Trail Update: Hiking Report from Taos Ski Valley

​Hike to Williams Lake, Summit the Tallest Mountain, Wheeler Peak or enjoy intermediate hiking trails in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

June 14, 2018 Hiking Area Report

Williams Lake Trail

Discover Williams Lake in all its glory in the summertime, an intermediate-level, four-mile round trip hike from The Bavarian. The valley is forested with aspen, Englemann and blue spruce, western white fir, and rarely seen red fir and bristlecone pine. Lush meadows are colored with countless varieties of wildflowers and plants. As of June 14, hiking conditions are great. The trail is dry and in excellent shape.  Temps have been gradually warming, the lake is clear of ice, the trail around the west side leading to the waterfalls is dry - the lower falls are flowing strong and there is still some snow around the upper falls - if you venture this far proceed with caution as the snow can be slick in this shaded and cool forest.  The primitive trail leading into the Lake Fork basin (intermediate to advanced level hiking) is dry to treeline then there's a couple patches of snow in the higher elevations above 11,500'. Also allows access to Wheeler Peak via the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail #67.

Wheeler Peak Summit Trail

Conquer New Mexico's highest peak. This 13,161-foot summit can be accessed by either Bull of the Woods Trail or Williams Lake Trail. Get a very early start for this expert level hike. Backcountry camping is allowed without a permit. Keep your eyes peeled for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, elk and mule deer. As of June 14, conditions are clear and dry.  Wildflowers are blooming! 

Columbine-Hondo Wilderness

Yerba, Manzanita, Italianos and Gavilan are all in great shape!  We've seen a bunch of people out enjoying these trails this week, wildflowers are blooming and the veiws are awesome!  The Bull of the Woods trail is hiking nicely and wildflowers are blooming all along the creek. the Long Canyon and Goose Lake trails are clear and dry.

Weather Coming In

Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are expected in the afternoons, otherwise the forecast is for seasonally mild conditions and warm daytime temps as we await the beginning of monsoon season.  Smoke from wildflires in New Mexico and southwest Colorado may cross into the Taos Range intermittently through the weekend but is expected to move eastwards away from the mountains.


Waterproof boots and hiking poles are recommended for these high elevation hikes, with many trails still holding snow up at higher elevation into early summer. Temperatures can vary greatly. Be prepared for cool weather and rain, and always carry extra water. Beware of lightning and stay off the ridges if thunderclouds are overhead. Depart for hikes early in the morning to avoid afternoon lightning and showers.

Maps are available at the Information Booth in the main hiker parking lot of Taos Ski Valley Resort. Open 9-5pm each day.

Carson National Forest - Taos Ski Valley Hiking Trails

Name of Trail Print Map
one way
Hiking Trail Horse Trail Cross Country Ski Trail Snowshoeing
Wilderness Area
Degree of Difficulty
Gavilan Trail
3.3miles X
X Intermediate/Expert
Italianos Canyon Trail 59
3.6 miles  X X   X X Intermediate
Long Canyon/Bull-Of-The-Woods
3.6 miles X X X X X Expert
Manzanita Canyon Trail 58
4.2 miles X X   X x Expert
Wheeler Peak Trail 90
8 miles X X X X X Expert
Williams Lake Trail 62
2 miles X X X X X Novice/Intermediate
Wheeler Peak Summit 67
2.2 miles X       X Expert
Yerba Canyon Trail
4 miles X       X Expert


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