Gravel Pit and South Crest Loop Trail to Kiwanis Cabin is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sandia Park, NM that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Easy forest hike above 10k feet to a 1930s CCC project. From the trailhead hike north along the paved trail. A few hundred yards along the trail the pavement will turn to dirt. There will be several trail markers on the trail, follow Crest Trail #130.. At 1.1 miles the trail will fork at the junction of a forest road. Turn left on the road. Hike on the road and follow the road to the cabin area. At 1.35 miles reach the CCC - Kiwanis Cabin. Return via Reverse Route.
This trail is so pretty!! The access road to get to the start was closed so we had to walk an extra half mile to it. Coming back we took the 271 that intersects the 130 near the cabin which took off a lot of time and back tracking.
Very easy hike from either the upper tram station or the drive to the top of the mountain Crest House gift shop. Easiest and quickest access is from the gift shop location. One of the best non-remote scenic locations in the Sandia mountains and one of the better places to take photos. Be advised the meadow is closed and people are supposed to go around the meadow (extra 3/4 mile hike) but a lot of people are still routinely shortcutting illegally across the old meadow trail despite forest service markers. Extra distance only applies if coming from upper tram station location. The gift shop location comes to the cabin from a different direction.
We rode the Sandia Tramway to the top. We decided to hike to the Kiwanis Cabin and it was not as difficult as I had anticipated. If you step off the trail to the edge of the mountain, you can get a great view of Albuquerque. We went as a storm was passing through so at times it began to snow. The weather in Albuquerque was, I believe, about 75 degrees and on this trail it was about 43 degrees, so dress for the cold. The trail is very well maintained, not very steep at any point, and well marked so you can't get lost. The only problem I encountered was piles of snow blocking the trail. Once you get to the cabin you can get another view of Sandia Mountain and Albuquerque. The trail is about 3 miles altogether and it took us 4 hours to get to the cabin and back.