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New Meetup: Backpacking Trip to Gold Hill & Wheeler Peak

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:33 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Backpacking Trip to Gold Hill & Wheeler Peak

When: Saturday, November 6,[masked]:00 AM

Where: Trailhead for Wheeler Peak
Taos Ski Area
Eagle Nest, NM 87718

This extended backpacking trip will take us to Wheeler Peak (the highest peak in New Mexico at 13,161 feet), as well as Gold Hill, which sits at 12,711 feet. We will meet on Saturday morning at the Taos Ski Valley parking lot, and promptly at 11am we will start hiking the Bull of the Woods trail up to the meadow of the same name, where the trails for Wheeler Peak and Gold Hill diverge. Bull of the Woods pasture is just two miles in, and that is the only portion of the trip where you will have to carry all of your gear. We will set up camp there before heading out on the day hike to Gold Hill. We should be able to get water from a small stream right next to camp, but if the stream is dry we can make a short hike to a larger stream. On Sunday morning we will head out from camp early and cross Frasier Mountain and Mount Walter on our way to Wheeler Peak. If weather is good, we will have lunch and enjoy the view before returning to camp late afternoon, where we will pack up and head back to the cars.

I recommend bringing gaiters if you have them, and definitely bring waterproof boots and a couple pairs of warm socks. Depending on snow conditions you may want to bring snowshoes, but I hope that we won't need them.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed 2010 Waiver & Release Form on file with us. This covers all trips and activities for 2010, so you only have to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form, it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

Trip Dates: November 6 (Saturday morning) thru November 7 (Sunday hike out)

Drive time to trailhead: 3 hours, 15 minutes from Albuquerque

Directions to trailhead: Head North on I25 to Santa Fe, and take the St. Francis exit, heading North. This will put you on US 285/84, and you will stay on this road to Espanola. While in Espanola, the road turns into NM 68 if you keep going straight - stay on NM 68, rather than turning left to continue on 84/285. In Taos, the road turns into NM 64W, and continue to follow that road, going North out of town. 4 miles North of Taos you will take the right fork onto NM 150N, and you will follow NM 150N for the next 14.5 miles as it twists and turns on its way toward Taos Ski Valley. Go past the parking lots of Taos Ski Valley to the uppermost parking lot on the left, and look for the big information board next to the start of Wheeler Peak Trail 90.

Trip Rating: Strenuous (more difficult than trips with a "Difficult" rating

Trail Length: 2 miles backpacking and 8 miles day hiking on Saturday, 2 miles backpacking and 12 miles day hiking on Sunday

Elevation Gain: 6,616 ft (only 1,427 ft is backpacking, the rest is day hiking)

Elevation Range: 9,390 ft to 13,161 ft

Expected Temps: Highs in the low 30's to low 40's, lows in the 20's

At this elevation and at this time of the year weather can change substantially from day to day, so be prepared for very cold conditions.

Dogs Allowed

Notice: Disregard the info/map directions link as it is incorrect

Contact Jon with any questions

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