Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Start of the trail had a lot of road maintenance nearby and was quite noisy, but that disappeared after the first half mile. Trail is fairly steep, but almost fully shaded and lots of places to take breaks. Was very busy for a Thursday. We saw a lot of dogs on the trail, almost all off leash. Lake at the top was pretty and the dogs enjoyed it.

All in all, I enjoyed the hike and would recommend it, but preferred the hike we did to Middle Fork Lake the next day a little bit more. Similar hike, but not as busy and the lake was a bit nicer.

Great training trail for my Kilimanjaro summit. I made it! Enough steep spots to get the calves howling on the way up and the knees growling on the way back. A thirteener + with great vistas and a 3,000-foot rise from the trailhead parking lot or 2,000 from the really cool Williams Lake. Did it three times as part of my prep. Windy on top as others mentioned.

Beautiful child friendly trail. About 1:45 going up and 1:20 coming down. Hiked for my first time with my two kids, 6 and 11, it went well. Much cooler at the lake than at trailhead, bring extra sweater.

The incline is very steady which makes this hike easier than you’d think for the elevation you gain. I backpacked there this weekend and it was beautiful. Lost Lake is a gem.

hiking
5 days ago

Did a hike here once or twice back as a kid in the 90’s...let’s just say that it’s one of my few standards for comparing hikes to now.

Beautiful trail. Would love to do again on a sunny dry day.

hiking
9 days ago

Have done this in spring snow and in summer during monsoon season. Beautiful hike any time. Lake is low lately (July 2018) but still a great trek with a payoff at the end. Family friendly.

impassable after 5.5 miles. in effect, no trail to goose lake

FYI Carson National Forest is re-open with stage 2 restrictions starting July 10, 2018

Wish I would have seen Andy's post earlier, drove up to Santa Fe yesterday and up to Taos early this a.m. to find it closed due to fire restrictions also...bummer because my son and I made a deal to hike the tallest points in Colorado and New Mexico in one summer. We hiked Mt Elbert three weeks ago. Hurry up rain!

hiking
16 days ago

We did this trail New Year’s Eve, surprisingly with minimal need for crampons/micro-spikes. The latter would have helped. Summit was windy, probably around 30-40 MPH. Worth it!

just my luck! trail closed due to level 3 fire danger since June 27th... Check before you go.

We recommend using the app on this trail as there are some new logging roads that can make things confusing. We have done this trail before but got a little turned around but used the app to get back in track. The trail is not marked well. We did have a “cow encounter “
On the trail as a cowboy was herding at least 50 head of cattle along the trail. We stood still and tried to move to the side as the nervous mamas and babies passed us. The views are beautiful and we enjoy the trail , we’ll do it again.

Great trail. There is a spot where there are lots of downed trees.... follow the creek at this point because the trail gets lost due to the downed trees. Use this app as your GPS to locate the trail and lake. Lake is beautiful and worth the hike.

hiking
26 days ago

This is an amazing 10 plus mile out and back and a Great workout!! The lake is beautiful and lots of dense forest before it opens up to amazing views of the Sangre De Christo mountains. It’s a 5 mile climb up but not to strenuous.

Hiked Wheeler peak, 6-15, then did Mt. Walter (it's just right there, might as well do 2, 13ers in one trip!) and then to Williams lake on return trip. Pretty big hike, left at 6:30am, and returned at 5pm. A little wind top half, temps in the high 40's but certainly not terrible, actually had the best weather you could expect at that elevation. Fantastic hike, highly recommended! Beautiful views, high mountain flowers, big Horn sheep, pickas, chipmunks, and lots of marmots! They'll go right up and steal your food if you don't watch out. 0 snow on trail, but still a little in the crags on various peaks still left over.

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Lake was beautiful.

My wife, three kids (13, 10 and 6) and I enjoyed the hike. All of us were happy to reach the lake at the top and celebrated with a pre-packed picnic and quick dip of the feet in the lake. The scenery was beautiful and would highly recommend.

51st hike out 60 Hikes to celebrate turning 60. Best hike yet. Absolutely gorgeous!!

This trail is more spectacular and also much harder than I anticipated. We are from sea level, clocked 10.5 miles and took over 8 hours of purely walking time. Lots of topography change, wildlife and wildflowers. Had some hail along the way .. used all the layers we brought with us. Fantastic!

Absolutely a great hike. The sights are amazing. It was a misty rainy day which made it seem like a Magic Forrest. It is a steady climb up to just over 11,000 ft so you will be breathing for sure. The treasure at the end is well worth it.

I’ve hiked this trail at least twice and it’s a favorite!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice fun trail...until you can’t find it anymore

Went up to the peak today! The trail is nicely marked with blue paint on some of the trees. It gets pretty steep towards the top, but it was still a great trail. It took us about 5 hours total to get up and down.

We didn't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and we were just fine today...there wasn't any snow or anything.

Beautiful, not very strenuous gradual incline. Only difficulty is the length. I did this trail and backpacked to lost lake set up camp then hiked up to horseshoe. One of my all time favorite hikes.

1 month ago

Absolutely stunning, a must do hike in the Taos area. Not very strenuous and views galore!

hiking
1 month ago

My girlfriend and I are not super active people but are young and still go out to hike about once a month at the most, we were tired and a bit sore by the end but definitely doable. Took 2 1/2 hours to the top and about 1 1/2 down. The first mile follows a beautiful creek with mini waterfalls throughout, then a large portion after is slow sloping switchbacks with minimal views until about the last mile, where there is a ridge with great views. The lake itself is incredibly clear and worth the trek, woodchucks wandering around the surrounding forest and awesome green hills surround the lake. We went on a sunday in early june around 1:30 and there was noone at the lake by the time we got there. Some camping sites at the lake as well. Enjoy!

Nice hike! The view from the lake was breathtaking. As an older person it took a little more time but no problems. Trail is used extensively. The only issue I had was the dog bombs that were not disposed of properly.

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