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Wheeler Peak Wilderness, Taos County

4.9
#6 of 16 in Parks in Taos County
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
The 19661acre Wheeler Peak Wilderness lies in the Carson National Forest of New Mexico. It contains the highest point in the state, 13161ft Wheeler Peak as well as Williams Lake.HistoryAlready designated the Wheeler Peak Wild Area in 1960, 6051acre became the Wheeler Peak Wilderness in 1964 with the passage of the Wilderness Act. The wilderness was expanded by 14700acre with the passage of the New Mexico Wilderness Act in 1980. In 1996, public law 104-333 transferred 764acre from the wilderness south of the ridge between Simpson Peak and Old Mike Peak and west of Blue Lake back to the Taos Pueblo.Flora and faunaThe Wheeler Peak Wilderness is home to a variety of birds and mammals. Marmots, pikas, bighorn sheep, and golden eagles are year-round residents. Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer dwell in the area during the summer season, feeding on grasses and new aspen growth in the higher elevations. Although bighorn sheep are native to the area, the local population was re-introduced to the area in 1993. Other local avian fauna include many common rocky mountain species such magpies, Canada jays, chickadees and woodpeckers.
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Reviews
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68 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Our vote is for Williams Lake over Bull of the Woods Pasture. The destination is beautiful! The trail is more scenic. The hike is less difficult despite the higher altitude. If you are in town for a f...  more »
  • Make sure you start at the William Lake Trailhead for a 45 minute hike up to the Lake. From there it's a very steep, switchbacking trail through forest and then over rockfalls above treeline, but oh w...  more »
  • We just hiked this mtn on 5/28/17. The entire trail to the top is still snow covered and I would not recommend hiking it without crampons and poles. The trail is visible at the very top, maybe last 50...  more »

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