Explore the most popular wildlife 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
4 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
6 days 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
10 days ago

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

hiking
11 days 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
18 days 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.

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
26 days ago

Super rocky but beautiful views

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...

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

hiking
1 month 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

Great trail loop. Snow is still melting so it was muddy Nd sometimes icy in early March. I was glad I had my spikes with me.

Great loop, but the hike up the crest spur is pretty steep, more on a moderate level. Fairly exposed to wind most of the time, if it's blowing.

Gorgeous views, quiet trail - not a lot of traffic. All uphill until you turn around- worth the scenery

the stairs at the switchback get slippery. beware.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views

Not too hard at all. There wasn’t too much snow on the trail at all. We completed it on Feb 10. Took us about 3ish hours, but we are typically slow hikers. Enjoy :)

trail running
2 months ago

great for running, despite the rocks it's doable.

Coldbeans!

This trail is only hard in that it’s constant elevation gain - I wouldn’t consider it technically challenging etc.

I went on Feb 8, 2018 and successfully drive a Nissan Quest minivan all the way to the trail head. In the morning it was fine; by afternoon the road had softened in areas and became too slick for a novice driver (but otherwise manageable in low gear).

The trail itself was a mix of dry surface in addition to hard snow, iced snow, and slick mud. Weather was beautiful and sunny.

Overall this was a nice climb through woods and up onto the grassy mountain top. Don’t expect huge payoffs on the views until you reach the switchbacks. The 3rd or 4th switchback is a fakeout and wraps around the slope toward your left, out of sight. While windy at the top, the sun was warm and skies clear.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful Trail, but wasn't extremely well marked...Also, pretty sure that it was longer than 3.5 miles...Or maybe we got off the trail somewhere? The views were fantastic! Definitely worth the hike! The road going up is rough, so make sure you have a worthy car!

The top of the mountain has a gorgeous skyline view of the mountains and the City of Albuquerque. My German Shepherd also enjoys this trail. At the trailhead, they do have a bathroom facility. I recommend you go early, as there is limited parking.

hiking
3 months ago

All signs are rotted, fallen or missing. Felt like we got lost or on wrong path so we set off in the direction of our car then randomly hit the trail we were originally supposed to be on... cute trail with some nice views but ended being almost 8 miles and put me in a bad mood feeling off track.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a nice short trail that takes you to the crest trail number 170. The difficulty of this trail system is not bad. It begins rather easy and quickly changes over to a steep grade that last for about a half mile. After the steep grade the trail continues to gain elevation mildly. Once you hit the crest trail it is either north or south from there. A short hike north offers great views of Valencia and Torreon county. From this point there are several options you can do such as continue north to the fourth of July trail and make it a loop trail. You can continue hiking north on the crest trail where you will meet a fence that has a gate to open and from this point a little farther north opens up to awesome views of Bernalillo county.

I have also backpacked to the top and have camped off the crest trail close to the point of where Cerro Blanco and the crest trail meet. You have an opportunity to see amazing sunsets and lots of wildlife. The major con is the lack of water, I had to hike up lots of water to have for drinking and meal preparations, needless to say I do this just as an overnight.

Checked out the trail today! A gorgeous morning on a great trail. It was a constant incline but nothing strenuous. The views are great. Traffic was low on the way up, but higher on the way down. Snow on the top. Can’t wait to hike it again.

Well marked trail, steady incline, great views. Snow at the very top.

South facing trail that has a good incline. Definitely want to hike during the cooler months. Nice views at the top of trail.

This is now one of my favorite hikes in Albuquerque! Beautiful.

Load More