Williams Lake Hike – 10/14/2016

On our 3rd day in Taos, Pat & I drove up to Taos Ski Valley to see the scenery and check out the ski resort.  On the way we stopped in Arroyo Seco, where the Taos Cow serves what is reputedly the best ice cream in New Mexico (we successfully resisted the temptation this time).  Like the drive up Red River Canyon, the trees, shrubs, and grasses were in full autumn color.

The Drive In

There was not much to see at the resort (major construction is under way), but we were enticed by signs to hike up to Williams Lake.  

The Hike

Williams Lake Hike

Williams Lake Hike

As you can see from the Elevation Profile above, we started at 10,187 feet and climbed to 11,142, nearly 1,000 feet elevation gain. This is a well-traveled trail, starting out on a two-track road, then becoming a wide foot trail, all quite rocky.  The climb was quite steady, never too steep, and we found we could follow trails with much nicer surfaces through the forest parallel to the rocky trail.


From the picture above, maybe you can get an idea of how beautiful the scenery is, looking up at the mountains above the tree line including Mount Wheeler, the highest mountain in New Mexico.


Total Distance:  3.96 miles
Elevation: start  10,222 ft, maximum  11,122 ft,  minimum  10,190 ft
Gross gain:  932 ft.  Aggregate ascending  1,179 ft, descending  1,178 ft
Maximum slope: 40% ascending, 42% descending, 10% average
Duration: 2:55

GPS Track Files for Download
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.


USDA Forest Service: Williams Lake Trail 62
AllTrails: Williams Lake Trail
Taos Trails: Taos Hiking Trails – Williams Lake Trail
SummitPost: Williams Lake
New Mexico Meanders: 2016-07-23 Williams Lake Trail to Wheeler Peak

This entry was posted in 2016, Sangre de Cristo, Years and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Williams Lake Hike – 10/14/2016

  1. Rick Bela says:

    This is an amazing website for weekend hikers who are retired yet lovers of NM’s beauty and history. Thank you

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