Nice hike via the Lake Williams trail.
Hiked this in conjunction with Mt. Walter via the new William's Lake trail. The views were beautiful, although the weather was a bit sketch. I really enjoyed seeing all the chubby marmots along the way!
started early but thunderstorms rolled in about 8 am. we drove out from CA to do wheeler peak so we decided to wait the storm out. about an hour later we finished the hike to the summit and loved it. i'll be the blasphemous dude who thought Wheeler and Walter were more impressive than Mt. Elbert! We took the new Williams Lake Trail which was very well marked. I thought it was pretty strenuous, but it was a nice relatively short hike. Saw lots of big horn sheep, massive marmots, and some sort of guinea hen looking bird. this was actually probably the highlight of my hiking trip to Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
Got to Williams Lake Trailhead at about midnight and hiked to the lake in the pitch black. Arrived at the lake at about 2am. Woke up to stunning scenery and summited at about noon. While you are there you might as well get in Old mike, Simpson, Walter, and Frazer peaks for a 5 peak day. Camped in the La Cal Basin 2nd night. Made the mistake of trying to bushwhack my way down a super steep (70% Grade at max) valley next to Frazer, to avoid the boring and long bull-of-woods trail. Don't do it... I fell 16 times, and with a 20kg backpack you'll be somersaulting down the mountain. Certainly a quick, but not pleasant way to get down.
Hiked up Bull of the Woods trail as an overnighter, camping just below tree line at the La Cal basin. We were above tree line for so long though, and it was just stunning scenery for a Florida guy like myself. The elevation didn't really mess with us, thankfully, and we made it without a problem. I absolutely loved this area, inc nearby Taos, in northern NM. Wheeler was tough, yet rewarding. STATE HP #25!! Halfway home.
Camped in la Cal Basin, summitted early am then hiked out. Rough but amazing hike.
Climbed via the trail from the East Fork of the Red River. Lighting near the summit forced a quick descent. 4:54 RT.
With Mount Walter.
Strolled up the Bull of the Woods trail. The snow was solid and I didn't need my snowshoes nor ice axe. Took close to 5 hours to reach the peak (including breaks, lunch, etc). The avy danger seemed very low, so I descended via Williams Lake. That was fast, took an hour, but the only problem was my car was at the other trailhead, and so I had a long walk down the dirt road to get back to it. No one around to hitch a ride from either!
Climbed in December, didn't need skiis, great conditions minus a tid bit windy on top, but still an awesome hike and not the last time I'll be doing it.
My first attempt at a 13'er. And really, my first time out hiking in quite a while. So a little out of shape, but mentally determined...
Took the trail to Williams Lake and missed the turn to take the trail to the top. So I saw Williams Lake, and ended up scrambling up the mountain with a few others that had missed the turn, until we got back on trail.
Lots of people hiking that day, some would hike with me for a while then press on, and I would do the same. I encountered an older gentleman, recently retired from the Army and recently recovered from knee replacement (both) surgery, whose doctor had given him the go-ahead to hike. Both of us were out of shape, but we became each other's encouragement, as we hiked along. Finally, he got winded and slowed down and told me to press on, which I did.
50 steps, stop, breathe. That was the mantra for the last hour of hiking to the summit, with each daunting view of the summit, you realize how difficult a 13'er is... But I finally made it, and enjoyed my accomplishment with about 50 other people at the summit. Stayed there for 1/2 hour or so enjoying the view and talking with others, taking pictures and hydrating.
On the way back down, I passed my Army friend, who still had about 1/2 hour of climbing to go. I offered him some water and some words of encouragement.
7 hours round trip to the summit and back... not bad, I thought.
Physically, the most difficult thing I've ever done. Can't wait to do more!
Four feet of snow at the base made for an interesting approach. Plenty of snow to glissade back down!
from Williams Lake - new trail is excellent.
Great day! We used the Williams Lake trail, leaving the parking lot at 0715. We found the wind icy as we went above treeline and into the periodic talus crossings. I was surprised at how good the trail is. As we worked up the switchbacks above LaCal Basin, the wind increased. Being in the shade most of the way,we had our cold weather gear on (I wish I'd brought my down mittens! Saw a group of goats moving through; one pica and little tiny vole(?). Beautiful at the summit, perfect day, blue skies horizon to horizon. On the way down we met many other hikers enjoying the day.
First group on the summit that day, which made it extra special. Bluebird skies at 9am, raging thunderstorm by 3pm. Really glad we got up and down quickly. Liked the newly constructed trail from Williams Lake. Grand views from summit - Blanca Peak in CO particularly stood out. Satisfied with adding a new state highpoint for the year!
I love this time of year - perfect weather, sunny blue skies, autumn colors! Enjoyed the hot springs at Ojo Caliente, green chili beer and a suite with a kiva fireplace afterward. :-)
My wife and I climbed it on our 23rd wedding anniversary. The weather was perfect. We climbed via the Williams Lake/Wheeler Peak trail. This trail was tough for us since we live just above sea level. Many locals we met recommended the Bull of the Woods trail. They said it is much easier. After seeing the other trail from the summit I would have to agree that it looks easier. The WP summit trail increases in difficulty the higher you climb. So as your wearing down it takes more. But the view is well worth the effort!
Camped at Bull of the Woods trailhead, started hiking at 6am. Hit the top of Bull of the Woods Mtn., Frazer Mtn., and Mt. Walter on the way, on top in about 4 hrs. Instead of following the trail through LaCal Basin, we took the ridge directly to Mt. Walter which was a little more interesting. Saw 42 sheep (6 rams), 40 elk, and a couple mulies along the way. Only a couple patches of snow to walk through. Probably a dozen people on the summit with us. Headed down Williams Lake trail, dozens more people at the lake and headed up this trail, kind of surprising. Then walked down the road back to camp. It was a great hike with great views, weather, and lots of animals!
We took the Williams lake trail both ways, had great sunny weather all day. Started at 630am, 3.5 hours to summit. Spent 30 minutes up top, warming behind the rock wall (strong, cold wind). Ran into many friendly marmots along the way, and hungry ground squirrels at the summit. Hike gets tougher after you get past Williams lake, including several sections of scree. Make sure you take a left on the new trail BEFORE getting to the lake, we missed it and took old route straight up, leg burner..
Down in 2 hrs 15 minutes, so back to the truck by 1245pm. Snow drifts had softened, sinking up to mid thigh.
Great experience. Beautiful views.