Full Moon Hike to Williams Lake in Taos Ski Valley - Blue Sky Retreat
Today my mom, my 8-year-old daughter and I walked from Blue Sky Retreat to the El Nogal Nature Trail #181.  It was an easy and flat 1-mile hike along-side a stream, under the shades of luscious green trees.  It was a cloudy day and the air smelled of rain.  We enjoyed our leisurely walk, laughing and connecting, the three generations of women in our family.
Blue Sky, Taos, NM
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Full Moon Hike to Williams Lake in Taos Ski Valley

Last summer, at full moon, my husband and I ventured out on a full moon hike at Williams Lake in Taos Ski Valley.  We have done this 4 mile round-trip hike several times before during the day and it was absolutely breath-taking both literally and figuratively speaking.  It is certainly breath-taking in Mother Nature’s majestic beauty and grandeur.  I would say the hike is of moderate intensity and it takes your breath away because it starts at 10,000 elevation and gains about 1,000 additional feet.  Being in a good physical shape is definitely a plus.

This time around, we decided to go at night.  We arrived to the Williams Lake Trailhead around 7PM just before sunset and it was already getting pretty chilly.  A group of about 20 gathered up for this adventure.  To be honest, my biggest concern was about running into a bear.  I even had my bear whistle ready to go hanging right under my chin.  In reality, bears are more scared of humans than we are of them.

Even thought it was cold for my taste, once we started hiking up the mountain, I was sweating.  We got to see a different kind of beauty of the forest and the mountains at sunset.  Once the sun sets down, all sorts of creatures come out to play.  Different birds sing a different kind of song, not like the ones at daylight.  I felt as though I was in a fairy tale magic forest and the old Hans Christian Andersen stories came to my from my distant childhood.

When we got to the top of the mountain, it was already pitch black.  Once we stopped moving, it got cold real quick.  I wish I brought an extra warm jacket, a hat and gloves.  Someone had already built a fire and we quickly cozied up next to it.

The night sky was absolutely magnificent with millions of stars shining brightly above us.  I layed on the cold ground looking straight up speechless and in total awe.  I felt connected to Mother Earth, to God, to my loved ones.  I was overwhelmed by such tremendous love and gratitude.  I felt total peace and serenity.

What I did not expect was the 2 hour wait before the moon came from behind the mountain.  It was really cold and I came unprepared.  So, my husband and I snuggled up against each other to keep us warm.  I felt loved and cared for in his big embrace.

Once the Moon finally did come from behind Wheeler Peak, it was like nothing I have ever seen before.  It was surreal.  It was magical.  It was soul moving and breath-taking.  I felt a completely different kind of powerful energy at play.  It had its own unique kind of pool and power.  The Full Moon was as bright as the Sun, yet the sky was dark in the background.  It was so bright that we could see every single tree, bush and rock.

The magic of that moment was so palpable, that we both paused in awe, admiration and gratitude.  I said a prayer internally thanking God for my abundant blessings and for all the blessings that were yet to come into my life.  I felt deeply loved and guided.  And I knew deep in my heart that whatever I wished for in that moment would, no doubt, come true.

We hiked back holding hands, quietly, not wanting to disturb the magic of the moment.  We were elated, excited and overwhelmed with the presence of the Divine that walked with us.

The Full Moon Hike to Williams Lake in Taos Ski Valley is absolutely a MUST.  It was one of the best moments of my life and I highly recommend it.  If you seek guidance, if you are at the crossroads, come along on this adventure.  Wear warm clothes, bring a blanket and stuff to make fire with and prepare to sit comfortably in total silence, in the moonlight and God will speak to you.  You will leave with a sense of direction, connectedness, beauty and magic.  You will feel one with God.


Here are the logistics that may change from summer to summer (check http://www.skitaos.com/on-mountain/full-moon-hikes/ for the most updated instructions).


Meet at Taos Ski Valley Hiker Parking at 7:15pm for a Full Moon Hike to Williams Lake.
The trail is 2 miles from trailhead to Williams Lake.  There is 1,000 ft of elevation gain, starting at 10,000 ft.

Bring a flashlight, warm jacket or sweater and long pants – shorts can be cold. The trail is rocky so good hiking shoes are suggested

– 2 miles one way (approx 2 hours)

– 1,000 ft gain in altitude (start at 10,000 feet)

– It is always cold at night in the mountains so be prepared!

Sneakers OK – hiking boots better

– Sweater or fleece

– Shorts OK – long pants better

– Windproof jacket

– Flashlight or headlamp

– Water and snacks


Cost: FREE

By Albina Rippy (IG: @albinarippy)