Wheeler Peak

5 reviews #1 hike out of 13 in
4.2 mi
Distance
1 hrs 42 min
Time
terrain
2,883 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a difficult one way trail to Wheeler Peak in Carson National Forest, right on the edge of Taos Ski Valley.

The trail climbs consistently up, and as can be expected, it gets steeper as you get closer to the top.

Once you get past the construction zones and enter Carson National Forest, expect continuous strikingly-beautiful views.

The trail surface is varied. You'll start hiking over packed dirt and lots of exposed roots. At the junction where you'll turn away from the lake and start the steep climb to the peak, the trail is a pleasant mix of packed dirt and gravel. Once you ascend above the tree line, the trail becomes very rocky and you'll cross large sections of rock slides.

Getting Started

Currently (October of 2018) the "hikers' parking lot" is very well marked. There is a lot of construction going on, and compared to even recent maps, the roads and parking lots aren't correct. Follow maps towards the Phoenix Grill, and then follow signs for the hikers parking lot and Williams Lake.

Taking Children

The trail is very difficult because of the altitude, the steep grade, the rocky terrain, and the exposure. (The last mile is above the timber line.) Other than the potential for altitude sickness, though, there's nothing particularly dangerous about the trail. (There are no cliffs for kids to fall off or high potential for getting lost.)

Kids that have experience hiking 8+ miles, and who aren't fazed by bad weather will likely enjoy the accomplishment.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Made it up to about 12.5k feet before we heard thunder from the nearby clouds and unfortunately had to call it a day and turnaround right there. So close, but so far! Absolutely incredible hike and is now my favorite in the whole state. Challenging but not too bad if you’re experienced. Gets much steeper the closer you get to the peak. Makes the first ~2 miles seem like they were flat. Definitely recommend on a sunny day.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 6 months ago
    This is still my favorite hike of the 30 completed state highpoints. Gorgeous views! Planned on Camping at the lake, but found the area completely picked over of firewood. From the lake to the summit it is very steep until reaching the saddle.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile stars
    1 year, 10 months ago
    I loved it. I brought my eight-year-old. It was a challenge for him primarily because the weather at the top was brutal. Cold and foggy with 50 mph winds. Gorgeous hike. Maybe my new favorite in NM.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    7 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

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wccjr1995 10 months, 2 weeks ago
Mt wheeler Highest point NM
Temp at the top was near 30. The winds were 30 gusting to 40.
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