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.
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.
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