More than ten virtually unimproved creek crossings; they freeze over in the winter (but be careful!) and require waterproof footwear, good balance on logs and rocks, or wet feet the rest of the year.
Remember that there is an avalanche hazard during winter months, and any water collected from the stream must be treated before drinking.
This is the middle of the three main approaches to Lobo Peak, a 12,115 foot peak. Traveling up into the Taos Ski Valley along NM 150, the trailhead is to the left immediately after the Taos East Condominiums, about 11 miles from the intersection with US 64.
The trail begins on old rocky doubletrack that eventually fades into singletrack. The climb is steady, with practically no respite. Numerous creek crossings provide a distraction from the lung and leg workout.
After the final creek crossing (#11), it is a particularly steep climb up a ridge between two canyons. Following this is a final mile's hard slog uphill with a few switchbacks to the intersection with Yerba Canyon Trail #61
. The trail along this last section is marginally harder to traverse and to follow, but should not prove too challenging for an observant runner.
To reach Lobo Peak, head north along the ridge on Trail #61 for only about a quarter mile to get to Lobo Peak Trail #57
, and follow a sign to the short climb to the peak itself for wonderful views of the Taos Ski Valley, the Rio Grande Gorge, and the city of Taos itself.
The trail climbs up through the pines, aspens, spruces, and firs typical to this area. Wildflowers and grasses grow on the forest floor along with low-lying shrubs.
Birds and squirrels are abundant, and a lucky runner may glimpse deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, or bighorn sheep.