Perfect day even it was almost end of November, trail was dangerously icy, micro spikes are very helpful. Steep but easy and straight forward hike.
Perfect day for Wheeler. Went up Williams Lake trail, there was some snow on the trail but it was packed powder and I had no need for the microspikes or crampons. Trail was easy to follow, reached the summit in under 2 hrs, saw a small group of Bighorn sheep near the top. Went down Bull-of-the-Woods, there was ankle deep snow on much of this route. I was glad I was going down and not up!
Sunny and mid-fifties at the lot, pantlegs hiked up to my knees, wearing short sleeves. Mid-forties by the lake, pants rolled back down. Really windy but still mostly sunny by treeline. On the talus switchbacks, the sun went away and out came my coat. Summit and then a run back over to Mt. Walter (because, really, it's like a five minute side-trip). On the way down, the rain started. By treeline, it was coming down in earnest. By the time I got back to the lot, the sun was out again.
Trail is well-marked. At the ski lift, the sign will say that the lake trail is BOTH ways -- that just means that the trail is on the other side of the lodge building. Go left; it's easier. Other than that, no navigation issues.
My wife Penelope and I hiked up the Williams Lake Trail to the summit August 24,2015 while we were scouting Taos Ski Valley for a potential ski vacation. We arrived on the summit at 9:00 AM, so decided to go back via the Bull of the Woods trail, then back up to the Williams Lake TH. About 13 miles RT. Wonderful day, great views, authentic German Beer at the Bavarian Lodge.
Started hiking at midnight made it to the lake at 2am. There are a few spots up there with clearings and firepits. Beautiful scenery, would recommend! Used the lake to summit Wheeler peak the next day. I would have been nice to actually spend more time there I hear there are lots of interesting geographic features around the lake.
many hikes with friends or alone with Duchess, in different time seasons.
Very steep! 3 hours up, 2 hours down.
Couldn't help but think how much I would've loved to do this, in the reverse direction, in the winter on skis. It was one of the steepest hikes I've ever done. Reminded me a ton of the White Pine Trail to Pfeifferhorn in Utah.
Very cool fast way to get off of Wheeler. Both times on this peak I went down this way. It would be a bitch to go up though
Hit the trailhead around midnight, camped near the lake, the hit the peak in the AM. Clear skies all day, except for a 10 minute scare where it looked like a storm was coming.
Climbedthe peak via Williams lake two Octobers in a row. A great New Mexico Mountain fall climb!
Woke up at 7:30am to 32F at the hiker parking lot. Started up at 8:10am. A local dog followed me all the way to the summit which we reached just before 10am. Stayed at the summit for 1/2 hr. Windy & cold along the summit ridge. Tagged Mount Walter on the way down. Back at the trailhead by 11:40am (3.5 hrs car-to-car).
Starting in the early morning, there were beautiful weather conditions... *until* I climbed halfway up the saddle-slope between Wheeler Peak & Mount Walter. Then, suddenly, a solid cloud blanket covered over both peaks. The wind picked up, and it quickly felt like the temperature dropped to below freezing. When I reached Wheeler Peak's summit, the cloud/fog was so thick that I couldn't see 2-3 feet in front of me, so I jogged over to Mount Walter's summit to hopefully find more suitable conditions... only to find much of the same thick cloud cover there. It was too bad, as I bet that the views from the summits would have been spectacular. Thank goodness for my GPS & general pathfinding skills. The Williams Lake Trail is very nice!!!
No snow this time of year, wonderful lake. Filtered water, climbed right up wheeler.
1st time there was still a fair amount of snow on the slopes. It was pretty solid and made for some great glissading. Had to turn back the first time because the weather was looking like it was going to turn for the worse. 2nd time up, there was less snow but what was there was not as solid and I did not feel as secure to glissade down. Weather was beautiful the second time around and I made it up with no major problems.
The avalanche chute was startling as the snow had melted and the debris was now in full view. Strange after hiking for so many hours to come upon people wearing jeans hiking through the snow.