Wheeler Peak (NM) Additions and Corrections

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jniehof - Sep 24, 2010 11:02 am - Hasn't voted

Carson NF maps have moved

New map URL:
It looks like the south section of Bull-of-the-Woods has been renamed the "Wheeler Peak Trail"

Alan Ellis

Alan Ellis - Sep 25, 2010 9:55 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Carson NF maps have moved

Thanks for the heads up. I made the change on the page.


Alan Ellis

Alan Ellis - Jun 27, 2013 10:16 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Carson NF maps have moved

Thanks. I'm out of town and will fix it next week.



Alpinist - Aug 1, 2011 3:28 pm - Voted 10/10

Broken links

Alan - there are several broken links in this page and Truchas' pano image has also been deleted.

Alan Ellis

Alan Ellis - Aug 1, 2011 5:41 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Broken links

Ok...I'll fix them. Thanks..


Swithich - Sep 6, 2011 2:20 pm - Hasn't voted

Standard Route

The description is a little unclear, but a trail has actually been built up from Williams Lake to the Summit. I believe it is no longer a scramble (on talus you can just walk the trail).

Williams Lake is also the standard route now as I was the only person of 20 or so that used the Bull-of-the-Woods route.


Alpinist - Sep 12, 2011 10:24 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Standard Route

You're right. I just hiked down that way on Sept 10th. There is a very nice trail now that switches back through the talus from Williams Lake. I will update the page shortly. Thanks...


flatlander - Jun 27, 2013 10:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Standard Route

I'm planning a trip in September 2013. Is the Williams Lake trail to Wheeler Peak still being maintained? Thanks for info! Just joined this site.


Alpinist - Jul 3, 2013 10:30 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Standard Route

The last section of trail that climbs to the summit is fairly new. I doubt that it has been maintained since they cut the trail. However, the Williams Lake Trail is the shortest route to the summit and it is considered the standard route. It's a very good, clear trail.

basko - Jun 2, 2013 2:48 pm - Hasn't voted

New Place Stay

The last time I hiked Wheeler Peak, I had a really hard time finding a good place to stay. Taos is not that close to the trailhead, so we chose to backpack into the lake.

Now there are some condos that were built right by the Williams Lake trailhead. You can start the hike straight from the condos and on the way back you can have a big beer at the Bavarian and not have to worry about driving afterwards.

I totally recommend considering these places to minimize driving and maximize fun and comfort!

Check out this link: http://www.vrbo.com/408479


Alpinist - Jun 4, 2013 1:32 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: New Place Stay

I'm not sure if you are the owner of this condo but thanks for the link. Here's a link to other rental properties in the area for others to consider.



ckichura56 - Nov 8, 2013 12:13 am - Hasn't voted

March Weather

Hey guys, new to the site and am very excited to what I can discover out here. Does anyone happen to know what the weather is like there around March?


Alpinist - Nov 10, 2013 1:09 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: March Weather

Hi - welcome to SummitPost!

March is typically the heaviest snow month but you never know on any given year. You should check conditions in the regional message forum for NM before your trip. One of the locals is more likely to see and respond to your inquiry there.



jpaulvh44 - Sep 23, 2014 5:12 pm - Hasn't voted


I hiked Wheeler Peak in 2013 and went by way of horseshoe lake, up from Fire road 58A, following east fork trail 56. Seemed to be a less traveled route with some beautiful scenery.

billwright510 - Jul 6, 2015 1:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Hiking Route

I climbed Wheeler on July 4, 2015 and was really impressed how great the trail was and how beautiful the views. We visited the lake after summitting and that is highly recommended. Here's a Strava link showing the hiking route:


jfw18338 - Aug 2, 2015 1:48 pm - Hasn't voted


I know the post said camping is available. But specifically, if you were to break up the hike into multiple days, would there be sufficient places to camp with access to water? Or would it be best to say, hike into Williams lake and camp 100 yards away and then take a day trip up to the peak and back?


Alpinist - Aug 4, 2015 10:59 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Camping

You'll find water at both the Williams Lake route and Bull-of-the-Woods Trail. The shortest option is to camp >100 yards from Williams Lake. The Bull-of-the-Woods is longer but not as steep. You can find water near La Cal basin from a stream that comes down from Middle Fork Lake. It's a fairly short hike to the summit from either camp.

gcrain - Oct 28, 2015 10:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Wheeler Attempt 10/28/15

After speaking with the Forest Service, I attempted Wheeler yesterday (10/28/15). I made it to La Cal Basin and there was just too much snow so I turned around - I HATE turning around....
I was post-holing up to mid-thigh. The snow started at about 11-k and just got worse as I got higher.
On my way down I ran into another group from Cali and the Clovis, NM area who had spoken to the Forest Service, as well.
The reason I'm posting this is because both of us had been told there was just a "dusting of snow" on the mountain. And the weather reports stated there would be light wind and had been no precipitation. Well, above tree-line, the winds were just howling, so it was far beyond "light wind." I estimate it was hitting 25 - 35 mph.
I don't know who or what to recommend for more a more accurate condition report, but I recommend bringing snow gear (snowshoes, x-country skis) if you're going to attempt this year.
If you do attempt, it's well worth it - it's a spectacular trek!

Traildirt - Nov 5, 2015 9:38 am - Hasn't voted


I climbed this weekend via Williams lake trail. The standard trail was easy to follow and the snow was well packed until the tree line. From there I went straight up the gulley. There were some foot print about half of the way up the face where some skiiers had traveled the previous day. The remaining maybe 750 feet was knee deep and made very slow progress to the ridge. From there it was an easy walk along the ridge to the summit. In response to the last comment, I DID bring snow shoes but did not end up using them. Had no one broke trail through the trees they would've been necessary

sam807 - Sep 19, 2017 1:15 pm - Hasn't voted

Excellent hike

Excellent hike with beautiful views from the top. I climbed during July. The first part of the hike is fairly straightforward and leads you through several miles of woods. Once you break out of the treeline, you'll be rewarded with green mountains covered with colorful flowers. Be sure to allot enough time for the hike. I miscalculated and reached the summit right at sunset. I got lots of good pictures, but as soon as the sun disappeared, it immediately became cold and a strong wind started blowing over the ridge-line. It turns out I was the only one on the mountain that day, and it was a long, lonely hike back in the dark. Also, it can be difficult to find camping. I was at Taos several days and repeatedly tried to get one of the camping spots in the area, but they were consistently full. I ended up staying at a hotel.

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