Day 2: Williams Lake hike. On our second day in Red River, we drove toward Taos, but turned back uphill on the highway that takes you to the Taos Ski Valley, which is 20 miles or so north and east of the actual town of Taos. Once you get to the Ski Valley, the roads are pretty confusing, but we got on the gravel road that goes farther uphill to the Williams Lake trailhead. Williams Lake is two miles uphill from the trailhead, and you gain 1000 feet elevation (from about 10,000 feet to 11,040). This is a reasonably pleasant hike for the most part, but there are some pretty steep stretches in the middle. As you approach the lake, there are some large boulders/talus, and the trail intersects with the steep, hard Wheeler Peak trail. Beyond that, the trail goes downhill to Williams Lake.
We were there early, so we had the place to ourselves for 20 minutes or so, then we started back (up, then down). We started encountering other hikers singly or in pairs – there were several of these as we proceeded downhill. We were glad we got an early start so as to miss the traffic on the trail.
Some Williams Lake views:
After the hike, we drove to Taos for lunch at The Gorge (a restaurant on the plaza in Taos). The food was good and we shared a well-earned spicy margarita. After lunch, we shopped, mostly for mugs for Becky, who had gotten one at a shop near the plaza, but she couldn’t remember which shop, so we went into several looking for Al Tyrrell pottery. We found it at Taos Cookery, and got Becky a couple of nice mugs.
After lunch and shopping, we drove west of Taos to the Rio Grande Gorge, which Jeff had never seen. It is a pretty impressive gorge:
Wikipedia says it is 800 feet deep where the US Hwy 64 bridge crosses.