Explore the most popular walking 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.

With current construction it was hard to find trail head. Check with tram lodge for a better map. Nice hike though. Windy.

hiking
1 day ago

Starts at high altitude & in the trees, this trail provides cooler temps & shade with nice vistas looking east. Trail ends at a fence which marks joining the South Crest Trail. If you go straight and follow the SCT a few hundred yards, you will find an assortment of unmarked paths off to your left that will lead to a nice outcropping of ledge exposing nice vistas looking east. Highly recommend this half day hike.

hiking
6 days 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!

Always enjoy this trail Fall/Winter times when temps usually don't rise above mid-50s. Plenty of bird activity as sun was setting.

Boring trail, no good payoff, and mediocre views.

hiking
13 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
20 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
21 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
26 days ago

Visiting from PHX only had a couple hours to sneak in a hike. Pretty solid trail and a good climb I recorded 1591 AEG with all but 20 feet of it coming on the hike up to where the trail joins Embudo at the ridge. Wish I had more time would have loved to continue up to South Sandia Peak as the ridgeline trail did not offer much in terms of views. There were a couple really cool boulder outcrops below the ridge that provide great viewpoints back down the trail and valley you hike up through. Lots of scat on trail possibly small blackbear, not a scat expert, but was definitely not K9 or feline

hiking
29 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
1 month ago

Easy trail with beautiful views. Dog and kid friendly.

hiking
1 month 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

Easy trail to follow, good burn, and spectacular views. Definitely will do again!

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
2 months 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.

Enjoyed the trail, great views. Didn’t find the springs...

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