“A long trail through mixed conifer and aspen forest to an alpine summit.”
— J. Bella
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Wilderness area, no mechanized equipment, drones etc. Please respect wildlife—there have been mountain lion sightings in this area.
Just past 0.8 miles on the Bull of the Woods Trail
, the Long Canyon Trail branches to the left. Follow this trail for 2 miles, then continue north as the route gradually climbs into a large alpine basin. As the trees become more sparse, trend to the right and follow the treeline where it borders the first of a series of open avalanche paths. The first path here usually has less snow than the more open chutes further up above the basin. Near the top of this chute, the terrain rolls onto the wide open tundra leading to Gold Hill. Cross this tundra to link up with the Gold Hill Trail, which is often windscoured and exposed on the west side of the ridge.
Much of this route travels beneath and within Class 3 avalanche terrain, and there are a lot of paths that can hit the trail that are not visible from below. It is recommended to avoid this route during or immediately after a storm cycle when avalanche potential exists. This area, despite its proximity to Twining, is remote wilderness—there is no cellphone service and rescue may not be possible for several hours should an avalanche occur. Undocumented reports from longtime Taos Ski Valley locals claim a skier was killed in an avalanche in Long Canyon during the 1984 Winter, the burial site was located by helicopter search the following day as the skier's dog was sitting on the debris above where he was buried.