Carson National Forest: Wheeler Peak

Climb to the crown of the Sangre de Cristo Range outside Taos, New Mexico.
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Climb to the crown of the Sangre de Cristo Range outside Taos, New Mexico.

Start early to get up and down New Mexico's highest peak before summer thunderstorms roll in. The 16-mile out-and-back gains 3,800 feet, ending with a long ridgewalk to Wheeler's 13,161-foot summit. En route, you'll likely see bighorn sheep and golden eagles (and brazen, pack-ravaging marmots—don't leave your stuff unattended). Two routes start at Taos Ski Valley: Take the Bull of the Woods/Wheeler Peak Trail (it avoids the ski runs and steep talus slopes you'll find on the Williams Lake Route). --Steve Howe, howephoto.us
MORE INFO: Carson National Forest, (505) 586- 0520; fs.fed.us/r3/carson

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 25.8

Waypoints

WHE001

Location: 36.59571, -105.447689

Twining Campground

WHE002

Location: 36.556843, -105.41693

Wheeler Peak, highest point in New Mexico