Williams Lake Trail #62
ElevationAscent: 951' 290 m
Descent: -951' -290 m
High: 11,111' 3,387 m
Low: 10,202' 3,110 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)
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“A short and popular trail that has significant elevation gain. It is great for a quick out and back!”— Bob Mosher
Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Winter travelers should be aware of the avalanche hazards along the trail, debris may be present during Spring and early Summer. As of 2018 there is no official avalanche forecasting center for this area, the Northern New Mexico Avalanche Exchange is a public forum where useful information can be found and shared:NNMAE.org
From the hiker parking lot at the trailhead on Kachina Road follow the signs leading to the trail, running past the Bavarian Restaurant, Lift 4 and the Phoenix Lodge. Continue to follow the signage uphill to the new re-routed trail which follows Lake Fork Creek. The new route crosses the bottom of the El Funko ski run and merges with the old trail after crossing into the Wheeler Peak Wilderness just beyond the Peace Chute avalanche path.
The route begins in Engelmann spruce stands, crosses a series of open avalanche path runouts and near the upper end opens up into meadows and scattered rock fields before reaching a saddle above the lake at the junction with the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail #67.
Williams Lake is a natural glacial lake which does not have fish because it freezes during winter. Camping and campfires are not permitted along the lake's shore to prevent damage to soil and water quality, per wilderness area protocol select a campsite at least 300 feet from streams, springs, and lakes. There are some good sites along the forest on the southwest side of the lake, and a primitive trail leading to a waterfall.
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Land Manager: USFS - Carson National Forest
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