Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

hiking
10 hours ago

Pristine wilderness. Makes you proud to be a New Mexican.
Not sure it the trail is really 6.4 miles.
Stick to the left of the Rio Nambe after the Windsor Trail forks.
Took about 5.2 miles to get there and 3.4 miles to return (following the trail to the left of the Rio).

impassable after 5.5 miles. in effect, no trail to goose lake

FYI Carson National Forest is re-open with stage 2 restrictions starting July 10, 2018

Wish I would have seen Andy's post earlier, drove up to Santa Fe yesterday and up to Taos early this a.m. to find it closed due to fire restrictions also...bummer because my son and I made a deal to hike the tallest points in Colorado and New Mexico in one summer. We hiked Mt Elbert three weeks ago. Hurry up rain!

hiking
12 days ago

We did this trail New Year’s Eve, surprisingly with minimal need for crampons/micro-spikes. The latter would have helped. Summit was windy, probably around 30-40 MPH. Worth it!

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail, beautiful lake at the top. Can have snow until mid-May depending on the year's snowfall.

Trail can be hard to follow as the climb starts after the Winsor Trail split, but stay near the creek and you'll be fine.

just my luck! trail closed due to level 3 fire danger since June 27th... Check before you go.

We recommend using the app on this trail as there are some new logging roads that can make things confusing. We have done this trail before but got a little turned around but used the app to get back in track. The trail is not marked well. We did have a “cow encounter “
On the trail as a cowboy was herding at least 50 head of cattle along the trail. We stood still and tried to move to the side as the nervous mamas and babies passed us. The views are beautiful and we enjoy the trail , we’ll do it again.

Great trail. There is a spot where there are lots of downed trees.... follow the creek at this point because the trail gets lost due to the downed trees. Use this app as your GPS to locate the trail and lake. Lake is beautiful and worth the hike.

Hiked Wheeler peak, 6-15, then did Mt. Walter (it's just right there, might as well do 2, 13ers in one trip!) and then to Williams lake on return trip. Pretty big hike, left at 6:30am, and returned at 5pm. A little wind top half, temps in the high 40's but certainly not terrible, actually had the best weather you could expect at that elevation. Fantastic hike, highly recommended! Beautiful views, high mountain flowers, big Horn sheep, pickas, chipmunks, and lots of marmots! They'll go right up and steal your food if you don't watch out. 0 snow on trail, but still a little in the crags on various peaks still left over.

This trail is more spectacular and also much harder than I anticipated. We are from sea level, clocked 10.5 miles and took over 8 hours of purely walking time. Lots of topography change, wildlife and wildflowers. Had some hail along the way .. used all the layers we brought with us. Fantastic!

I’ve hiked this trail at least twice and it’s a favorite!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice fun trail...until you can’t find it anymore

Went up to the peak today! The trail is nicely marked with blue paint on some of the trees. It gets pretty steep towards the top, but it was still a great trail. It took us about 5 hours total to get up and down.

We didn't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and we were just fine today...there wasn't any snow or anything.

Steep climb but great vistas!

Nice hike! The view from the lake was breathtaking. As an older person it took a little more time but no problems. Trail is used extensively. The only issue I had was the dog bombs that were not disposed of properly.

Great trail. Short. Beautiful falls.

Excellent trail! I highly recommend an early start to enjoy the morning view at Williams lake.

I've hiked Wheeler before and absolutely love it. I'm going again at the end of the month and am wondering if I need to have 4 wheel drive to get up to Phoenix Grill to begin the hike?
Thanks for your input!

Beautiful hike today. About 3 hours up and 2 down.

6 hrs up and down showing 8.8 miles. Just beautiful trail the whole way, extremely windy on top 1/3 but views were incredible. Saw lots of marmots and even 5 big horn sheep on the back bowl. Definitely one of the prettiest and well structured trails I have ever been on. In cool/cold temps 3L of water was more than enough. Only tip is the sign for the peak trail just before the lake is easy to miss, just a post w letters carved in it.

I hiked the Bull Of The Woods trail to Wheeler Peak with my husband on Memorial Day this year. We live in East Texas in a town that is all of 370 feet above sea level. Neither of us had any issues with elevation sickness, but we set out with plenty of water in our packs and made sure to drink frequently. We run trail and obstacle course races and have run a few mountain ultramarathons; we weren't hiking hard, but we did try to keep our pace up. That said, while I wouldn't call this trail strenuous, there were places we had to stop for a minute or two for a breather. I'm a planner and we had to drive 13 hours to get to Taos Ski Valley, so I didn't choose this time of year out of the blue: from a variety of sources (mostly www.summitpost.org and previous comments on this site) I found that the snow is usually mostly gone by June and that the monsoon season doesn't normally start until July. I'm still a novice at hiking mountains (especially of this caliber), so I'd rather avoid the cold, snow, and rain if possible. If you google "weather forecast wheeler peak nm" one of the sites in the list will be www.mountainforecast.com. I've used this site for our mountain ultramarathons and have found the predictions accurate. It lists the highs/lows for several different elevations at different times of day and night and gives wind speed/direction predictions as well. The BOTW trail is marked on Google maps in both the terrain and satellite view if you zoom in far enough, so I made my own map to carry with me. The trail itself is well-maintained and most of the trail intersections are marked with directional signs, so it was easy to navigate especially since we knew the names of the intersecting trails we should be approaching. There was only one place where we were stumped about which way to go: we had passed the second intersection of Malachite Trail with Bull of the Woods trail at Bull of the Woods Mountain and headed south down into a forested area and the trail came to a kind of "T" intersection with a switchback. Using a compass we were able to figure out that we needed to go left up the hill. I've since found out (thanks again, Google maps!) that going right would have taken us down to Fraser Mountain road.....so we might have been able to find our way back to the trail even if we had turned the wrong way (there's a cut through from the road to the trail, but I don't know if there are any signs). We had no problems from there on out, although there was some snow covering a particularly steep and narrow part of the trail leading up to Mt Walter. The wind had picked up so we were careful making our way across to Wheeler Peak and didn't hang out at the summit long. We descended via the Wheeler Peak trail down to Williams Lake trail. I have to say I'm glad we didn't ascend that route: it's steep, mostly scree fields for about a third of the way from the ridge to the lake, and not as scenic. The total distance was around 12.75 miles. We started at 8:20 am, reached the summit about 4.5 hours later, and reached the Williams Lake trail head at the Phoenix Grill (it and everything in that area is currently being rennovated) right at 3:20 pm. The temperatures ranged from mid-40s to mid-60s and the mountain forecast website had predicted windspeeds between 20 and 30 mph that day. I tend to be cold natured but overheat quickly when hiking uphill; due to the windchill, I was comfortable all day wearing a thermal/tech longsleeve running shirt over a short sleeve tech shirt and hiking tights. If you're going to wear short sleeves, sunscreen would be a good idea. We took water and snacks in our packs, but there were several streams/rivers along the way (we had filters just in case). We took waterproof jackets in case of a storm but didn't end up needing them. There were far fewer people on BOTW trail than on the Wheeler Peak and Williams Lake trails; if you prefer to see fewer people and are more interested in the scenic route, BOTW is the way to go. We are looking forward to returning to hike this trail again and are planning to camp overnight and spend a couple of days exploring the lakes and other trails in the area.

This a a great hike with lots of up. As folks have noted trail can be hard to follow at times after the turnoff to Nambe Lake trail 400. It took us about 4 hours including about 20 minutes at the lake. There was still ice on the stream which made for some cool pics.

A couple of things to note about this trail. First, this is not the Jeep trail. The Jeep trail is closer to town. Second, I was unable to find the lake. Around mile 5 I ran into a ton of down trees and lost the trail. There are down trees everywhere, making it very difficult. It is a Beautiful trail trail though. We saw a beautiful black bear by the primitive campsite around mile 3. It’s around 100 flights at mile 5 where I lost the trail.
I am rating this a 3 Star due to losing the trail. If the trees are cleared and a clear path is made to the lake this is definitely a 5 Star.

I totally recommend this approach to Wheeler Peak! I took up Bull-of-the-Woods trail and down Williams Lake trail. Although the Bull is longer there are no steep inclines and there is less traffic (I met one hiker going down and I saw two hikers ahead of me in a distance on Memorial Day Sunday…, Williams Lake trail was packed!) The trail is not very well marked once you get to the saddle (crossroad with Gold Mountain trail). I got bit confused as there are multiple trails but they will all eventually finish at Bull-of-the-Woods Mountain from where the trail is straightforward. Unfortunately, once you enter Wheeler Peak Wilderness the trail starts to descent to Middle Fork Red River (creek) and you lose quite a bit of an elevation. Once you are out of the tree line on the ascent towards Mount Walter you are quite in an open and the wind can get strong and cold (I was glad I had packed my gloves). So if you wish to avoid the crowds Bull-of-the-Woods Trail is your choice! Enjoy!

As of today, the trail is entirely clear - no snow. Please be sure to stay on established and current trails.

The last 1.5 miles gains altitude quite rapidly. It’s a steep climb, and trekking or ski poles are definitely recommended.

No water above Williams lake.

This was my most challenging NM hike completed due to the steepness. Well worth the view though!

Great hike or a backpacking trip! No snow and some decent wind at the top of the Mount Baldy turn off

Hiked on 5/21, trail is clear of snow but as others have said the trail is hard to follow at points with numerous spur trails leading seemingly nowhere. Once you turn off trail 254, just make sure to keep hugging the creek on either side, and the trail will come back into focus. Otherwise, pleasant hike with some beautiful meadows en route to an awesome payoff. The lake is framed by a giant granite bowl and is a perfect place for a lunch. Trailhead is over 9000 feet and they trail climbs another 2000 so, even after three days in and around Santa Fe, we still had to take the big climb slowly. The air up there is thin.

We got hailed on during our hike down, which is way better than being rained on because my shoes stayed dry.

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!

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