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Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby jibler » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:21 pm

I'm probably commiting the ulimate faux pau trying to talk about things outside CO, but.....



Anyone know of good hikes I could do around Taos this coming weekend?

Heading down there for my sister's wedding and I'm hoping to get out at least once and stretch my legs.

I COULD snowshoe if needed but I'd prefer a 'popular' route that I could just follow people's tracks...if you know what I mean.


******************

Also, what gives in Taos generally? What cannot be missed?

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby MtHurd » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:19 pm

Wheeler Peak via Williams Lake. Normally there might be avalanche danger, but the snow levels are way down right now. On January 20th, I read a trip report of 4 hours round trip. Here is the trip report. Doesn't look as if you need snowshoes unless they have had a dump of snow recently. Is pretty steep from Williams Lake to the summit but not too bad. Might be a little slippery in some areas.

If you don't want to do Wheeler, then Lobo Peak might work, although this one may not have any tracks to follow since it is seldom climbed.

If you want something less strenuous but still cool, drive about 25 miles north of Taos just past Questa and turn left at Wild Rivers Recreation area. Drive all the way to the La Junta Trail. It's about 1.5 miles and 800 ft. down to the confluence of the Red and Rio Grande rivers. Excellent day hike, especially in the winter.

You will also pass by the Guadalupe Mountain Trail on your way. Back in late December, the road wasn't passable to the trailhead, but is only about a mile walk on flat ground to get to it. I'm guessing the snow is pretty well melted off by now so that may be an option. It's about 4 miles round trip and will provide spectacular views of the Latir peaks from the summit. The actual summit is not Guadalupe Peak, but an unnamed peak the approximate height of Guadalupe Peak.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby jibler » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:32 pm

awesome blossom!!!

I really have no idea what's going on down there so this is huge info. Thanks.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby MtHurd » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:53 pm

I'm not really into history or culture, there is some there though. But if you get a chance and want to do some shopping, stop by the gift shops on the north side of town on highway 522/64 about a mile or less before the 522/64 split. The best one is on the east side of the road. Lots of Mexican rugs and other stuff that's pretty cheap. The shops near and in downtown are more expensive.

Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby Jon Frohlich » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:15 pm

My favorite place in Taos was the pueblo. Very interesting to walk around for a few hours. If you want to buy something I would certainly look at the pueblo first before purchasing anything in town.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby Matt » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:20 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:My favorite place in Taos was the pueblo. Very interesting to walk around for a few hours. If you want to buy something I would certainly look at the pueblo first before purchasing anything in town.


Sage advice! Even though Taos Pueblo makes their drums in a factory, buying from the Natives seems the best choice if you're into what they may be selling. The price is lower and the chance of getting ripped off is almost nil (unless you deserve it). Visit Debbie Lujan's shop in the Pueblo if you can. She's a sweetheart.
http://www.taospueblo.com/artists/summerrain.php
If Native goods aren't your thing, Taos has enough art galleries and cool shops to keep you busy for a weekend.
Um, do you ski?
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A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -HDT
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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby MtHurd » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:26 pm

On Friday or Saturday evening, go on down to the Sagebrush Inn to see Don Richmond and The Rifters. Don Richmond is an amazing musician from Alamosa. It might be a good place to gather Saturday evening after the wedding. Regardless of the type of music you like, you will most likely enjoy them. I do and I'm normally a rocker.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby jibler » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:13 pm

Thanks again. We might need a little night life after the wedding so I'll see if that guy is playing...

I'm setting my sights on wheeler I think. I've hit the highest points in AZ and CO....why not NM??


But the winter factors are little daunting, not to mention I'm already freaked about being late for the wedding!

Might just hike towards that lake and see where the day brings me....

Thanks again.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby MtHurd » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:32 am

He is playing at the Sagebrush for sure on Friday and Saturday.

The hike up to Williams Lake will only take you an hour. After that its straight up to the east so you could start up a ways and see how you do. Looks like they have had 6 inches of snow yesterday. By Saturday it may all melt off quite a bit. No new snow expected.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby JayMiller » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:25 pm

A couple of things- 1st - not a hike but: Make sure you make a run out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It's only 7 miles from the turn off to Taos Ski Valley ( the opposite way) and is a bit of a susprise.

Now a hike. It may be farther than you want to drive at about 2.5 hours (but the drive is worth it.) Anyway, my favorite hike while I was living in Santa Fe was the Falls Trail in the Bandelier National Monument. It's not a long hike, about 5 miles round trip, but you go from a alpine valley down to the arid Rio Grande in about 700 feet of fall through a narrow volcanic slot canyon. The change in fauna and flora is astonishing. There is also a 1 mile loop trail that has some decent ruins.

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby jibler » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:36 pm

I've got to officially say...negative on wheeler.


18 inches in the last 5 days according to the taos ski area. I might just have to play this one by ear.

Heard of the "enchanted forest"?

The not-very-helpful lady on the phone at the forest service seemed to think it was something to do, but I don't really know.


I still might hike up the the williams lake and just screw around, but that peak might just be off limits for now.

Thanks again for tips though....

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Re: Winter hiking around Taos, NM??

Postby MtHurd » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:32 pm

Enchanted Forest is just a cross country ski area. Ok if you like cross country skiing, but nothing special and no views to speak of. It does cost money too and will take an hour to get to from Taos along some curvy roads.

If you don't mind driving a couple of hours, Lake Peak near the Santa Fe Ski Resort is doable I believe. Lake Peak is almost within spitting distance of the top of the ski lift. There is a trail from the bottom of the ski resort to the summit. Santa Fe Baldy is also doable near there but is quite a bit further than Lake Peak. That same guy that summitted Wheeler also summitted Santa Fe Baldy close to the same time. He has a trip report out on SummitPost for that peak too. Expect awesome views of the Pecos Wilderness, one of my all time favorite wilderness areas.

Click here for the SummitPost page for Lake Peak

If the mountains fail you because of too much snow, then definitely hike the trail in Wild Rivers from La Junta Point down to the Rio Grande/Red confluence. I'll post a pic tonight. It is a really cool hike.

There are so many hikes, but access is limited in the winter.

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