Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

on Williams Lake Trail

hiking
1 day 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.

Beautiful

Hiked 10/16, snow on upper 1/3 of trail, so far not more that 1-3” so still easily passable. Trekking poles were helpful on some slippery bits and creek crossings

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

hiking
19 days 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!

Very beautiful views the entire way! Nice once you get to the mesa top and look for miles in every direction. Easy trail to follow. By the way, I went with Deborah Ulibarri (see the review below mine)...AND we made it all the way to the top!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Not quite “easy” but definitely recommended!

Stunning views... I have not made it all the way yet, but plan to here soon. Love the outdoors and My Fathers creation. Bring sunscreen

Great hike. Well worth doing....

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful but decently strenuous day hike. Avoid FR 639 as you come out of Truchas unless you want a fun 4-wheeling experience. Going around to FR 207 (El Valle Road) is a more relaxing route. Only a couple of cars there when we arrived. Make sure to stop and look around occasionally, as it is easy to keep looking down and focus on the trail. Didn’t see anyone going up until we got to the lakes, then saw a couple of camping groups there. A very beautiful area.

Very nice hike. The quick up gets your blood pumping then the relatively flat lets you enjoy the views and ruins

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike, didn't do the entire trail only did about 2 miles out and then turned back. This was our first hike in the high elevation and did this one to aclimatize ourselves. Saw a black bear on the trail before we had even gotten a half mile in, it was amazing! Veiws were great but were sparse due to the trail being below the treeline. A great warm up hike for most people and very close to the town of Angel Fire.

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

Nice workout, good views!

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month 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.

Worth the hike! First, the hiking trail to goose lake is trail 65, the driving and ATV trail is trail 66. Second, the hike to goose lake is 7 mile making the total out and back actually 14 miles NOT 10, so bring water and snacks. Definitely a moderate uphill hike. The lake itself is gorgeous and there are definitely places to tent camp. Plenty of refill areas for water along the way as well. There is a section of downed trees, but if you push straight through in the direction of where the trail stops you will be able to clearly see the pick up on the other side. ~300 ft. The whole trail to goose lake is uphill so as long as you go uphill you cant miss it.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views from the Pueblo site. Pottery shards throughout the site.

My 13 year old daughter and I started Friday 7/13 and hiked the 5.6 miles (2.5 hours) to Trampas Lakes. We were the only soules there and we had the whole place to ourselves! Stayed one night and made the return hike in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Finally saw one couple hiking up as we we're headed down.

Definitely uphill on the way to the lake and we took a few breaks.

Very nice lake hike trail. Worth noting that hike to lake is a steady uphill grind -- nothing difficult, but no flats to rest your legs. As of late June 2018, most steams were just a trickle, but enough for dogs to get a little drink. Well maintained trail and well worth the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

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

Starts out as a 4 wheel drive trail so be cautious of the “renters” learning their new skills. When the trail turns left it becomes a steep upslope with unsure footing. Within a hundred yards if so there is a deserted mineshaft and then a cave, shored as if it were another mining venture. We ventured up the steep slope but gave up a few hundred yards further as there seemed no abating the footing or grade. Checking the GPS we were still on the trail. I would class the first half mile or so as easy yet uninteresting, and the loop shown on the trail as difficult.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked up to Serpent Lake on July 23rd with intent of hiking over the Jicarita and dropping down into the Santa Barbara CG on a two night excursion. Got dropped off at the Serpent Lake Trail Head around 11AM on a one-way trip. Made it up to Serpent Lake around 2:30PM. Around 6PM we got hit by a lightning, thunder, rain and wind storm that lasted till about midnight. We were equipped so it all became part of the adventure. With more rain in the forecast we decided not to trek over the mountain. Fortunately if you walk NE from the lake as you can look out to the East (~1500ft) you can get cell service (Verizon). I called my wife to pick us up at the drop off point later that morning.
Didn’t get the satisfaction of climbing over the mountain, but got a renewed appreciation for lighting and thunder at these elevations. Heed weather, especially if it has potential for lighting and thunder. We will plan another trip around a better weather forecast.

hiking
2 months ago

The views of the mountains make this hike well worth it! Lost Lake was pretty but I was a little disappointed. Tired and may be sore tomorrow but mentally recharged.

on Serpent Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I hiked Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak on Saturday 7/28 with our dog. From 518, take FR 161. There is a large parking area at the end of the road. The road is very rough in spots; I wouldn't want to drive anything without a decent amount of ground clearance on it.

The trail was very muddy when we hiked it due to monsoons. There is also a lot of horse poop. It is well traveled and easy to follow, though rocky. The turnoff to Serpent Lake is well marked. The lake was much smaller than expected.. we didn't think it was as nice as other lakes we have been to in the area.

We ended up with just over 12 miles roundtrip with Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak. This is a nice hike to get away from crowds; we only saw a few other groups all day.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail starts out easy but has ascents and descents on a narrower than expected trail that belies its easy rating. The trail follows by a small stream that runs parallel with Red River and the mule deer and birds are abundant. There are several points with great views of Red River and the surrounding mountains.

Toward the end of the trail pay attention as it switch backs up the mountain side and the sign showing the switch back can be easily missed as you look the other direction at the view of Red River. I missed it going out and had to pick up the trail coming back. There are several side trails and erosion has changed the trail from the one listed on this app but otherwise it is easy to follow if you look for the signs.

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