Wheeler Peak Summit Trail (#67)

Area Status: Open
hikers on a winding trail on a mountain
Wheeler Peak Summit Trail. Forest Service photo by Zach Behrens.

Access: Travel approximately 4 miles north on US HWY 64 from Taos to the junction of NM State HWY 150, then east on HWY 150 to Taos Ski Valley. Continue through the Taos Ski Valley parking lot, veering left up Twining road. Twining road is approximately 2 miles and contains several switchbacks. It will be fine for most vehicles in the summer and fall (4x4 in winter). Follow signs for the Williams Lake Trailhead and the Bavarian Lodge and Restaurant. Park at the large parking lot on the right as the road levels off. (This parking area is before the Bavarian)Trail Description

The trail follows the Williams Lake Trail almost to the lake before heading to the summit for an additional 2 miles. Start by hiking south on the broad trail from the parking lot. Walk past a small pond on the left then continue past the restaurants and ski area facilities. After the base of the chairlift continue south on the broad trail on the left. After a short distance take another left. This is the Williams Lake Trail #62. This area is very well marked.

The trail is rocky and broad at first, but soon the Wheeler Peak Wilderness boundary is reached and the tread gets more narrow and even. Take time to view the avalanche paths and their impact on the surrounding forest. Continue on the trail for nearly 2 miles of gentle grade to the junction with the Wheeler Peak trail #67, the trailhead will be on your left.

This area offers opportunities to view the scenic Williams Lake a short walk further on #62. Take time to appreciate the striking features left behind from the last of the glaciers receding over 10,000 years ago.  After the junction of the Wheeler Summit trail #67 the grade gets a bit steeper.  It maintains a fairly consistent pitch however; technical climbing gear is not needed.  Because the tread is narrow and uneven, built through several scree fields, no equestrian travel is permitted on trail #67.  The trail traverses several switchbacks, stay on the trail to prevent falling rock and trail degradation. 

Please stay off the steep “old route”; it is undergoing rehabilitation efforts by the Carson National Forest.  Above tree line enjoy the stunning views throughout the rest of the trail. In approximately 2 miles from the Williams Lake Trail junction, trail #90 is reached. Hike to the right continuing south a short distance to the Wheeler Peak summit, 13,161 feet.

No horseback riding: There is no horseback riding on the new Wheeler Peak Summit Trail #67.

Trail Beginning: 10,200 feet

Trail Ending: 13,161 feet

Length: 2.2 miles (4.1 miles one way from Williams Lake Trailhead)  

Difficulty: Intermediate to Expert

Elevation Gain: 2,961 feet

Map Downloads

Wheeler Summit Trail 67 (pdf)| Google Earth Download | Wheeler Summit Trail 67 (kmz)

At a Glance

Information Center: For more information contact:  Questa Ranger District.


Day Hiking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.2 miles

  Elevation : 
11,140 feet - 13,161 feet