A rough road to the beautiful Goose Lake in New Mexico

Goose Lake is a high mountain lake at an elevation of 3.570m (11,712ft) above sea level, located in Taos County, in the U.S. state of New Mexico. This drive is worth it, but be forewarned of the difficulty. It’s one of the highest roads in New Mexico.

Goose Lake

Where is Goose Lake?

The lake is located in the northern part of New Mexico, within the Carson National Forest, to the south of Gold Hill peak.

Can you drive to Goose Lake in NM?

The road to the lake is totally unpaved. It’s called Forest Road 486 (Goose Lake Road).

Is the road to Goose Lake in NM challenging?

The road is extremely steep and rough in places. It’s not a road for you if you are nervous about other people driving in tricky situations - steep/rough roads. The road is pretty challenging, with a water crossing (it can be deep) and a short narrow section of shelf road that might be difficult for an inexperienced driver or someone who doesn't do well with heights. There is an old goldmine and general store along the way up. Be sure to keep an eye out for remnants of mining activity and abandoned cabins along the trail.

Can I drive my vehicle to Goose Lake in NM?

Full-size pickups will have trouble due to narrow passages. Be cautious: the road is very narrow. 4x4 vehicle required, not recommended for a stock SUV. Camper trailers are not allowed due to narrow one-way road sections and steep drop-offs.

Is Goose Lake open?

Set high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico, this grueling high mountain road is usually impassable in winters.

How long is the road to Goose Lake in NM?

Starting at Red River, a resort town, the road is 11.58 km (7.2 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 913 meters. The average gradient is 7.88%.

When is the best time to drive to Goose Lake in NM?

The road ends in the Goose Lake parking lot, an ample parking lot close to the lake. Traffic can be heavy during the summer months, and on a summer weekend, the parking lot, which holds several cars, is full very early. The best time to visit the lake is in the summer and fall.
Pic: Ozark Overland Adventures