DISTANCE
14.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,550 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

backpacking
14 days ago

Hiked to Wheeler Peak via Bull of the Woods Trail. I was at a concert in Taos until about 10:30 at night. I decided to start on the trail afterwards, and I started about 11:00 pm. It was pretty close to a full-moon, so the visibility was good for most of the trail, I didn't need a headlamp at any point. I did have my gps to keep me on the right path. I wouldn't recommend doing this as a night hike unless there is a full moon, or close to it. There were a few parts in the trees where I could see very little, but I stayed on the trail just by going slow and feeling my way along with my trekking poles. Once you get above treeline, the visibility is great. It's gorgeous seeing the lights of the ski resort, and the stars are fantastic. I got to Wheeler Peak at about 4 am and then set up my tent on a lower saddle so I could get a couple hours of sleep before sunrise. If you plan on camping above treeline, you have to have a good sleeping bag, and an awesome tent with guylines. It gets very windy. I made sure there was no chance of rain, and the skies were totally clear. I slept for a couple of hours and then hiked back up to the peak so I could watch sunrise on the peak. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. I started hiking back down at about 9. I hadn't seen anybody at this point. I did pass quite a few people on the hike down, and I got to the trailhead at about 11:30 the next morning. Most of you will hike it in the day, which is probably the smart thing to do. But if you're dumb and adventurous like me, make sure there is good moonlight, no chance of storms. And dress warm. It gets very cold and windy. I was wearing my rain jacket just as a wind breaker, because otherwise the alpine wind would get through my clothes. You still get very sweaty, so if you're not dressed warmly it could potentially be a hypothermia situation. One of the coolest hikes I've ever been on though. If you are experienced with navigation, and have the right equipment, I'd highly recommend it.