Using a state map, I found my way to the parking area of Taos Ski Valley where the trailhead for Wheeler Peak can be found. I blindly followed signs for the peak having no idea where it was until I was on top. The route I took traversed over a couple of peaks to get to Wheeler so each one was a disappointing false summit. Luckily I had lots of time and the scenery was excellent most of the hike. Turns out I took the scenic but easier route to the summit. There was a more direct way but it wasn’t signed. The summit had a big register and some memorial sign. I was a bit bothered that several nearby peaks looked higher but the people on top and the summit register assured me we were on the state highpoint.
Visiting Taos on a family vacation, I saw on the state map that the state highpoint was nearby. Just a few days before, I had climbed the Texas highpoint of Guadalupe Peak. I realized on that trip that maybe it would be a lifetime goal to summit the highest peak in every state. If I did New Mexico, I could have 4 states (I had done Rainier and Hood). I would have had my brother with me but he was still recovering from his virus infection he got eating in Mexico
Wheeler Peak - New Mexico Highpoint
www.WillhiteWeb.com: Hiking, Climbing and Travel
Distance: 7.2 miles (Bull of the Woods Route)
Elevation Gain: 3,761 feet
Summit Elevation: 13,161 feet
Plaque on the summit
Views from the trail
On the summit
Views from the summit
In route to the summit
Looking back at trail over Mount Walter
In 2011, a new route was created by the Forest Service and has quickly become the most popular trail since it takes you to Williams Lake on the way to the Peak. If you take this route, as you walk it consider that it took 8 people working 12 hours a day to build the 4 miles of new trail to the top and was completed using just hand tools in only 14 days.