Explore the most popular 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.

Hiked this trail yesterday. Was very windy and cold at the top. Snow on some parts of the trail past the treeline. Great views and well worth it!

Trail snow covered except for the last and first quarter mile or so. Hard to follow after you clear the wood line. Had trouble on the ice until I put my microspikes on. Still tough in places. Dress warm toward the top. Gusty winds. Great view. Might be best to wait until ice melts if time permits. Take plenty of water and some high energy snacks and take a meal and enjoy the view.

Some packed snow till Williams Lake. Not bad. A little more snow from Williams to the end treeline. Slightly steep in some parts, but trail is in overall great shape. It is doable without poles. Super windy at the last few switchbacks and at the peak, but it is completely doable. Pretty runnable if you're a trail runner as well. Take some layers with you if you're going to hang out at the top, because the wind makes it cold. Views from the top definitely make it worth it.

This was an excellent loop. Up Bull of the Woods Trail to Wheeler Peak, down to Horseshoe Lake for one night camp. Back up to Wheeler and down via Williams Lake Trail back to Taos Ski Valley. Views are amazing just about every step of the way. Encountered some snow and had to posthole about three miles in on BOTW. Wheeler Peak provides 360 breathtaking views. Horseshoe Lake is very secluded and makes for a nice campsite. The climb out is a bit of workout, but the trail is well marked and traverses up the east side of Mount Walter and Wheeler Peak. The weather was mild starting out, but winds became increasingly stronger as the afternoon and evening approached. We had a front move in and had sustained 40 mph with gusts over 50 mph, which made sleeping quite difficult. The following morning, the winds continued to increase and as we approached the ridgeline of Wheeler, it sounded like a jet engine with the winds. Once on the ridge, winds were 80 mph + and it was quite dangerous trying to get down from the ridge. We ended up dropping down about 40 feet below the ridgeline and traversed the west side Wheeler until we reached Williams Lake Trail. Definitely not for the faint of heart if the winds are going to be over 50 mph. We had kept a close eye on weather before departing and all reports were indicating 40 mph winds. That was not the case when we woke the next morning and reached the ridgeline. There was still a fair amount of snow in La Cal basin and around Horseshoe, but the trails were mostly clear. Saw a ton of marmots and bighorn sheep along the way. All in all, this was a great trip and I would definitely recommend this route if you haven't done it! Departed Taos Ski Valley on BOTW at 1115 on 05/10/2018, summited at 1530 (7.5 miles), Horseshoe at 1700 (2 miles). Up at 0530, started back at 0715 to Wheeler, down Williams Lake Trail and back to Taos Ski Valley at 1100. 16.5 miles roundtrip.

Hiked this April 30 after camping at Twining campsite a couple miles below (free). First part of the trail is mostly wooded with hard-packed snow and ice but not treacherous. After the wooded part there is a steep avalanche chute that serves as a shortcut or you can take switchbacks which are easier to traverse. After the wooded area the packed snow was spotty and still not treacherous - we didn’t have spikes or poles and were fine. Beautiful views rest of the way. Unfortunately it was brutally windy near the peak so we couldn’t safely complete Wheeler Peak but we were able to make it to Walters Peak which is just to the left and also a 13er. A hiker before us said he didn’t feel comfortable finishing Wheeler either. Due to the wind we didn’t hang around long and the descent was quick and easy so we finished in about 4.5 hours. Distance from the parking lot is farther than advertised, maybe closer to 9-10 miles? Definitely recommend checking out Williams Lake on the way.

Went up yesterday — Sunday April 22 — and it was classic spring hiking conditions in the mountains. Slick, icy packed snow on the trail in the morning that was mush by the afternoon. Mud, ice, and slush.

Definitely felt better with poles and microspikes. There is an avalanche chute that some had used as a shortcut. Would require ice ax / crampons but the conditions yesterday were ideal. No heavy snow loads and excellent packed snow for an alpine style ascent. I had the gear, but I opted to stick to the switchback trail.

Nothing too crazy. A nice way to spend a morning. Took me three hours up and three hours down. Worth it to stop at the lake on the way up or down. It's barely any extra hiking.

Was windy enough at the summit that I added a few layers. Didn't bother shedding any on the way down and was almost 60 when I got back to the trailhead. It was a relief to change into a t-shirt.

I went up at the beginning of February. Apparently there was less snow than usual for a February. This made the last stretch to the summit easier but there was still plenty of snow down below tree line and it would have been impossible without snow shoes. Bull of the Woods May be safer in winter but is is very difficult. You will need lots of time and energy.

Packed my microspikes but didn’t ever have to pull them out of my pack. Awesome hike. Insanely windy at the summit. Make sure you dress warm!

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy, yet very enjoyable hike. The trail itself consists of mainly just matted grass and is very well marked. The only thing to really watch out for is gopher holes as they can be quite large and deep. Other than that, it was a nice hike and you really can't ask for better views. Ranger Station was well staffed and there were several souvenirs available for purchase. Keep in mind that dogs are allowed on this trail, however they are not in any other trail located near the Ranger Station. Dogs are allowed on two others trails that reside just past the main park entrance on Highway 4.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great hike that takes you up into the high country with a beautiful meadow and very gradual elevation gain. The first 15 minutes are a bit rocky, but it gets much better after that.

Bring ur yak traxs! Lots of packed snow and ice to Williams lake. Then patches of snow/ice to the top of Wheeler. Happy New Year!

hiking
4 months ago

Nice route, well marked even in light snow the trail contours are easy enough to see. I did accidentally close app map at peak so we used the "green" sierra Blanca ski trail back the base.

Nice hike but be aware that currently long stretches are covered in solid ice.

Dis silly damn trail gon’ take you into the bulls kaboodle. 10 bulls at the top, eyes glarin red, head real low, kicking they feet. Don’t panic tho not a damn good thing will happen they sense fear. Listentomenow, what you gon’ do is run straight at ‘em, fast as you can and when fire come out they nose and horns tryin to split your privates you JUMP. And for chrissakes you plant your foot right between a bulls eye and launch yourself over the other side that beast. Like punchin a shark in the nose. But on land, dummy. Turn a god damn war machine into a scared puppy, feel me? Thing’ll drop like sacka potatoes. Think a beta bull gon’ mess with ya after takin’ down the big boy? Not a chance. Have a good hike.

Mini spikes or something similar highly recommended for this trail, encountered snow and ice.

Fantastic experience! The hike from the trailhead to the lake is a pleasant stroll through the forest that includes streams and waterfalls. The trail is well marked and impeccably maintained. From the lake to the summit, one encounters seemingly endless switchbacks. The terrain varies from rock to dirt to snow and the intensity ranges from moderate to challenging. Once the saddle at the top of the climb is achieved, one is treated to an entirely new landscape of spectacular mountains on the other side. Several peaks are connected by saddles, so one can venture on after reaching Wheeler's summit.

Great place, easy hike with no technical aspects. Could not locate the geo marker on this Peak.

Camp at the lake/waterfall and enjoy. Campfire wood scarce.

Hiked and camped in August 2017.

Went up 11/12/17. Snow on the ground from the beginning, (Phoenix Lodge), all-the-way up to the summit, but no traction needed. (MicroSpikes stayed in my pack).

For those unfamiliar, this is a switch-backed trail that anyone can hike, with no exposure and no scrambling. The altitude might slow you down a bit, but this is an easy route to a 13,000+ summit, with a magnificent view of the Sangre de Cristos, clear up to Colorado.

I highly recommend doing this as a loop hike, taking Bull-of-the-Woods down to the Taos Ski area main parking lot. This means 7mi down instead of 4mi, but you traverse an incredible ridge and alpine meadow, with 4-5 miles above treeline. The only issue here is that the two trailheads are about 2miles and 800ft of elevation apart. (I usually park down below, and hitch a ride up to the Phoenix in the morning.)

backpacking
6 months ago

We left at sunrise (715am) on Bull of the woods headed to Wheeler Peak. We were packing quite a bit of gear thinking we might have to camp. Really wanted to get some drone footage of the peak so add that weight too... Summit around 2 pm. Got our footage and then took Wheeler peak via Williams lake trail down. Made it back to town about 630. Hiked another 2 miles back up to The Alpine Village hotel (had to use the roads since the trail was closed). Have to say this was a great experience. If I could do it all over again I would have definitely decided to camp off trail on the way up and then finished the next day. Awesome views at the top. There was some hard snow the last mile up to the peak but the rest of the trail was clear (no snow). Bull of the woods trail is in good shape and easy to walk. On the way down Wheeler peak via Williams lake the trail is made up of loose rocks, makes it a task to come down with a big pack but only for a little while. Once you hit the tree line it's easy sailing.

Beautiful hike! We went on a windy day, which made us decend quickly after we got there. Be prepared to walk through several rock fields on the way to the top.

My wife and I did this trail in September as our last hike during our 3 month stay in New Mexico. It was by far the hardest hike I have ever done as I developed some altitude sickness symptoms during the hike, despite having done several other hikes (up to 11,000 feet elevation) during our time there! Although it was difficult, I was so proud to make it to the top and it was a once in a lifetime experience for me. We saw elk and a big horned sheep! When we neared the top it began to thunder and started snowing! Although the visibility wasn't great at the top in the weather conditions, the view was awesome on the way up. It was an afternoon I will never forget.

We did it today. Lots of new snow, I mean above 5' at least. We used tracking devices on the shoes, poles etc. wind gusts above 70mph. Most of the hikers were turning back before reaching the ridge. Couldn't talk nor take a breath close to the top. My phone froze and stopped working. It was insane. Cold, windchill low below freezing. I ended with one leg in an unexpected ditch up to my groin in the snow. Get yourself well prepared if you go this year/season. I expected this to be tough but due to the crazy winter conditions, it was the most difficult hike in my life. Views were magnificent though. I wish we had more sun! Amazing hike. I am happy to be alive though. LOL

We started out at Taos Ski Village at 4:30pm, at dinner at the summit and watched the sunset. Un.be.lieve.able. Craziest hike up, you hike 20 ft then have to stop you are so worn out. Don't give up, it'll all make sense in the end.

This was a beautiful hike I stayed overnight at Williams Lake and couldn’t have been happier. Though this trail shows a straight shot up the mountain, it is a very difficult trail to find let alone hike. There is another trail that has switchbacks to the top that is a much more preferred route to take.

hiking
7 months ago

Easy and pleasant hike. We enjoyed seeing the Valles Grande from this viewpoint.

Great hike but definitely longer then 6.2 miles. We summited in 4hrs 40min and 19 sec. and recorded 8 miles on All trails.
Other devices said more. I’m not really worried.
Beautiful view the entire trail.
Fun fun fun is all I can say.

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.

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