High Trail with a beer at the end
Fourth of July weekend called for a family adventure on a high trail. The Bull of the Woods – Williams Lake Loop in northern New Mexico is 11 miles (17 km) of thigh burning, lung pumping hiking that starts at the base of Taos Ski Valley and ends high up in Kachina Basin near the Bavarian Restaurant. The hike has 3832 feet (1150 m) of ascent and tops out at 13,040 feet (3975 m) – literally the top of New Mexico.
The hike starts out climbing and continues nearly non-stop for the first seven miles before a precipitous drop over the next two miles to Williams Lake. There were several snowfields still remaining to cross on this July 4th and we ran into heavy weather just after mid-day. A thunderstorm chased us off the high ridge and we were hit with sustained pea-sized hail and driving rain during the way down. The final two miles is a relatively tame descent to a pretty fair representation of a Bavarian berg gasthof (mountain pub). It was a welcome place to finish the hike with an excellent German beer on tap. The Bavarian has beer on draft from both the Klosterbrauerei Andechs and the Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, two of my favorite monastery breweries. These are great beers that are not easily found on draft in the U.S.A.
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Bull of the Woods – Williams Lake Loop
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