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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
- Distance: 25.8
Location: 36.59571, -105.447689
Location: 36.556843, -105.41693
Wheeler Peak, highest point in New Mexico