky if the rocks are slippery, but a set of hiking poles or even a walking stick go a long way. There are some tiny paths off the main trail that are softer on the feet than walking on the rocky pathways, which we used and made the journey smoother. As someone mentioned, once you start seeing some trees marked with blue paint you're about 1/3 to 3/4 of the way there. Just a short walk around a curve, up a hill with what appeared to be a quarry on your right, and you're there! It is windy, so dress accordingly so you won't be too chilled. We sat on some boulders overlooking the lake and had lunch. A cute chipmunk came up and it ate some nuts with us before it scampered off. We would have stayed longer, but it was a bit too windy. One day we hope to return and camp overnight in the summer months.

Absolutely amazing. Well worth the hike

30 days ago

It's nice forest, and OK views. But because of the proximity to town and roads, there's road noise for at least 2/3 of the hike. We went clockwise on the loop, which made this the easy side of a moderate hike. We were glad we did, because the steeper side is in direct sun, with no shade. I don't think I'd do this hike again, there are too many trails to explore!

In reply to Barbara Wilkey: No, the trail is not closed except to vehicle traffic.
And to Diane Grevelle: You didn't walk up the hill to the actual pool. The big pool lower down is silted in and filled with cattails, yes. But the springs just above them are gorgeous and look just like the photo at the top.

Water is about 3 feet deep with a clean gravelly bottom. I swear I've never seen water so clear and clean! It was about body temperature--not hot but warm enough to enjoy and feel great on a chilly, 50-degree day. We were there by ourselves in late afternoon in October and enjoyed the pools immensely. I knocked off a star because the walk there is kind of boring, but the springs themselves are a wonderful little surprise.

Great hike right outside of Taos! We had limited time in town, so we camped near the trail and it’s right as you enter the forest. Not super crowded, but lots of locals use it as their morning workout. If you take the “peak” trail, it’s more direct up hill but quicker. The loop, this map, is the trail that bears LEFT at the first fork in the road, about .75 miles into the hike. Adds .8 miles but more gradual incline and shaded areas on the way up. Views of Taos and the mountains are STELLAR and we loved the different terrain you encounter.

this trail is miles from ojo

1 month ago

This is a really great hike! I hiked with my 6 month old baby in a backpack carrier with no problem. Right when you start getting tired you're there!

Great view at end. Lots of little briars that caught on our dog in the last part of hike

Welcome to paradise where the views are unbelievable and the birds eat out of your hands. This trail is marked so well, definitely a good hike. We took our 7 and 2.5 year old. They did great, the 2.5yo had to be worn in a backpack carrier on the way back but so worth it. There is construction in the beginning but once you’re past it, it’s beautiful. Super grateful we got to experience it, plenty of friendly hikers along the way.

Great hike. Well worth doing....

2 months ago

Construction at the beginning.
Once you see the purple/blue spray paint markers you’re about 75% there.
The pay off is definitely worth it.

2 months ago

I’ve done this home several times and I always love it!

2 months ago

Great hike, I could definitely feel the elevation! The lake at the end was very peaceful, the construction noise at the beginning was a bit irksome but what are you going to do! A bit longer than listed though, I tracked about 4 miles from trailhead to lake’s edge.

First 1.1 miles no shade whatsoever and slight uphill. After that a bit more shAde trail is quite rocky for most of it be sure to wear hiking boots. In parts quite steep . at the overlook you can see very far nice view. We did not encounter a single person on this trail in either direction if you want to avoid crowds

4 of 5 due to wish there were more views. but, great trail, and part of a nice, larger trail system that is the Elliott Barker. the hike up to the pass is cool and the views from the pass are great. the meadow is gorgeous.

there is no water in this trail. our hike worked out to about 10 miles. only saw a couple other people.

the last push up to where the trail "ends", but really it just continues on, could be a bit tougher for folks that aren't in shape, but take it slow, and drink water.

This was a nice easy trail view at the end was great. We did have to make our way around a small lake from water run off and got caught in a rain/hail storm on our way out.

3 months ago

By noon, direct sunlight got pretty hot with not much shade. My mom in her 60's got a bit winded, but great trail!

3 months ago

A great hike. Lots of friendly people out on the trail. Good hike for the pup, too.

Nice hike but for the beginning which has a rocky road. Wild raspberries, yarrow and scallions.

3 months ago

Lots of people. I did an easy hike the day before and today was a lot more challenging.

The first half mile or mile is pretty lousy. It's more of a rocky jeep road through the ski area and by a tree clearing operation. As you go farther it gets better and better. Beautiful forest and alpine areas. Near the top it's gorgeous and then the short walk to the lake is wonderful. The lake is so pretty rimmed with the bowls of the high mountains. Earlier is better for many reasons...The parking lot can be full late in the morning. It's the shortest, easiest and most crowded trail but it's still kind of hard and steep if your not used to the mountains.

Nice hike. Did 4 miles total. Wear good shoes.

3 months ago

A beautiful moderate hike. We were told by visitor center on the ski hill it was easy. Had my 14 year old, 9 year old and a dog with me. Took longer than expected as it was really harder than what we were told. Reaching the lake was a beautiful reward! Advice to all as we made every rookie mistake, go early before afternoon storms, don’t wear opened toed shoes, bring rain (hail) gear, and leave when the clouds look ominous and the thunder rolls through the bowl of the mountains. It took us 1.5 hours in stinging pounding hail to get down. The trail turned into a rushing stream mixed with ice. We were numb by the end. All in all a well worth it hike.

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