Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Cibola National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

Lovely trail. Not too busy. Amazing views especially from the summit. Pretty wildflowers and cool temperatures.

Woof. First morning in town after driving from Buffalo, NY (maybe 500ft above sea level?) so no acclimatization. Got a later start than we wanted (9:50am) so it pretty warm during the least enjoyable parts of the trail. First ~2mi was tough to even find the trail. Scrawl that makes up most of the second half can be tiring if your arches aren’t used to it. I consider myself in good shape and a pretty experienced hiker but tbh it was Pretty brutal but a real challenge. Took us about 6hrs in all (with a few stops for pictures and starts down wrong trails). Took the tram down. Glad I did it once, don’t know if I feel compelled to do it again soon....

Beautiful!

Boring trail, no good payoff, and mediocre views.

hiking
8 days ago

Nice and shady

The view at the end of this hike is incredible. it is mostly downhill on the way there but uphill on the way back. took us about 3 hours with a 30 minute break at the end of the trail.

easy hike with some amazing views!

You hike 2.6 miles to get to the LaLuz trail. The climb is pretty moderate and there are some rocky areas in the last 3 miles of the trail. Very pretty views throughout.

hiking
15 days ago

This is a moderately challenging little hike. The 9 mike version would involve some serious slide risk, particularly on the return hike. Unless you are an experienced hiker, skip it. For good training and great views, hike to the second rock outcropping, enjoy the view, turn around, and hit a local brewery. You earned it. And, yes, you are likely to see hawks soaring in the thermals.

hiking
16 days ago

This is a great trail. It is well groomed and well marked. Do not wear your sneakers on this trail, you need hiking boots because it is Rocky. Keep in mind that the full loop comes back on Chalk Dust trail.

Came to the top of mountain to see the view without knowing of this trail’s existence. Was very pleasantly surprised upon finding the trail and the views it afforded. Would certainly recommend to others.

hiking
24 days ago

See my report. I had a great time, especially coming down the Chalk Dust Trail.

Did this hike yesterday. This was my first hike in the Sandias since moving back to New Mexico after 50 years away. Spent 2 hours on the ascent, stopping lots for photos, and an hour down. Excellent trail through the pinyon-juniper woodland. The view at the pass is amazing. Next time I want to do the Piedra Lisa trail from the north trailhead above Placitas, over this pass, and repeat this descent.

The first half of the trail is a strenuous uphill but with a good amount of shade. Once you reach the top there are amazing views of the city, and if you follow the short Rincon trail, you come upon an outcrop of rock that is easily climbed to afford even better views. Overall a very enjoyable hike!

hiking
29 days ago

Easy trail with beautiful views. Dog and kid friendly.

hiking
30 days ago

Decided to hike this trail with our dog today, Saturday 4/21, when our car couldn't make it out the rough road to a different section of the Piedra Lisa trail. The road to this one is paved, and there is a good-sized parking area at the trailhead. I liked it a lot better than most of the other trails I've done in the Sandia foothills. It is shaded most of the way. The trail is easy to follow (not a convoluted web of trails!). We went past where the AllTrails map ends to a nice outcrop with views. It took us 52 minutes each way. Most of the challenge comes from the elevation gain. We started around 10:20, and several other groups were out, but it was not bad at all for a Saturday.

hiking
1 month ago

The really outstanding views are blocked by trees for the majority of the hike, but if you can make it to the end of the trail, I guarantee you will be rewarded :)

hiking
1 month ago

I did a loop trail to South Peak going up the CCC Route and back on the South Crest Trail, which is about 11.5 miles. There’s now a small cairn marking the CCC Route off the South Crest Trail just past the sign for the Upper Faulty Trail, but it’s simpler to just take the Upper Faulty Trail and turn left at the big pile of rocks immediately in front of you.

See my recording for the trail to South Peak off of the South Crest Trail. It is marked by a sign. What is now marked by a small cairn is a great back way off this trail (also on the recording). You head across a field with the trail only sometimes visible and then into the forest (quite steep at first). The wind is blocked as you go through the aspens and past some nice rock formations to come out right at the top of South Peak! The return loop can be the usual trail to Embudito and then left to join the Crest Trail.

The CCC Route is 1.7 miles and gains 1720 ft in the process, from 7600 to 9320 ft elevation. There are only a few “steps” and no real switchbacks, so
mostly you are just hiking the grade, which never gets super-steep like Oso Ridge or Hawk Watch (two other great trails that can be made into loops and include South Peak). The CCC Route opens up to a rocky expanse in a few places and I turned on the recorder to find the trail.

Be sure to check out Travertine Falls and the rock cave off the South Crest Trail before the Faulty Trail turnoff on the way up (there’s a sign for both these trails). The trail to Travertine Falls rejoins the South Crest Trail and actually cuts a little off of it. It’s the loop on the recording.

hiking
1 month ago

I’m happy I did this trail but won’t be doing it again. It’s the least charming of the longer Sandia trails. The middle portion of the trail is poorly maintained, filled with overgrown scrub and dead trees blocking the trail and the creepy shack in the least hiked section of the trail was eerie. I wasn’t really paying attention to the topo map so each descent that was followed by another grueling climb became a little demoralizing after the third or forth time. The last few miles to the tram were a steady incline and the map in AllTrails was wrong at one point so I ended up doubling back to find the actual trail. (& This is totally my fault but I didn’t check to make sure the tram was running and when I got there it was closed for maintenance so I hiked another two miles in the dark (with headlamp thankfully) through pitch black snowy forest to the north crest and got a ride back down the mountain. All told it was closer to a 17 or 18 mile hike. The Forest Service map says the South Crest Trail is 15.97 miles but AllTrails says 13.9 - not sure which is correct but the AllTrails map errors on this trail make me thing the park services map is the more accurate. Happy to say I’ve now section hiked the full crest but will skip the south portion in the future.

Really great views but the trail was snowy and icy as you moved away from the crest and into the forest.

hiking
1 month ago

Great loop: Otero Canyon, left on Blue Ribbon, right on Gnasty, right on Otero Canyon back to the trailhead. 5.5 miles, about 5-600’ elevation increase (mostly in the first 1.5 miles).

This is an enjoyable hike with a really wide variety of scenery and terrain, from open ridge tops, to pine forest (with some beautiful Ponderosa pines), to rock walls and boulder-strewn washes. I hiked it on a red flag warning day, and the wind wasn’t bothersome at all, except a short stretch on the ridge top. This trail is exceptionally rocky in many areas, even compared to others in the area.

The Otero Canyon out & back listed here is cut off less than 2 miles in by the DOD withdrawal and is well marked no admittance. I guess lots of people still go in that area, but if you’d like to avoid breaking federal law, try this loop instead.

Great shady hike with awesome views at the top. Strenuous uphill and really smooth downhill. Great footing as well. Should take 2 hours or less for a regular hiker.

hiking
1 month ago

Super rocky but beautiful views

hiking
1 month ago

It's rated moderate but I think some people will find it closer to difficult. There are a LOT of ups and downs and I was definitely glad I was wearing my hiking boots or else I'm sure I would have twisted my ankle a couple of times. It's an absolutely beautiful trail with lots of great views of the Rio Grande Valley as well as the Sandia Mountains.

There are quite a few side trails and it's easy to get off the main trail, and by our calculations, we walked 2.5 miles from the parking lot at the Tram to the La Luz trailhead, NOT the 1.7 miles the marker said at the beginning of the trail. So bring lots of water and energy snacks, and hiking poles will definitely help. I wish I'd had a hat on by the end of our three hour out and back in early December. I don't think we will do this trail in the Summer.

Lovely hike even though trail pretty icy. Be sure to check out Kiwanis Cabin. Only did part of trail because of time limitations but will definitely return to finish.

Take water , snacks and get ready for a pretty intense hike, a good amount of climbing and amazing views. stay on the trail and be mindful of your GPS or alltrails app as there are places where it is easy to get lost. my buddy and I took 2 cars and had a few "accidental detours" that added 2 hours... ouch

great short hike with cool views of the hills. good for beginners

Great hike to do on a snowy Sunday. The tram was busy but the rest of the trail was empty.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike has the best view from the top! It snowed on us the whole way. One thing it doesn’t tell you is when you reach what looks like end on this app you reach a intersection and go through the fence and it takes you to the top! Great time for sure

Load More