Explore the most popular Camping trails in Carson National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

9 days ago

Only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was all the construction noise one could hear for the first mile.

I did this hike for sunset yesterday October 29th. Below the treeline there is about 2-5in of snow, and above the treeline its a mix of deep drifts, ice and bare rock. I'd recommend boots, gaiters and Micro Spikes. Took 4hrs round trip and sunset at the top was really pretty.

Great weather to summit yesterday, although a little windy up top. The trail is well marked, but a little difficult to navigate on the rock face below summit. The last hour & a half (2 miles?) on the rock face is very, very steep! We made the whole trip in 4.5 hours with a few ample breaks. All trails says 7.9 miles, but our phones recorded 11 miles including the little lake detour. Warning: when we arrived at the parking lot around 11am, 2 cars were broken into

We hiked this on Oct 23. First part of trail to Williams Lake is through construction at Taos Ski area, we found a new trail that went around construction but wasn't marked well so was a little confusing. After you get through ski are construction trail to lake is easy. We continued on to Wheeler Peak, took total of 3.5 hours to reach peak. Last mile to summit was tough and it was very cold and some wind. Beautiful views once you are past lake for entire hike. Lots if rock fields to cross during last couple of miles. Views at top are amazing and worth the effort to reach the peak. My All Trails quit recording for some reason, my husband's Fit But recorded 11 miles round trip. I think it is definitely longer than the All Trails description of 7.9 miles. Our doggie loved the hike, no water after you leave lake area.

We hiked to the summit this afternoon. Started from the lake at 11:15 and back to the car by 2:45. Shortly after leaving the lake, there was some snow shower that got heavier as we approached the peak. Conditions at the peak were pretty rough, 50mph winds and hard pelting snow, but it was well worth it. The conditions improved rapidly as we descended. The views between the lake and the summit were incredible, and trail is smooth other than a few rock fields that must be crossed.

Great trail, warm at the top today! Well marked and well kept!

We took William's Lake Trail up and Bull of the Woods down. The extra length of Bull of the Woods trail started making the descent very laborious. A ton of steep declines and rocky. The trail is beautiful but very long. I couldn't imagine going up that way, the amount of elevation gain on Bull of the Woods as opposed to William's Lake trail is something to seriously consider. An easier and faster overall hike is definitely William's up and down.

We went up this way to the summit of Wheeler Peak. It was by no means easy and we rested multiple times. Time up was 3.5 hours. But the views from the top were worth the hike, it was incredible! We took Bull of the Woods trail on the way back and though the views early in the trail were awesome the 7.5 miles really started to drag and it took almost 4 hours back that way. Wouldn't recommend adding it to your day unless you really, really want too.

Beauty of a hike

Hiked this trail and summited the peak. We took the wrong approach to summit but it ended up okay. It was super beautiful! We used the address provided on AllTrails, and the road was rough for about half and hour. I drove my CRV and bottomed out a few times.

1 month ago

Great Hike!

This is a pretty difficult hike. Spirits were good at the top even though fun level quickly went from 1 at Williams lake to a 4 because of the wind and the rocks and the steep ass climb. We had a lovely snack at the top and then boogied down and by the time we got down to the bottom we were just dead, but nothing that some hearty food at the Bavarian cant fix! Take layers and snacks and be ready for some ass kicking.

Dirt road to the trailhead and up to 6% grade, loose gravel, recommend 4x4. The hike to the lake is about 2 miles and a gradual climb through the beautiful wilderness. The hike up the summit was another 2 miles and was pretty difficult but totally worth it! very windy at the top, pack layers and gloves and bring hiking poles. No snow, very little mud, trail conditions were great. Our dog completed the hike with us. took us about 5 hours total.

Relatively easy hike out and back. Disappointed that the first half mile was through an area of downed trees with lots of cut wood piles so it appears as though there is an effort to rid some of the fallen trees. With all due respect the “lake” is really more of a pond. All in all it was a decent hike but we surely did enjoy the beer at the Bavarian which is right there as you finish this hike

1 month ago

Exceptional scenery! But you need to be adjusted to the altitude and have some fitness. This was my first hike as a 300 lb + person, and I conquered it, but not without some work. I've learned that if I want to pursue this passion I need to drop weight and work on my cardio. This is actually a gorgeous hike; the scenery and forest.

1 month ago

Straight uphill and steep trail through aspen and pine forest. The first 40 minutes is strenuous but worth it when you arrive in a small meadow surrounded by towering aspens. Spectacular especially in October when the leaves are changing. The trail continues up but not as steeply and the seclusion and quiet is wonderful.

Was very tough for a fat boy, but I made it! Very windy at the top and I went down the backside. Saw one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen, I believe it is the guy that wrote the review below this one. But he had a 4 year old and a seven year old with him. They are gaining on me the whole way up the mountain. Very cool!

This was a pretty nice trail, especially once you get above treeline and then it is pretty steep. You finally reach the saddle and it's just a short walk to the top of Wheeler. However, to make the hike even better, I went past there to nearby Simpson Peak as well. It looks kind of intimidating from the saddle, but was not bad at all and a very exciting trek. Wheeler was kind of boring, but Simpson has more personality and you get some cool views of Wheeler from over there. If I did Wheeler again, I would probably take the Bull of the Woods trail instead, because it travels more along the northern ridge. However, it's longer and not sure if could include Simpson in there, because may just be too much. But then could hike down Williams Lake for a loop, although would be long 2 mile roadwalk at the end (or do a shuttle). Also, note that the GPX track that you download from AllTrails has the old Williams Lake trail and not the new, current one. The first part of it has been recently rerouted, so the track won't be accurate. I took the old trail on the way down and it now goes right by a house under construction, so I can see why they re-routed it...plus there is a road right beside it as well. But I took the road back down from there, because it was getting dark. Cool hike and well worth doing.

This trail was great! Well maintained and well marked with beautiful (albeit very, very windy) views on top. If you're acclimated, this hike won't be bad. If you're not, it'll be much more of a struggle. It took us 2.5 hours to ascend and 2 hours, 10 minutes to descent. Total time, including our breaks and time at the top was just under 6 hours.

1 month ago

beautiful hike. crazy wind gusts at the top made time at peak frenzied and brief. Hiked with 3 sons and wife, ages 4,7,11, and 30 something.

Holy crap that was hard!!! I only died twice!

Windy..but a nice accomplishment.

Very challenging and elevation was difficult for okies! A little disappointed. The winds were strong and fatigue prevented us from reaching the summit. 1100 ft away. Might as well been 5 more miles . Still a great experience that we will be proud of!

Did this at the end of August. I started in the village and went straight up Rubezahl to the TH, then descended BotW trail back to village. As true mountains go, this wasn’t particularly hard. First 2 miles are shaded and slope is mild. The upper section is steeper and more exposed, but you can still make 30 minute pace. Fabulous views in every direction, and very quiet on a weekday morning. I came from TX coast the day before but altitude was no problem. Somehow I missed a marker on BotW and walked about 2 miles of road instead of trail. Oh well... very nice 15 mile day.

The climb was hard coming from the flat land of east Texas. Took a lot of short breaks to continue the last mile was very hard but worth it take plenty of water

Dog-friendly. Easy parking with restrooms. Great New Mexico views. Significant altitude so bring plenty of water. Summit is very exposed. Expect the weather at the summit to be very different from that at the parking area. Storms can happen with little warning, especially in the afternoons. Good plan to be up and off the summit by noon. Last mile is roughly a 20 percent grade so be prepared to push hard. Hiking sticks can really help with the grade, both going up and down.

Had a great hike up to Wheeler Peak today with my family! Lots of people on the trail. It’s intense, but totally worth it! Everything is well-marked and maintained.

no shade
1 month ago

Really well marked trail. The 1st 1/3 is well shaded, in the trees and hard pack trail. Once you break out above the tree line the winds pick up and you are very exposed to sun/elements. The top third is mostly hiking in the scree. Easy to follow but be mindful of your steps. This is roughly 3000’ in 4mi. Allow time to Summit and keep in mind that afternoon storms (between 2p-4p) can be common in the late summer/early fall. The winds T the top are aggressive and can reach 50mph+.

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