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Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby Tim A » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:33 pm

Thanks all for the info and advice! I talked with my travel partner today and I think we'll spend two days on the "Wheeler" portion of our roadtrip, hiking out using Bull of the Woods and camping in the LoCal basin before pushing for the summit the next morning and descending via Williams Lake. Thanks especially for the information about that restaurant semitruskernm, that sounds wonderful after a climb.

Spiderman, thanks for the reminder about Humphrey's. I'm going to see if we can't squeeze a day in to do that. The little bit of prelim research I've just completed suggests it wouldn't necessarily take a whole day, does that seem reasonable?

What was originally a simple trip to see, climb and swim the Havasu falls has now accelerated to a multi-state-highpoint climbing adventure. And it wouldn't be possible without generous advice from you all, so thanks a hundred times over!

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby Shawnee Bob » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:31 pm

There are also two routes from the Red River side of the Mountain: East Fork Trail and Middle Fork (Lost Lake) Trail.

They're both long, class 1 hikes but very beautiful. I prefer the Middle Fork, as it's shorter (16 mi round trip) and has a few more cool stops along the way and great camping at Lost Lake. Both both routes are excellent, doable as day hikes or multi-day trips. If you want some info, I can get it for you.
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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby MtHurd » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:37 am

At the base of the main lift at Toas Ski Valley, have a burger at the Stray Dog Cantina. They also have beer. Burgers are excellent.

You can also run the 1mile ridge over to Old Mike from Wheeler, an unranked NM 13er.

The Middle Fork and East Fork routes are very nice, but in mid to late May you will probably have a lot of postholing to do higher up.

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby puddin » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:43 am

If anyone has guides on wheeler from middle fork lake it would greatly help. We are planning on going up in early June and do this as a day hike if possible.

Thanks

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby MtHurd » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:02 am

From Red River drive approximately 6 miles on highway 578 until the pavement ends. Instead of crossing the bridge to your left, continue on for about another mile on a rough and narrow dirt road, suitable for a 2-wheel drive as long as your ground clearance isn't too low. There will be a decent sized dirt parking area. Hike up towards Middle Fork Lake on either the 4x4 road or a trail that parallels it. About 1/2 way up, the trail will make a left turn off the road and into the forest. There should be a sign there, it was last time I was there. After that, the trail is easy to follow all the way to Wheeler Peak. You will pass by Lost Lake and Horseshoe Lake on the way up. The trail is about 7 miles long and seems longer than that. Give yourself a full day to do the round trip.

You can probably still get this book in Red River. It has a description of the trail up Wheeler Peak. Too expensive on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Red-River-trails-Rush-Pierce/dp/B0006QU1HA

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby WheelerDealer » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 am

La Cal Basin is a high camp. Make sure you're ready for a cold night (water bottles in your bag, etc...) The night we camped there an Okie was ralphing his brains out all night. I think that had more to do with his beverage choice than the elevation. Also, NM has done pretty well with snow this year, so plan for flotation unless you see a relevant trip report sooner.

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby puddin » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:40 pm

Thanks for the info..I have a book called The Hiker's Guide to the Enchanted Circle and it says it is a 10 mile round trip from where you park. I think it might be cold but not sure so I guess we will just wait until it gets closer to find out. This is my first time back packing but do have a guy going who has been doing it for a few years.

Good fishing in the lake? Any other info?

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby MtHurd » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:51 am

puddin wrote:Thanks for the info..I have a book called The Hiker's Guide to the Enchanted Circle and it says it is a 10 mile round trip from where you park. I think it might be cold but not sure so I guess we will just wait until it gets closer to find out. This is my first time back packing but do have a guy going who has been doing it for a few years.

Good fishing in the lake? Any other info?


I have hiked that trail twice and it is definitely longer than 10 miles RT. It's definitely 14. There is an old trail that is no longer used that turns off closer to Middle Fork Lake that might be 10 miles RT, so if that book is old this is maybe what route the book talks about. That trail has a lot of downed timber on it and it is unmaintained. I've done Wheeler by that route and it wasn't bad, but it will require some bushwhacking and routefinding. Middlefork Lake will probably have trout. Lost Lake and Horseshoe lake a possibility.

The best fishing is in the Latir Lakes. It's a drive though. Drive to Questa, then Costilla. Take a right on the highway that goes to Valle Vidal. Good fishing in the river once you get into the box canyon and into the meadows of Valle Vidal. For an extra $15 you can drive up to the Latir Lakes for native cutthroat. You'll need a 4x4 for that one. The best lake is the last one below the summit of Latir Peak. There are 9 lakes to choose from.

If you have a 4x4 to get Goose Lake, climb Gold Hill. Easy climb and the views are great. You can probably fish there but it is usually crowded so it may be fished out.

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby nyker » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:59 am

I did the Bull of the Woods way, and yes, roughly 15 miles r/t. It was October when I climbed it a few yrs back, so, I won't be any help on current conditions.
I would recommend this route though. Not too steep, and all class 1 from what I recall; just a nice, albeit a bit long, hike to the top.

I was also awakended at 4AM by a bear banging into the door of my not to strong cabin. So, I started a bit later waiting for him to be gone. There are also a bighorn herd or two in the area I saw in the valleys.

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby Amadisofgaul » Sun May 13, 2012 6:23 am

I just hiked in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness last weekend, (Lobo and Perra Peaks across the way from Wheeler). Last year I also hiked Wheeler in the first week of May and just used microspikes for a great hike in solitude. They have gotten quite a bit more snow this year, but if you don't mind the random post-holing adventure I would assume you might be able to avoid snowshoes. I certainly needed them last week for the mile below tree-line, but everything was melting fast. Just FYI, the longer Bull-of-the-woods route will melt out faster than the Williams lake route and spends much of the time above tree-line (thunderstorm danger).

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby esskay1000 » Sun May 13, 2012 1:24 pm

Just did Wheeler Peak via Bull of the Woods last Thurs. Not too much snow overall, just many annoying patches on the trail that you sink in to, assuring that you have wet feet throughout the day. You do lose the trail a few times due to snow, but if you bring a topo it's easy to pick up. It is a long day - 15 miles worth, but a beautiful hike. And there were mtn goats and bighorn everywhere, lots of close-up pics!
Last edited by esskay1000 on Sun May 13, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mt. Wheeler, Highest 13er in NM

Postby mannosteel » Sun May 13, 2012 2:56 pm

Did this inSept so not current for sure. Went early and it was all of 17mi per gps. Saw large bighorn herd. First ones up bull run meadow that day. Def dark when we started.

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