Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Oct 3, 2009
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Fall

Windy Wheeler Peak

We hiked up Williams Lake and back down via Bull of the Woods Trial, which worked out very well. Hitched a ride from the Coyote parking lot the 1.8 miles back to the parking area near the Bavarian. We wanted to get to the peak early in case of bad weather, and since the weather was great, took the longer way back to catch some scenery.

It was a good bit below freezing in the morning and very windy. We didn't get direct sunlight until at the main ridge, so it was a pretty cold hike up. (the williams lake trail is on the west side, so the sun doesn't hit it until the afternoon).

I would not recommend going down Williams Lake Trail unless you have good footwear and poles because it is STEEP and the loose stuff makes footing iffy for much of the section between the lake and the peak. And, it was blowing pretty hard at our backs on the way up and we didn't want it blasting our faces on the way down.

You can really cruise on Bull of the Woods trail on the way down even though it's longer. 3 hours up and 3 hours back are reasonable goals for us weekend warriors.

Both trails are fairly simple: on Williams Lake make sure you stay to the right once you enter the trees after Williams Lake; soon after you'll come out of the trees and hike up the draw on a well-defined path. On Bull, it ends up feeling a lot longer than 8 miles, but it's a well-defined trail. Don't be tempted to cut down the mountain before Bull Pasture because the trail starts to go away from Coyote parking lot (which you can see). The trail comes back around when you get to Bull Pasture and drops down to the parking lot.

Wheeler PeakWheeler Peak about 2 miles away on Bull of The Woods Trail. La Cal Basin is just off the picture below to the immediate right.
Wms Lake TrailWilliams Lake Trail from Bull of The Woods Trail. Wms Lake is at the bottom. You can see how steep it is and how it's in the shade all the way up.

view from bull of the woods trailLooking northeast on Bull of The Woods Trail about 1-2 miles north of Wheeler Peak. Those who think Wheeler doesn't offer the best scenery may have only hiked Williams Lake Trail; Bull of the Woods offers some spectacular views and a good chance to see wildlife.


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Bryan K

Bryan K - Oct 19, 2009 6:48 pm - Hasn't voted

Beautiful area

Thank you for reminding me of a great hike that I went on back in 1989 :-)

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