Williams Lake Trail

MODERATE 125 reviews
#2 of 33 trails in

Williams Lake Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
997 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wildlife

snow

3 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Lake was beautiful.

4 days ago

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.

6 days ago

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

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.

hiking
14 days ago

Very nice hike. The altitude will have you breathing hard if you aren't used to the altitude. The trail is easy to follow, just watch for the blue paint circles on the trees.
It is beautiful from start to finish, and well worth the time.
It took me 2 hours of hiking, and I took many breaks.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. Awesome payoff at the end.

19 days ago

Fun hike but for those not used to the elevation...whew it wipes you out. The trail is a rocky road but there are lots of of shoots that take you more in a trail/path.

hiking
1 month ago

Easily one of the most beautiful hikes in NM! Hiked yesterday with my partner, dogs, and two children (10 and 11). The trail was heavily used, even for a Saturday. It is a steep, steady climb, but should be manageable for most. We aren't accustomed to the elevation and thus took a few more breaks than usual. This just gave us extra time to appreciate the stunning old growth forest. Reminds me of hikes in the PNW (without the rain!)

The lake itself is beautiful and surrounded by interesting alpine life. Take the time to cross over to the waterfall on the far side, it is lovely (and full of the best quality water earth provides).

We plan to return with camping gear soon :).

1 month ago

Hike is beautiful all the way, and what a destination!! Starts at the Taos Ski area. If we had more time, we'd probably have gone up to Wheeler Peak, but we did it the morning we were heading out of town

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Awesome views, still some snow in May. Lake still icy.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an absolutely beautiful hike.

The trail was very well used, some snow still on the ground, but easily hikable.

From the parking lot it is a continuous climb, but it is not steep and most people should be able to handle the 2 miles to the lake. Once there take some time to wander around the lake, there is a waterfall about .25 miles south west from the trail that you can get to if you're a bit adventurous.

This is a must do trail if you are in the Taos area for some time.

1 month ago

We did the trail on May 2nd with our kids (4,6 & 7 years old). They are used to trek so it was ok for them. We took a lot of breaks with them so we got to the lake in 2 hours. It's a stunning trail! Snow remains on the trail but with hiking boots it is ok.

2 months ago

Great moderate hike. Beautiful views.

hiking
2 months ago

great trail, fairly uphill the whole way but absolutely worth the view. you start hiking from the parking lot by some skiiers and then split left. would definitely do again but yak tracks made all the difference, bring em!!

3 months ago

Fantastic trail! Easy for the elevation. 3/22/18 the snow is pretty packed down, but the freeze-thaw cycle means you probably want some kind of traction like yaktracks. It's a beautiful hike in the snow - cozy forest climb that opens up to a breathtaking bowl with the frozen lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked in early-march. Trail was very well marked. Snow was well packed on the trail, which was about 3-4 ft. wide. If you stumbled off of the trail, the snow would rise past your shins. Views were remarkable, even with the lake frozen. Trekking up the mountain was moderately challenging due to the elevation, the way down was a blast. Dogs loved the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Always a favorite trail to hike with a beautiful lake!

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great trail. Instead of attempting the steep drive in my Honda Civic, we parked in the ski valley and hiked up one of the ski runs to the trail head. Go through the ski village and head left along the chair lift. The run curves to the right and follows the river to your left. Cross the river again at the Phoenix restaurant / Kachina chair lift, and you're at the true trail head. This was about 8 miles round trip and relatively steep, but do-able even without hiking poles.

5 months ago

Awesome walk, wore runners and was fine, minimal snow on be trail. The lake at the end is simply stunning!

5 months ago

Great views and fun frozen lake at the end in winter

6 months ago

Loved this hike. Not too hard, not too easy, and beautiful views!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike, lake was frozen.
Most of the trail had tree cover, sunscreen optional.
Recommend micro spikes or something similar due to the ice/snow.
Sign to trail-head road stated "4-wheel-drive" only, however there were vehicles in parking lot that were not 4x4. Was a very steep climb to the trail-head.
Arrived at the trail-head Sun around 1100 and parking lot was not full and had plenty of places to park.
Trail is marked with blue spray paint on the trees if you get lost.
Since AllTrails does not have a way to communicate with other outdoor enthusiast, I can be reached on Facebook Messenger if you have any questions.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun trail with a beautiful lake at the end. We did the hike on Black Friday, and it was definitely busier than we expected at the lake, but the trail didn’t feel overwhelmingly crowded.

There was a lot of packed down and icy snow, so be sure to bring shoes with good traction. We lucked out with weather, but it would be easy to feel cold if you don’t bring warm enough clothing.

trail running
7 months ago

Lovely! Overcast and cold AF, perfect for a run. A bit of ice but easy to navigate. Lake is gorgeous and if we were better dressed we might have gone on to the peak. Don’t be a dumbass and forget your hat and gloves

hiking
7 months ago

Went on a cold grey windy day but it didn’t matter.... it was so beautiful and the trees protected us from the wind the entire way up. Situated in a incredible alpine bowl

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike! Just right for a vigorous afternoon adventure. Be sure to bring a hat and gloves--it gets windy and cold up there even when it's temperate in Taos.

7 months ago

Awesome views and moderate hike. Take a picnic for a great time! Remember, pack it in pack it out!

hiking
8 months ago

I did this trail during my stay in NM in August and again in September (on the way up to Wheeler's Peak). It is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The hike itself is not too difficult with a mild but pretty continuous incline. The trail is wide and well marked but definitely rocky. Along the trail there are trees and many flowers. The lake is gorgeous, surrounded by mountains and so blue. If I am ever back in the area I hope to camp at the lake... absolutely beautiful!

hiking
8 months ago

Don’t be put off by the gravel Jeep trail the first 1/2 mile; gets better as you go. Be sure to hike to the waterfalls beyond the lake. It’s just another 8 minutes using the trail to the right of the lake.

8 months ago

One of my favorite hikes I've ever done, absolutely beautiful at the end!!!

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