Williams Lake Trail is a 4.2 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: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,046 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wildlife

snow

5 hours ago

Awesome day hike dogs I would say children up to 12 Great Pl. to picnic lunch light picnic lunch by the lake possibly even a dip in the water if you’re very courageous

hiking
snow
8 days ago

May 22, 2020 Absolutely beautiful! I have been to many alpine lakes and this one ranks towards the top for it's panoramic view this time of year. The trail is about 90 % snow right now but packed pretty well. Definitely worth the extra effort.

hiking
icy
snow
14 days ago

hiking
icy
snow
15 days ago

hiking
snow
1 month ago

So, April/May is the wroooonnngg time to do this hike. Snow pack is very high, so towards the bottom of the hike, you're constantly going through the snow with your shoes and thinking about how dangerous tree wells are, and towards the top, you're freaking cold. The lake is still frozen. The trail, with its friendly blue dots on trees and footprint evidence, is that much scarier to lose. July-September, I try you again. I went on the first 80+ degree day in Santa Fe, thinking I was soooo smart getting out of the heat, but 11k elevation isn't messing around. Still beautiful, so quiet, nice views. Drive up there is steep but any car should be able to handle it. Bit confusing to find the trailhead, at least in snow pack, but look for the ski lifts, go under them, follow a short firewood to a cabin, and there you are.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
icy
snow
3 months ago

snowshoeing
snow
3 months ago

Hiked to Lake Williams after an overnight snow of about 4''. Great trail, used snowshoes the whole time. I would say they were necessary for the second half. Had to do a little trail-breaking/route finding on the way to the lake. On my return, the trail had been re-established and traction might have been enough.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great trail! Dress in layers. Hiked on 2/16/20. Brought snowshoes but never used them. Used spikes for the whole trail. Here’s how we accessed the hike: When you arrive at Taos ski Valley you’ll take a left into the first parking lot that is marked employee parking, coyote lot. Stay to the left when the lot splits- it is well marked with a “do not enter” sign. follow Twining road all the way up to Kachina road. You will see signs marked Williams Lake Trail head keep following the arrows. You will see a Williams Lake Trail head parking lot sign. we turned right into this lot and parked there. You will see a sign that says to wheeler Peak, Williams Lake, Kachina chairlift and the Bavarian restaurant. Follow the pedestrian trail until it opens up to the Kachina chairlift, #4. You will see the Bavarian restaurant to your left and the lift to your right. cross over the bottom of the run and go up toward phoenix bar and Grill/Taos sports store and restrooms. From there keep to the left as you are walking parallel to the run. there is some plastic yellow fencing-stay to the left of the fencing you’ll see a small little wooden gazebo thing (maybe a covered bridge when the snow isn’t super deep?) walk under that and that’s the start of the trail. Walk a little further and you’ll hit a rope. Cross the ski run, there’s a small hit there and keep following the packed trail. as long as you continue to see blue dots painted on the trees you are going the right way! We met some people on the way up who said they took the “old trail“ who I think followed the ski run up a little further. you can go that way- the trail is marked by orange markers tied to the trees (but we did not go that way.) There is also another parking lot at the Phoenix Grill that you can access from the road if you keep going instead of turning right into the Williams Lake Trail head lot but it is usually pretty packed.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Sold trail. But there is poor signage when you get to the ski area. Bring your snow shoes!

snowshoeing
icy
snow
4 months ago

Snowshoed on 1/11/2020. Great trail once you find the start! You have to actually cross across the ski traffic at lift 4. Continue up to the left, you’ll feel like you’re going up one of the ski runs, stay to the sides out of the way of skiers but you’re going the right way! You’ll see a little wooden cabin and that’s where the trail actually starts. The first 3/4 of the trail is through a beautiful pine forest marked on the trees by blue circles. If you see the blue marker you’ve made it to the trail! The incline isn’t too bad but you might be out of breath if you aren’t used to the elevation. At the top the forest opens up and there are STUNNING views of the peaks, including Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico. The trail was pretty packed down. We used snowshoes but didn’t need them, you’d be fine with Yaktrax or microspikes.

hiking
icy
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning! Had 2 dogs with me and wore regular winter boots on 1/4/20. Nice packed snow on trail. Crowded.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike through the forest, and the lake was pretty as well. If you get to the lake and are still looking for a challenge you can backtrack slightly and continue up to the top of Wheeler Peak which I HIGHLY recommend.

hiking
icy
snow
5 months ago

Fun trail, had snowshoes but probably could have done it without them.

hiking
icy
6 months ago

Icy in mid November but overall good trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was all the construction noise one could hear for the first mile.

hiking
7 months ago

Great Hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Good trail mostly in the trees. Small lake.

hiking
7 months ago

Relatively easy hike out and back. Disappointed that the first half mile was through an area of downed trees with lots of cut wood piles so it appears as though there is an effort to rid some of the fallen trees. With all due respect the “lake” is really more of a pond. All in all it was a decent hike but we surely did enjoy the beer at the Bavarian which is right there as you finish this hike

hiking
7 months ago

Exceptional scenery! But you need to be adjusted to the altitude and have some fitness. This was my first hike as a 300 lb + person, and I conquered it, but not without some work. I've learned that if I want to pursue this passion I need to drop weight and work on my cardio. This is actually a gorgeous hike; the scenery and forest.

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful hike. crazy wind gusts at the top made time at peak frenzied and brief. Hiked with 3 sons and wife, ages 4,7,11, and 30 something.

Holy crap that was hard!!! I only died twice!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail! We're from Florida and decided to tackle this trail our second day in our hiking vacation. If you're a sea level person remember to take attitude acclimation into account. (More challenging than we thought ha)

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