Wheeler Peak -Trail 90

Carson National Forest, New Mexico

Distance7.3mi
Elevation Gain5,593ft
Trailhead Elevation9,424ft
Top13,141ft
Elevation Min/Max9424/13141ft
Elevation Start/End9424/9424ft

Wheeler Peak -Trail 90

Wheeler Peak Trail #90 is a hiking trail in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. It is within Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area and Carson National Forest. It is 7.3 miles long and begins at 9,424 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,593 feet. The Twining Campground camp site is near the trailhead. Fraser Mountain (elevation 12,142 feet), Wheeler Peak (elevation 13,163 feet), and Mount Walter (elevation 13,110 feet) can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Wheeler Peak Summit Trail #67.
Nearby Trails

Wheeler Peak -Trail 90 Professional Reviews and Guides

"Wheeler Peak lies in the center of the small 19,661-acre Wheeler Peak Wilderness. Several other of New Mexico’s highest peaks lie in and around the wilderness. The peaks and ridges are one of the few areas in New Mexico with extensive amounts of alpine tundra vegetation. The glacial cirques on the slopes of the peaks contain several natural alpine lakes. Snowfields remain year-round.

Be sure to get a very early start on this hike. To minimize problems with storms, you ideally want to be on the summit long before noon. Snow flurries are possible even in midsummer. Be sure to take rain gear and extra warm clothing. Lightning and hypothermia are real threats on Wheeler Peak and the lengthy exposed summit ridge."

"As the highest point in New Mexico, 13,161-foot Wheeler Peak is a popular destination for hikers. A well-worn trail with moderate grades leads to the summit, passing through the state’s most extensive area of alpine vegetation.

Eye-popping views extend in all directions from the long ridge leading to the peak; a small herd of bighorn sheep and the rare chance to see white-tailed ptarmigan add to the attractions."

"Highpoint rank by height: 8th. There are several ways you can organize your visit to this highpoint. Route 1 offers the shortest hike to the top; however, it also includes a very steep section which will challenge your aerobic conditioning on the way up, and your knees on the way down. Route 2 covers twice the distance but the trail is much more "pedestrian." You can enjoy lovely vistas along the ridges of this trail.

Why not try the best of both worlds? Stroll up Route 2, and fly back down Route 1. If you're lucky, you'll find someone to give you a ride that last 1.8 miles (2.9 km) from the Hiker's Parking area to where you left your car. You may want to use a walking stick or trekking poles if you choose to descend steep Route 1 down to Williams Lake. Your knees will thank you."

Wheeler Peak -Trail 90 Reviews

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6/4/2018
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5/25/2018
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10/1/2010
those on the east coast get ready to huff and puff. there is a section of this trail that continues for what seems like 2-3 miles at a 10-15 degree incline, non-stop. at the same time you're going from 10k to 12k elevation. views were wonderful when you first see the peaks (at around 3.5-4 miles in) you'll know it when you see it. enjoy
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8/15/2010
windy. Spectacular. The final 1 mile was incredibly windy. Otherwise, the hike was fabulous.
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8/7/2010
Nice hike but way to many horse tours use this trail. The Trail stinks because of this. After five miles it gets better and you can actually enjoy the view. It is a pretty steep hike.
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11/4/2006
Beautiful mountain hike, majestic mountain views, refreshing water features. Had trouble at about 12,000 feet as this was too late in the season at that altitude for my skills, deep snow.
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7/29/2006
Directions are hard to follow because many of the Forest Service road signs have been knocked down... that said, there's really only one direction to go to get to the "trailhead" (such as it is)-- South. First part of hike is across sage plain, then the canyon starts. The railroad grade is mildly interesting; I think the strong suit of this hike is how isolated the locale is and the fantastic vistas down canyon. Careful with thunderstorms in summer.
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4/17/2006
My actual experience at Wheeler Peak was awesome. The trail guide offered was fairly incomplete. It was definitely helpful, but the suggested places for parking and trail information was not the best. Of course, this made my climb more personal, but I was responsible for the climb of two others, so having to guess here and there wasn't something I was happy about doing. I think the best recommendation would be to detail issues like parking for trail-blazers who aren't familiar with the locality, and aren't priveledged with extra time to spend picking the brains of the local community. Thanks for the information though, nonetheless!
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7/23/2005
A strenuous hike to say the least. It took me 6 hours to climb to Wheeler Peak then 3.5 hours to get back. I started at 7:30am and got some rain the last 1.5 hours on the return trip. The views are spectacular. Awesome workout -- which was my reason for going. My 16 year old daughter and her boyfriend went about half-way before they popped-out. They waited for me at Bull-of-the Woods -- a spot that would make for an awesome overnight camping spot. I was not in shape for this hike and some what overweight, but I prevailed. My legs felt like collapsing beneath me many times. I ditched my backpack the last 1.5 miles to the peak and picked-it back up on my return trip. Waterproof windbreaker and plenty of water is a must all the way to the top. I will probably do this climb again to get back into shape.
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Trail Information

Carson National Forest
Nearby City
Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Difficult
Skill Level
Skiing, Camping
Additional Use
Carson National Forest, PO Box 110, Questa, NM 87556; (575) 586-0520; www.fs.usda.gov/carson
Local Contacts
Wheeler Peak, Latir Peak and Columbine- Hondo Wildernesses, Recreational Map of Red River, Taos Ski Valley, and Vicinity, Carson National Forest; Wheeler Peak 7.5-minute USGS quad
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018