Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
WARNING: There is typically daily lightning and thunderstorm activity during summer months. Check the weather forecast. If you plan to climb Gold Hill (12,115 ft.), summiting before noon is recommended.
Need to Know
There are restroom facilities at the trailhead and in the village in the Lower Plaza by the ice rink.
The Wheeler Peak trailhead (to Gold Hill) is within walking distance to numerous shops, eateries, lodging, and markets. For more information, check out TaosSkiValley.com
. Bootdoctors or Taos Sports have a great selection of outdoor gear and items you may need if you've forgotten anything.
Gold Hill Trail (USFS Trail #64) is accessed less than two miles up Wheeler Peak Trail (USFS Trail #90) from the Twining Campground in the Village of Taos Ski Valley. Parking is available below the campground, at the upper end of the ski resort parking lot.
Hike up Wheeler Peak Trail (sometimes called Bull of the Woods Trail). Less than a mile from the parking lot you'll pass Long Canyon Trail (USFS Trail #63) to your left. Continuing on Trail #90, it is approx. a mile further to Bull of the Woods Pasture. Just past where Wheeler Peak Trail turns right at the pasture to cross the creek, you'll find the sign and the start of Gold Hill Trail on your left. This area is well signed.
The trail climbs steeply for the first mile, then levels out and follows a wide ridge line. This is an enjoyable climb to a large open area near tree line with some interesting old mining relics at 11,922 ft. Great place to enjoy a snack and the view before pushing to the summit.
At the relics, the trail will make an abrupt left to a sign at the intersection of Long Canyon Trail. If summiting Gold Hill is not desired, take Long Canyon Trail for a beautiful loop hike.
From the intersection where you see the sign pointing you to Long Canyon, turn right and Gold Hill Trail begins to climb again, the views are spectacular all the way to the summit. Goose Lake Trail (USFS Trail #65) intersects Gold Hill Trail about a quarter mile above the sign pointing to Long Canyon. Lobo Peak Trail (USFS Trail #57) intersects another quarter mile up Gold Hill Trail (no sign). At the summit of Gold Hill, you'll find a low rock shelter for getting out of the wind.
There is no water available on this trail, but there is along Wheeler Peak Trail and Long Canyon Trail. It is not recommended for drinking without proper treatment. For short trips, take a supply of water from home or other domestic source. Day hiking, backpacking, as well as backcountry camping opportunities are available along the entire length of the trail. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Motorized vehicle use is not allowed.
One can follow the trail north from the summit for 1.3 miles to the intersection of Deer Creek Trail and Pioneer Creek Trail on the Red River side of the mountain.
Flora & Fauna
Generally by mid-June, the tundra flowers will bloom and provide a spectacular show for the rest of the summer. You should see some small mammals on your hike, like marmots and squirrels. The area is home to Mule Deer and in the higher elevations Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and Elk.
Shared By: Chamber TSV