FATMAP by Strava

Wheeler Peak via the Bull of the Woods trail


The best way to the highest point in New Mexico

Hiking Severe

23 km
1.4 km
1.4 km
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2.9 km
High Point
4 km
Wheeler Peak via the Bull of the Woods trail Map

There are several routes to the top of Wheeler Peak. Bull of the Woods is a longer trail but much more pleasant and scenic than the summit trail #67 which switchbacks much more steeply up the side of the mountain. The last time I climbed Wheeler, I took that shorter route down making a loop and regret it. #67, sometimes called the Williams Lake Trail, is very very steep and monotonous. Bull of the Woods and Wheeler Peak Trail #90, by contrast, provides constant changes of scenery and much easier going. Plus, you end up where you parked your car instead of having to walk through the entire ski area - several additional miles - at the bottom.


Leave early. It often takes twelve or more hours to climb Wheeler Peak. Bring plenty of water and warm clothes even in the height of summer. It drops below freezing year round above 13,000 feet. Watch for thunderstorms and turn around or seek shelter at lower elevation if you see lightning. Don't attempt this trail if you're from sea-level until you'd had some time to adjust to the elevation. Wheeler peak is much higher than Taos.



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between June and September


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area