It’s the highest peak in New Mexico, what more could you want? With incredible 360° views overlooking the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos Ski Valley, Williams Lake and the Taos Gorge – the perspective alone is worth the hike. Add to that the experience of hiking up through multiple, distinct biomes as you climb in altitude, along with the clean mountain air, and hiking Wheeler Peak has to be one of the greatest outdoor experiences in the state. It’s an eight-mile hike with a 3000+ foot elevation gain and a summit sitting at 13,159 ft. — so it’s not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced hiker. Hydration and determination are key to combat the altitude. Although the hike is a doable one if you are in reasonable physical shape, there are some precautions worth taking. Begin early — you want to be off the peak by noon because the weather can change quickly in the afternoon, and the ascent alone typically takes three to five hours. With those concerns in mind, Wheeler offers one of the most spectacular view points in the state and one of the most satisfying single-day hike challenges in the southwest.