Great hike dodging thunderstorms most of the day.
Started from the ski area. Nice day, a bit windy on top. Added the short side trip to Walter.
Two hours and forty five minutes to the summit from the trailhead. Only another thirty minutes to Old Mike. The last hour of the trip back I hiked with Virgil Popescu from California (Romania previously) who was a blast to talk and trade info with.
Snow in several places, but hiking shoes and gaiters were sufficient. I feel bad that two of our group had to turn back before Frazer Mountain. Saw bighorn sheep on Frazer and on the ridge east of La Cal Basin. Summited just as the weather was getting pretty bad. I'm guessing we were the last ones to summit that day, leaving the summit at 2:00 pm. Down Williams Lake Trail, got to treeline about the time the lightning, rain, sleet, graupel started. Enjoyed a beer at the Bavarian, a soak in the hot tub at Alpine Village Suites, a great meal at Sabroso, just west of Arroyo Seco, and a peaceful sleep next to the Rio Hondo at Cuchilla campground.
Camped at the Bull of the Woods/Twining trailhead. Up the Bull of the Woods/Wheeler Peak Summit Trail and down the Williams Lake Trail. Weather turned sort of questionable as we were approaching Mt. Walter but held off and ended up being a decent day. Used snowshoes starting at about mile 6 on the Bull of the Woods trail but met a guy that came up in trail runners from the Williams Lake trail. Just figured there would be too much postholing w/o the snowshoes! State Highpoint #14.
Williams Lake trail to the new Wheeler Peak Summit trail, which was covered in snow and difficult to follow on the way up. Some post-holing but not too bad; used crampons although some rocky sections. Tagged Walter as well on the ridge and then descended the switchbacks that were visible and went down the same way to the Lake trail. NO wind at all, temps in the 30's but absolutely beautiful and warm with the sun! Big horn sheep near the summit. Highpoint #21.
From Williams Lake
Standard route solo.
Made it to the top early in the morning, experienced a beautiful sunrise at Williams Lake before summiting!
My wife and I kept running into some dude that, even in the Alpine environment, kept da trees going.
Pretty sure he never made it down.
Was fun, encountered 60 plus mph winds on summit.
Bull of the Woods and Williams Lake routes
My son and I climbed by the new Williams Lake trail last Sunday- very good hiking but still a difficult climb that I as a 63 year old irregular hiker should have trained more for, but I made it. Highlight aside from making the summit was getting within 50 yards of a herd of 10 bighorn sheep--amazing. Weather was spectacular. I would recommend this to anyone in reasonable condition- nice views and good hiking challenge plus even someone like me can make it up and back in 6-7 hours.
Part of a great road trip to capture high points.
MY first above 12,000'. Loved it. Met David Clark and Hugh Wilson here and we hiked Mt.Elbert in August 2013 together. Amazing how hiking can change you and bring you out of your shell!
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.