Bull of the Woods Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#6 of 30 trails in

Bull of the Woods Trail is a 14.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
14.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4655 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

wild flowers

rocky

1 month ago

1 month ago

I climbed Wheeler Peak via Bull of the Woods yesterday, the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Only encountered one other person on the trail. It is a scenic and moderate ascent. I left the trailhead at 7 and summited around 2pm. Could have done it faster but I had a head cold and was taking it easy with a few rest stops.

After hiking up to the Bull of the Woods meadow (about 3 miles), the trail breaks through the trees and crosses a knob, before descending back into the trees. Then it climbs to the first false summit, then a ridge walk up to the top of Wheeler. It's a fairly straightforward climb, no loose scree.

I saw a group of foxes, some bighorn sheep and a couple of rock badgers along the trail.

Some clouds were moving in when I was on the Summit so I made the call to descend via Williams Lake trail. That's 1000 feet down through messy scree, but it got me to the tree line before the lightening came in, so definitely worthwhile. This climb down is much faster and very scenic. At the bottom there is a nice Bavarian inn with cold beer, German sausage and great music! The only downside is the mile hike back down to where I had parked at Taos ski valley. My legs were pretty tight at that time of the day.

Wheeler is a nice climb. This route is significant vertical gain and makes for a long day but it's not technical and counts as a real accomplishment!

hiking
1 month ago

Tested ourselves with this one. This hike was challenging and so rewarding. Not for the novice hiker. Go prepared with food/water/layered clothing! Completely worth the effort!!!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on August 9th, 2017
If your goal is to summit Wheeler peak, I highly recommend starting at bull of the woods which takes you to the top of both mount Walter, and Wheeler. Then take Wheeler peak trail down (which is steep but short) to Williams lake trail (make a left). Taking this route is more enjoyable and much prettier then Wheeler peak trail via Williams lake. The hour prior to arriving at wheeler peak you are exposed to weather while on the ridge line. Be prepared with layers and sunblock. Only disadvantage is if you don't have two vehicles you have to walk back to where you parked at the trailhead of bull of the woods. It's about a mile on the dirt road after finishing Williams Lake Trail. My wife and I got picked up by a nice couple and taking back to our car.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing hike with spectacular scenery; a classic trail.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I tried this hike a couple of weeks ago but didn't make it. I sort of got mixed up after a couple told me that "wheeler was this way" and I proceeded to go in the direction they went after a quick break. When I ran into them and they told me this, I was at the Red River Canyon and it seemed like the bull of the woods trail went in a different direction than what the couple had told me. I still went in the direction they said to go but the trail got too sketchy and I realized I was going the wrong direction least after about an hour or more. Ended up having a friend that lost his dog after going freestyle down Frazier Mtn. with no trail to get back to a point where I was familiar. Not an ideal start to the hike but now I have better maps and with no dogs haha. Trying it again Friday!

snowshoeing
7 months ago

hiking
Friday, September 02, 2016

Terrific day hike. Strenuous but not difficult. Nice views once you're above the tree line, especially at Wheeler Peak.

Camped at the trailhead. Hit the trail at sunrise (6:30), reached Wheeler Peak at 11:00 and was back at the trailhead by 2:30. Glad I got an early start. Clouded up at noon and a light rain began around 1:00. But there was also lightning in the area and above the tree line there's no place to shelter. I'm a low-lander (Dallas), but in reasonably good shape (56; bike 40 miles a week). The altitude caught up with me; had to greatly slow my pace and take deeper breaths for the last 2-or-so miles up. Did not see another soul on the trail. Scads of marmots near the peak, including one perched on the top of the rock pile marking Wheeler Peak! (Photo.) No snow or ice on the trail (8/31/16).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

trail running
Sunday, May 15, 2016

hiking
Sunday, March 20, 2016

STRENUOUS HIKE if you're flat landers like us (Kansans), but the views are amazing. We hiked 7.5 miles to Wheelers Peak, then took the rocky 4 mile trail down by Williams Lake. Had a scary moment when we surprised a group of female mountain goats with kids, so stay alert & keep a distance. (One chased us off the trail a bit. She was not intimidated by us at all.) Loved this trail, hope to do it again someday.

hiking
Thursday, February 04, 2016

Great hike a must if you want a great overnight to summit Wheeler

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Loved this trail! We hiked it just as the leaves were starting to change and it was gorgeous. It is closer to 7.5 than 1.5, just a heads up. There's also lots of shade, so it's a great hike with dogs!