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Fantastic hike, lots of up and down both ways, shady forest almost whole way. Not many views until you reach the ridge, then they are great! Lots of forest, mushrooms, flowers and squirrels. Aspen's just barely starting to turn, a few yellow leaves. Well maintained and clearly marked trail with blue blazes the whole way.

This is a very good trail and the plane wreckage near the end makes it quite unique. The first mile or so is completely exposed and rather gradual incline. As you get into the forest it gets quite steep and there are several spots where you have to scramble up some rocks. It’s easy to lose the trail and I got off track for a bit but managed to find my way back.
The wreckage is located almost directly below the tram cables so you will know when you are close. I was amazed at the site. It was truly a sobering experience to see and identify almost every part of the plane. It is a stark reminder of the fragility of life.
This trail is not for beginners with rapid elevation gain and rough terrain.

Trail’s well maintained. There’s lots of varied terrain on this hike. Lots of shaded areas as well,
A great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this little hike. I didn’t complete the whole thing because twice I got off the main trail because it was unclear where the real trail was. My phone was dying so I was trying to use the app as little as possible but if I had a fully charged phone, it would have been easy to navigate. A beautiful trail with lots of wild flowers. Maybe I didn’t go far enough but I don’t understand the hard rating for difficulty. It was rocky in places but down hill to start with. Some of the side trails coming off the road are actually better because you don’t have to contend with the rocks. The trees are much denser though. July/August there are almost always late afternoon thunder storms so you might want to take that into account when planning. I’ve been in lightning storms twice in the Sandias and they’re pretty scary. I love September/early October in the Sandias. The aspens are turning yellow, the weather is cool and you just might catch the ski lift open that goes to the top of the crest to look out over ABQ. Only $3 to ride.

hiking
1 month ago

LPT: As you go into the canyon, stay on the North or left side for the easier way through the rocks. This is dog friendly. Make sure and look for the trail leaving the wash as you leave the big rocks, otherwise you will be walking in stand. When you catch the trail on the South side, you will then see the Embudo Horse Bypass coming in from the South or right. If you do an out and back, come back on this trail for a change. It will take you above the rocks with a good view. Once you get to the west end of the ridgeline, turn north and drop down to the trail you came in. on.

Worth the trek. Navigation gets tricky after Domingo baca trail as you head towards the TWA crash site. Highly recommend to keep an eye on waypoints.

1 month ago

It probably wouldn’t be so bad in winter but not a great summer hike. Indecent amounts of exposure and views weren’t that great. There are many trails that are much better in the Sandias.

From the 10k parking lot we went down in elevation, maybe along what the map titles capulin trail 234a. Looked to be some decent mountain bike jumps. Found patches of wild raspberries and currants, mullein, yarrow, plantain and alfalfa in right next to the parking.

Great hike. Beautiful views.

Steep. B’cse of poorly marked trail in early miles, general recommendation is ‘bear right.’ The trail is good.

This hike is quite strenuous at the beginning because the first 2.5 miles are climbing through mostly desert and rocky areas. It doesn’t start to vary until you enter the forest. There are intermittent views at the beginning and the top but that’s not really what this hike is for. There are better views, the hike itself is lovely. Be careful if you hike in summer like I just did. I had 2 liters for 5 hours and it was just enough. The last 3 miles back to the car in 100 degree weather is brutal so be mindful of that. Use lots of sunscreen and bring extra water.

Back open

trail running
2 months ago

**CLOSED All wilderness areas (trails to the peaks)** because of drought and fear of wildfires. Shorter trails in the immediate area are open. Beautiful area, will be back for the peak. Call to figure out when they re-open

Parked at the Crest House and hiked the Crest Spur to the La Luz trail down and Chimney Canyon back up. Would not want to hike down the upper part of Chimney Canyon but going up is a great workout, even if you stow the poles and use all fours for awhile. The super-steep part (+/- 100% grade) ends in a grove of aspen and a field of wildflowers (May 26) below the radio and TV towers. Note: those towers and the canyon I imagine made my GPS a bit off. The intersection with La Luz was hundreds of feet downtrail from where the GPS and AllTrails map said it was. The trail is actually a trail most of the time so if you’re making your own deer trails or the Ap says to go through the dense forest or up a cliff, reassess. The views and overall Zen of this hike rate the full 5 stars. Chimney Canyon is mostly through forest. See the Chimney Canyon pictures.

Really enjoyable hike. Views along the ridge to the south peak were fantastic. The rocky stretch at the start is very hot with very little cover from the sun. If you're returning in the heat of the day, be prepared.

Really beautiful, challenging trail. I started at the Pino Trailhead to get to the Domingo Baca Trailhead, which adds about .5 to the 7.7 mile trail. Starts with a desert landscape, slightly scaling to overlook Albuquerque then into very rocky terrain at the base, into shady, wooded terrain. It gets more challenging after the first mile. If you’re not acclimated to the already 6000’ city of Albuquerque, then this will be very challenging (I just got here a few days ago and had to go much slower than my usual pace). You climb about 1000’ in the first 2.5 miles. I only made it 4 miles in, and will go back as I am more acclimated. Enjoy!

Beautiful and challenging trail. The last half up to the TWA site has significant altitude gain. You should be in good condition, especially if you don't live at mile high altitude. The plane wreckage is historic and creates a bit of a melancholy vibe, which adds a unique aspect to the hike.When I did this hike two years ago I tried to keep up with a group 25+ years younger than me as they raced down the trail. I wound up with a torn meniscus and knee surgery! Not likely to happen to you (I hope), but that's probably what stopped me from clicking 5 stars.

worth checking out. and if u like going off trail and really feeling some altitude its a few miles to la luz and right up to the tram. be prepared to deal with lots of foliage and some steep includes that can have loose rocks. my favorite part of this trail was the memorial for those who died in the crash very peaceful.

awesome trail! If you like a good challenge this one will do it for you towards the end. The crash site is epic and makes you think about life. It almost goes to la luz. It tough to tell where it goes at times but I ended up going off trail at the end to hit the tram awesome exercise

A beautiful and challenging hike. And a great workout with beautiful views. Also lots of critters to enjoy. Saw a red tailed hawk perched on a tree right beside the trail. Saw the most gorgeous horny road I’ve ever seen as well as a gopher snake. All in the same day! Overall a beautiful day on a beautiful mountain.

Stellar hike on Watermelon Mountain. Do it.

Beautiful scenery in the forest canyon and breathtaking views the at the top. Not an easy hike but well worth the trek. I will say there is something a little creepy about the rock caves here and there. Combine that with the cougar prints and bear activity and it gave me the heebies while hiking alone as the sun set.

Tough trail, lots of boulders but with nice breaks of relatively level sand. Lightly trafficked so you’re not passing or yielding to other hikers all the time

backpacking
6 months ago

A truly challenging hike, not for the faint of heart! Great path to the 1955 Plane Wreckage memorial. Be aware that it can be a bit difficult to distinguish the trail at times.

7 months ago

Great hike! The high altitude makes the last bit of it difficult but it’s worth it.

Great hike!

Great hike! Lots of views and super enjoyable!

Definitely a challenging but rewarding hike! A lot of climbing and steep elevation near the crash site, but worth it!

Wonderful/ beautiful hike, very steep towards the end of the hike. Continuing past the crash site will take you to the top of the La Luz. Would highly recommend.

This was hands down one of my favorite hikes that I have done in the Albuquerque area. The hike is challenging, but you feel so rewarded when completed. Looking up above and seeing the Tram was really surreal! The TWA plane crash stretches up the mountain at the end of the hike for quite a ways...It is very sad, but also very interesting. Take lots of snacks and water!

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