Trail Update: Hiking in Taos Ski Valley

Be prepared to encounter snow and ice on all trails, particularly higher up on Williams Lake and Wheeler Peak trails. While it is less likely to have avalanche danger given our current snowpack is so low, there will be patchy snow.  As of February, we have heard that people are making it to Wheeler Peak with snow on the trail in some long stretches and other parts of the trail just patchy snow. We welcome your images and recent hiking reports to support information exchange as Mother Natures changes the trail and the snowpack daily.

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Williams Lake

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.

Wheeler Peak

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.  Webcam view from Highline Ridge with a view of Wheeler Peak.


Waterproof boots and hiking poles are recommended for these high elevation hikes, with many trails still holding snow 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.

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
Yerba Canyon Trail 61
3.9 miles X       X Expert


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