Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
9 hours ago

The trail isn't too bad, but it is a bit strenuous if you are not used to thin air. Being from south Texas, we hadn't fully acclimated when we did this hike up to the lake, but we overcame it anyway. On your drive to the trail head, you'll be going through the Taos Ski Valley, up some slightly winding roads until you arrive to the lodges. Once there, you'll go up some steep, possibly muddy roads to the actual trail head. Be advised, if muddy, you may need a 4x4 or a vehicle with enough power to make it up. There are some bathrooms at the parking area; they may not be the cleanest, but at least there's the option to use them. At the very bottom, you'll be walking through some construction before you get into the forested area. Admittedly, this kind of threw us off a bit, we thought we were in the wrong section for the trail. You'll see some signs guiding the way, so fear not. There are a few sections that get a bit tricky if the rocks are slippery, but a set of hiking poles or even a walking stick go a long way. There are some tiny paths off the main trail that are softer on the feet than walking on the rocky pathways, which we used and made the journey smoother. As someone mentioned, once you start seeing some trees marked with blue paint you're about 1/3 to 3/4 of the way there. Just a short walk around a curve, up a hill with what appeared to be a quarry on your right, and you're there! It is windy, so dress accordingly so you won't be too chilled. We sat on some boulders overlooking the lake and had lunch. A cute chipmunk came up and it ate some nuts with us before it scampered off. We would have stayed longer, but it was a bit too windy. One day we hope to return and camp overnight in the summer months.

Absolutely amazing. Well worth the hike

Fantastic hike! Quite hard if you are not accustomed to the altitude. About 2 feet of snow up there right now. Oct. 12th 2018

backpacking
9 days ago

Hiked to Wheeler Peak via Bull of the Woods Trail. I was at a concert in Taos until about 10:30 at night. I decided to start on the trail afterwards, and I started about 11:00 pm. It was pretty close to a full-moon, so the visibility was good for most of the trail, I didn't need a headlamp at any point. I did have my gps to keep me on the right path. I wouldn't recommend doing this as a night hike unless there is a full moon, or close to it. There were a few parts in the trees where I could see very little, but I stayed on the trail just by going slow and feeling my way along with my trekking poles. Once you get above treeline, the visibility is great. It's gorgeous seeing the lights of the ski resort, and the stars are fantastic. I got to Wheeler Peak at about 4 am and then set up my tent on a lower saddle so I could get a couple hours of sleep before sunrise. If you plan on camping above treeline, you have to have a good sleeping bag, and an awesome tent with guylines. It gets very windy. I made sure there was no chance of rain, and the skies were totally clear. I slept for a couple of hours and then hiked back up to the peak so I could watch sunrise on the peak. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. I started hiking back down at about 9. I hadn't seen anybody at this point. I did pass quite a few people on the hike down, and I got to the trailhead at about 11:30 the next morning. Most of you will hike it in the day, which is probably the smart thing to do. But if you're dumb and adventurous like me, make sure there is good moonlight, no chance of storms. And dress warm. It gets very cold and windy. I was wearing my rain jacket just as a wind breaker, because otherwise the alpine wind would get through my clothes. You still get very sweaty, so if you're not dressed warmly it could potentially be a hypothermia situation. One of the coolest hikes I've ever been on though. If you are experienced with navigation, and have the right equipment, I'd highly recommend it.

Trail and hike are generally good, but lots of construction along first 0.5-1 mile from parking lot. Hiked all the way up today, but wind was howling. Wind-breaker and warm hat a MUST, and you’ll want gloves too!

Beautiful trail!! Love the atmosphere there! Last mile is the hardest but as soon as you get to the top makes the whole struggle worth it!!! It is very windy and cold at the top so bundle up.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a really great hike! I hiked with my 6 month old baby in a backpack carrier with no problem. Right when you start getting tired you're there!

Welcome to paradise where the views are unbelievable and the birds eat out of your hands. This trail is marked so well, definitely a good hike. We took our 7 and 2.5 year old. They did great, the 2.5yo had to be worn in a backpack carrier on the way back but so worth it. There is construction in the beginning but once you’re past it, it’s beautiful. Super grateful we got to experience it, plenty of friendly hikers along the way.

strenuous hike but well worth it!

Great hike. Well worth doing....

Trails are decent. Climb is challenging. Views are breathtaking. A must for anyone hiking/backpacking in Taos area

I would give it a five because the views at top are amazing, but kind of want to give the trail itself a 3 since many parts are in bad condition.

My girlfriend, dog, and I attempted to sneak up to the top of Mount Wheeler in May using this route. The first mile up the pasture was a decent uphill climb the entire time with no level spots to recover. The trail was very wide and easy to follow up to the pasture. Walked over to check out the yurt. There was plenty of snow and water around the pasture area. It was very windy and we camped in the trees above the pasture. had a decent night even though it was well below freezing. Next morning, the wind had proceeded and broke through our shield of trees. It was even colder the next day, and we decided to go back down and head further south to Santa Fe. I was disappointed with our decision until I saw that the pasture and mountain got hit with freezing rain and several inches of snow starting the afternoon we hiked back down and continuing for the next three days. Will definitely come back as a late summer trip sometime to make the summit and finish the trip we planned originally.

completed this a number of times, latest was today after a 4 year hiatus due to injuries. terrific above tree line views. The climb as always is relentless, even considering the new switchbacks put in a few years ago. Be prepared for rapid changes in weather, especially in monsoon season.
The lower Williams Lake section has been rerouted to accommodate mountain development, in my estimation it has not disturbed the major portion of this section.

Great hike, start early!

hiking
1 month ago

Construction at the beginning.
Once you see the purple/blue spray paint markers you’re about 75% there.
The pay off is definitely worth it.

I’ve done this home several times and I always love it!

Amazing hike! Highly recommend... the Italianos portion is probably more like a 5-5.5 hike each way as we turned around at 4.4 and hadn’t hit the “sign” yet.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, I could definitely feel the elevation! The lake at the end was very peaceful, the construction noise at the beginning was a bit irksome but what are you going to do! A bit longer than listed though, I tracked about 4 miles from trailhead to lake’s edge.

hiking
1 month ago

I'm so glad my friends and I chose this trail for our first climb of Wheeler peak. Bull of the Woods is beautiful at every step and relatively moderate in terms of difficulty. The main challenge is elevation which makes progress hard when you're a moderately fit 30 something from sea-level. We took the shorter William's lake trail back which turned out to be relatively crowded, steep and monotonous. Williams Lake itself is lovely but, if I had it to do again, I'd take Bull of the Woods both ways. To be clear, it's a very long hike. It took us 11 hours to make the loop. Leave early in the morning, bring lots of water, and only attempt in July, August or September to avoid snow. One of the best hikes of my life.

Great hike. I stayed at Alpine Suites Inn and made an early start (drive to trailhead is 1.4 miles). The lake is 2 miles in, not overly hard but will get your breathe up for sure. Trail is well-marked. From the lake, the second 2 miles are all switchbacks, first through forest and then into open-air hillside. This is when the hike gets steep. It is strenuous. An hour walk and you will get about halfway through switchbacks, where you will come to a high meadow. From afar it seems the path is overrun with rockfall and you’ll see a well-trodden path through the grass. So I took this cut through to where the path becomes almost all rock further up. Looking back from above, I could see the path was actually above the rockslide but I saved time cutting uphill anyways (it’s totally safe and more comfy to walk on grass anyway). Marmots were everywhere and pika too. Your attention to footing is necessary for the final mile as it is all scree and rock and pretty darn steep, though the path is easy to follow. I got spooked a couple times, as wind and clouds got ferocious. The marmots didn’t seem to mind so I got over it and headed up, finally reaching the saddle just before the summit. I was rewarded with a gorgeous, sunny view of the valley on the north side of Wheeler (I could see Horseshoe Lake sparkling in the distance). Also a stunning view of the other high peaks in the area. Took some pictures at the summit, hung out about 20 minutes, then headed back down. Not nearly as intimidating or hard on the way back. I reached the peak at about 10:00am with a 7am start at trailhead parking lot, and a stop at the lake for a few minutes. Saw a handful of deer near summit and on the way back.

Overall a fantastic hike, I’ll be back!!!

amazing hike, can be done in one day best done in two. camp at lacal basin

Really fun hike. Spectacular views of you make it to the top. The last part of the hike is rocky and definitely took its toll on people. Still worth it though. Great view of the lake on your way up too.

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
2 months 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.

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