Explore the most popular forest trails near Taos Ski Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

11Aug2018 Saturday, Taos NM
I'm so proud of myself today for completing this incredible hike to New Mexico ' s highest peak - Wheeler Peak. The terrain is spectacular and today the weather was absolutely perfect.
This hike took me just under 5 hours (total traveling time) to complete. The final 1.5 miles to the top was the most difficult for me; stopping frequently to check my internal gage of will power and sheer determination. My body's strength was testing me and my mind was saying, "don't you dare think of turning around." I realize that not all who make the trip - complete the journey, yet there were a lot of people up there today - and I was among them.
Days like today challenge me in so many ways, change me - shape me into someone new, making me stronger, more determined, more patient, and appreciative. And if I could have just one wish granted as I settle in for the evening, - it would be in the order of a really long foot massage.

hiking
3 days ago

A great hike. Lots of friendly people out on the trail. Good hike for the pup, too.

Hiked this last summer. Started at the bottom of the ski resort (approx 8000 ft and change). There is a beautiful and breathtaking view when you get to Williams Lake (around 11000 ft). I made sure to take my time and take all of it in.
Don't forget to sign the book at the top of the mountain and enjoy the incredible view. Also, pack a light jacket b/c it is very windy up there, Visited at the end of June and there was still snow at the peak.

Incredible views and worth every step! The climb gets more difficult starting at the fork with the lake. The last 2 miles are very difficult, but very satisfying to look over what you accomplished.

This was a great hike, the trails are well marked all the way to summit. Definitely a challenge the last 1.5 miles, footing on the rocks and incline. It took us 2 hr to ascend and the same coming down. Beautiful day all the way around, even saw a Big Horn sheep close to trail!

Definitely hard, definitely worth it. Lots of different terrain. After the tree line summit seems to take forever up the scrawl but crazy views. Also definitely felt the altitude effects after the tree line. Wind and altitude the last mile or so made it pretty cool.

Summited, sat May 30th.
(Some comments below say it's closed bc of fires so read those/ check the area online)
beautiful hike, amazing views from the top, crazy windy and even cold early in AM.( bring At least a light jacket, gloves, and something for ears depending on time of year/ time of day). when driving at night we came to an area with a ski resort and across the way there was a drop toilet with a sign that said it was a trail Four Wheeler Peak. There were a few cars parked there but we decided to keep going. That was a good choice because we came across another parking area where most people seem to park where the porta potties are. we explored a little bit further and found another parking area. We chose to park there and that was the closest we were able to get. If you park anywhere else past that you might get ticketed or towed. The area is patrolled by a cop. the initial Ascent isn't too bad. It's just like with climbing any mountain you're going to get your heart pump in a little bit. It is the final part that gets a little killer. We did one of the social Trails( because from our standpoint it looked as if the trail had been covered by a rock slide. But that was just the perspective of it from where we were) which basically went straight up and cut off a portion of a Switchback. After doing it we wished we had just done the Switchback as the social trail was steeper than we thought.
this was our third tallest peak in a state to date (Utah, NV, NM) and was definitely pretty short compared to most peaks we've done and well worth it. I think it took us about 5 hours including our break at the top. We hike at a pretty good pace. we started around 645 am on the Saturday of memorial day wknd) . there were a few others in front of us on the trail, but we were first to summit. if you want the peak to yourself start closer to 6. it got busy on our way down.

oh , almost forgot we did do a pit stop at the lake there. I recommend doing that if you have time as it is a nice little stop.

Attainable but difficult for an average person. Walking through the first few miles below the tree line is strenuous but not bad. Above the tree line is quite difficult. The switchbacks made of loose rocks are not easy to keep solid footing on and can be really taxing. I slowed down and took my time. Took me more than 4 hours to summit but well worth it. Being from Texas, the biggest challenge for me was the altitude. The air felt really thin as I got higher on the mountain

Great trail, took about 3 hours up and 2 down. The last mile or so is a lot of rock, but overall a great trail. Saw a black tail deer, a couple beavers and lots of marmots

Great trail with a challenging summit. Took 3 hours to get to the peak. Getting to the lake is pretty easy, but once you pass the tree line, the trail becomes very steep and rocky. At some points towards the top the trail is actually made of rocks. The last mike took more than an hour. But the peak is amazing and well worth it.

Pretty challenging hike for the average person. Took me 4 hours up and 3 hours down. The parts above the treeline were much more beautiful than I would imagine them to be. Gorgeous up there. The lake is very pretty. I had great weather, warm and sunny. Lots of marmots and a bighorn sheep ewe let me walk within 30 feet of her. The only bad part was the rocky jeep trail around the ski area for the first half mile. It can be crowded and the parking lot will fill up on weekends.

Nice hike but for the beginning which has a rocky road. Wild raspberries, yarrow and scallions.

Fun but difficult, especially the last mile above the treeline. Took just shy of 3 hours to reach the peak. Above the treeline there are several scree fields that you will cross that could easily twist an ankle. The views are great and wildlife was abundant including marmots, pikas and bighorn sheep—one that almost ran into me on the trail. A mule deer doe grazed just six feet off the trail in the forest. At the saddle you can turn right for the peak of Mt. Wheeler, which is 13,161 feet or turn left for the peak of Mt. Walter, which is 13,141 feet. We knocked out both peaks before heading down.

Great trail. First 2 Miles is pretty gradual. Clocked in just under 4 hours to get to the summit. We take lots of pictures and kiss a lot. Stopped for a sandwich at the top. Saw a big horn sheep and a long horn goat. Detoured to Williams Lake on the way out for a rest and view. Total time was 6.5 hours and 9.5 miles clocked on the Suunto. Afternoon storms are wicked right now. Suggest an alpine start with a turn around of 11. Hail covered the mountain after we left yesterday.

Lots of people. I did an easy hike the day before and today was a lot more challenging.

The first half mile or mile is pretty lousy. It's more of a rocky jeep road through the ski area and by a tree clearing operation. As you go farther it gets better and better. Beautiful forest and alpine areas. Near the top it's gorgeous and then the short walk to the lake is wonderful. The lake is so pretty rimmed with the bowls of the high mountains. Earlier is better for many reasons...The parking lot can be full late in the morning. It's the shortest, easiest and most crowded trail but it's still kind of hard and steep if your not used to the mountains.

hiking
20 days ago

Did this one July of 2017. Steep and scenic with trees down low opening into a valley (with flowers in season). Last section is really steep up to the Lobo Peak Trail which circles the Taos Bowl somewhat. Stick coming down helps knees if needed. Well worth it.

One tough cookie! It’s very well constructed and maintained. The trail switchbacks it’s way up the face of the southwestern facing bowl to the ridge followed by a short jaunt to the summit. Happy hiking!!

hiking
22 days ago

A beautiful moderate hike. We were told by visitor center on the ski hill it was easy. Had my 14 year old, 9 year old and a dog with me. Took longer than expected as it was really harder than what we were told. Reaching the lake was a beautiful reward! Advice to all as we made every rookie mistake, go early before afternoon storms, don’t wear opened toed shoes, bring rain (hail) gear, and leave when the clouds look ominous and the thunder rolls through the bowl of the mountains. It took us 1.5 hours in stinging pounding hail to get down. The trail turned into a rushing stream mixed with ice. We were numb by the end. All in all a well worth it hike.

22 days ago

my brother (16) and I (18) did this trail on accident, but it was awesome! Going up was beautiful and we loved the little meadows on the trail. Going down was also fun because we basically ran the whole thing. :)

hiking
27 days ago

Start of the trail had a lot of road maintenance nearby and was quite noisy, but that disappeared after the first half mile. Trail is fairly steep, but almost fully shaded and lots of places to take breaks. Was very busy for a Thursday. We saw a lot of dogs on the trail, almost all off leash. Lake at the top was pretty and the dogs enjoyed it.

All in all, I enjoyed the hike and would recommend it, but preferred the hike we did to Middle Fork Lake the next day a little bit more. Similar hike, but not as busy and the lake was a bit nicer.

Great training trail for my Kilimanjaro summit. I made it! Enough steep spots to get the calves howling on the way up and the knees growling on the way back. A thirteener + with great vistas and a 3,000-foot rise from the trailhead parking lot or 2,000 from the really cool Williams Lake. Did it three times as part of my prep. Windy on top as others mentioned.

Beautiful child friendly trail. About 1:45 going up and 1:20 coming down. Hiked for my first time with my two kids, 6 and 11, it went well. Much cooler at the lake than at trailhead, bring extra sweater.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Nice and long (in reality, it only feels long)...good workout, good forest, even good meadows along the way for a break here and there.

Beautiful trail. Would love to do again on a sunny dry day.

hiking
1 month ago

Have done this in spring snow and in summer during monsoon season. Beautiful hike any time. Lake is low lately (July 2018) but still a great trek with a payoff at the end. Family friendly.

We went up Italianos for about 1.2miles until the aspen grove. It is one of the most beautiful hikes I have done. Recommended by a Taos local to us. We saw so many different types of flowers and moss. The trail crosses over the creek quite a few times. Wear good shoes it is a little rocky at parts.

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