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“Extraordinary views”

Ranked #35 of 143 things to do in Taos County
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, this wilderness area includes Wheeler Peak, which is the highest point in New Mexico at 13,161 feet in height.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Extraordinary views”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

I highly recommend this trail. You don't have to be a super athlete to make it to the top, but the more in shape you are, the more you will enjoy it. I live in Santa Fe, at 7,000 ft, and trained for a couple of weeks by hiking in the nearby foothills. During the Wheeler hike, I still had to slow my pace so I wasn't out of breath, and near the top, on the final ten switchbacks, I had to stop every few minutes.
The views of the surrounding mountains are extraordinary, and making the summit right before the peak offers a visual reward, with more spectacular mountain views to the north beyond a deep mountain valley. Most inspiring was the range of people making the climb, including a father with his 8 year old son, and a couple with their 83 year old dad. His steady pace and confident smile as he greeted me were truly inspiring.
During late June - early August, start early to avoid afternoon rain and lightning storms. Several hikers were making their second attempt because they had to turn back their first time due to dangerous weather. I started at 7:00 AM, paused for about ten minutes above Williams lake, and made it to the peak by 9:45 AM. The hike down took about two hours.

Visited July 2014
8 Thank Bgap1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
51 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Great hike!”
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Great, moderate hike to the top of the highest point in New Mexico. No technical difficulties, easy to follow. We got to the top in 3h 20 minutes (from Williams Lake trailhead). Weather was cooperative, so we've got pretty nice views from the top. Spotted several bighorns and marmots. So nice and pleasant summer hike! You need to start early: clouds starts to show up around 10:00 am and rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon are pretty common. You probably should start hike down around noon.

Visited July 2014
5 Thank Jacenty_1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“climbing wheeler peak”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Hiked from Taos Ski Hill to lake and through woods, then up snow chutes to summit. Trail was blazed blue on trees until woods ended. On beginning of May there was still some snow. Trail to summit hidden. By now you can probably see path to top. Weather was great! sunny and 70.

Visited May 2014
4 Thank elindbergk12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great hike, couldn't summit”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

We were told the trail would be good, but April is still way too snowy to try and summit. We battled the snow to 12,500' but couldn't make the last 800ft, it was too dangerous. Make sure you have water, jackets and a map, even if townsfolk don't seem to think you need them. Snow shoes would have been nice!

Visited April 2014
2 Thank bikeracer70806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portales, New Mexico
Level Contributor
73 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great vistas!”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

The highest peak in New Mexico, sitting at 13,161 ft above sea level, Wheeler Peak makes for some great views. There are a couple of trails that will take you to the summit. We took the Williams Lake Trail, which is a Class 2 trail. Along the way you hike through pine forests, fir and spruce forests, up to an alpine climate. This is also a great trail for viewing wildlife, we encountered marmots and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, just to name a few. Would highly recommend this hike to any outdoor enthusiast.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank the390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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