Author Full Detail Guide
The Wheeler Peak Summit Trail begins approximately two miles in on the Williams Lake Trail at the junction where the Williams Lake Trail veers off to Williams Lake.
The trail begins in a forest, but quickly reaches the treeline, where it will climb gradually and a little steeply at times to its intersection with the Wheeler Peak Trail #90 after approximately 2 miles.
The forest service reminds you to stick to the established trail, as cutting switchbacks is ruining the fragile environment above the treeline. Don't be that guy! The point of hiking is not to see how many tenths of a mile you can shave off your hike by cutting switchbacks.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a moderately difficult hike.
Carson FS Details
The trail follows the Williams Lake Trail almost to the lake before heading to the summit for an additional 2 miles. Start by hiking south on the broad trail from the parking lot. Walk past a small pond on the left then continue past the restaurants and ski area facilities. After the base of the chairlift continue south on the broad trail on the left. After a short distance take another left. This is the Williams Lake Trail #62. This area is very well marked. The trail is rocky and broad at first, but soon the Wheeler Peak Wilderness boundary is reached and the tread gets more narrow and even. Take time to view the avalanche paths and their impact on the surrounding forest. Continue on the trail for nearly 2 miles of gentle grade to the junction with the Wheeler Peak trail #67, the trailhead will be on your left. This area offers opportunities to view the scenic Williams Lake a short walk further on #62. Take time to appreciate the striking features left behind from the last of the glaciers receding over 10,000 years ago. After the junction of the Wheeler Summit trail #67 the grade gets a bit steeper. It maintains a fairly consistent pitch however; technical climbing gear is not needed. Because the tread is narrow and uneven, built through several scree fields, no equestrian travel is permitted on trail #67. The trail traverses several switchbacks, stay on the trail to prevent falling rock and trail degradation. Please stay off the steep “old route”; it is undergoing rehabilitation efforts by the Carson National Forest. Above tree line enjoy the stunning views throughout the rest of the trail. In approximately 2 miles from the Williams Lake Trail junction, trail #90 is reached. Hike to the right continuing south a short distance to the Wheeler Peak summit, 13,161 feet.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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