Explore the best skiing trails in New Mexico with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

September 15th me and my hiking buddy submitted Wheeler peak we started at 6.30am and made it back to the car by 1.30pm. We stopped on the way up to check out Williams lake which was beautiful especially early in the morning near sunrise when no one else is around! It's an easy trail to follow just try not to take any short cuts because you will loose sight of the trail epically once you are out of the forest. When you approach the saddle at the top there are no signs but the peak is on your right. It does get a little chilly especially once your out of the forest so make sure you have a windproof jacket that's warm. The wind that day was CRAZY, it was almost blowing us over so we had to be extra careful when we approached the summit and the clouds where pretty low so we did have poor visibility at times but luckily it did begin to clear at the top and on the way back down. Even though I didn't bring walking poles with me I do suggest taking them if you have them as going down on the rocks can be a little challenging at times. If your not used to the altitude definitely make sure you take enough short breaks to catch your breath, drink and have snack so you don't burn out on your way back down!I All in all it is definitely one of my favorite hikes and I definitely recommend it, one day I will go back and do this trail again.

On September 10th, 2017 I climbed to Wheeler Peak via Williams Lake. There was rain the night before. I started from the parking area north of the Bavarian Restaurant. It had four clean outhouses, a bear proof trash and recycle bin (not overflowing), and a hand wash with soap. Pretty nice.
I normally try to maintain at least a 2 mile per hour pace but my hiking companion wasn’t up to it so I won’t talk about time. The trail starts along a service road that narrows to a footpath. At the Williams lake or Wheeler Peak split we continued on to Williams Lake just to see it. I was glad that I did because it is a nice mountain lake and it gave me prospective. As you get to higher elevations you will get a number of views of Williams Lake in the valley below from an increasingly greater distance.
We saw marmots, chipmunks, and a pair of large birds (I took a nice picture of one that I will post) along with several smaller ones. No deer, elk, or big horn sheep unfortunately.
The switchbacks have rockslide areas which are a bit more technical than La Luz. The rocks are not packed with dirt so they can move and roll under your feet. Also they became a bit slippery in the rain/hail that we encountered on the way back down. At one point on the switchbacks just before the ridge to the peak the trail was the steepest trail (not steps or rock climbing) that I have even been on. Coming down that part of the trail with a 30lbs pack, fatigued legs and a bit of hail was exhilarating.
I signed the logbook and enjoyed the view from the peak but it was midday and a bit hazy. It was my first time and I have talked about doing it for a while. I’m glad that I finally did.

Once you make it past the tree line, it is a rocky trail so make sure to have a hiking stick when you come down. Lots of marmots and pikas around. Saw some big horn sheep too. We started around 7:30am and we were back to the car by 2:30pm. It is very steep toward the top but worth the hike for sure. Take breaks if you need them and you will make it. Very pretty hike and made it to the top and avoided the monsoons. I would recommend going to Taos Ski Valley the night before to help with the elevation and then you can grab a beer and relax at a hotel with a hot tub.

The last mile is steep but completely doable. Not sure if visiting the lake on the way is really worth it but we did anyway.

7 hour amazing hike. Spectacular views, wildlife and great feeling of accomplishment at the summit! Sign your name in the book and say "I did it!"

The hike is strenuous but well worth it. We saw a black bear on the way up to the ski resort. Took a picture this time.

If you have the Santa Fe day hiking book, it gives you accurate detailed information for this hike.

hiking
19 days 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!

Amazing hike! Beautiful views well worth the intense hike. Trial is very clearly marked and easy to follow. Definitely recommend

Total length around the dome is about a mile. Very easy walking on matted grasses.

Mileage is closer to 8miles round trip direct to summit and back. Had the same issue hiking Pikes peak and the mileage was wrong as well. The hike was awesome, plenty of wildlife and great views. Gets busy after 10am with plenty of hikers on the way up while I was heading back.

Great trail. Expect an increase in grade shortly after the lake.

beautiful. last mile is tough but totally worth it

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!!!