Explore the most popular birding trails in Sandia Foothills Open Space Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

l think it's 8 miles. Easy to get off trail especially in Boulder field. I would rate as Hard. Views were fantastic and also take extra water!

What a fun and challenging trail! I can see how people might get off trail. I had the app open to check our progress against the highlighted trail. It seems to be more than 4 miles. Bring more water than you think you need.

It is a steeper trail, easy to get off trail (do follow the map!), in full sun. Nice views, some fun rock formations and boulders.

The eye is a little less than halfway if following the loop counterclockwise. You are looking for a very large Boulder area that has an eye painted on the side of it.

I made a recording to show Eye location. Look for the RED dot where there's a break in my recording (southern portion of loop). Zoom in, it's a pic of the area. NOTE: The Eye is itty bitty in the pic! Enlarge the pic, you'll see the eye under the large Boulder with green moss toward the center. Enjoy the hike!

Hot and dry. If you like views of developed land, that’s what you’ll get. I would not do again.

Good trail. Love the incline and climbing over rocks; I was breathing hard the first half mile. I got a good workout. It’s not boring like some dirt trails. You actually are climbing a small mountain or large hill; whatever your preference.

Did most of this trail with my nine year old twins, they loved it because of all the rocks to climb on. For the most part it was easy to see the signs pointing the trail out which was very necessary. But on the way down we got a little confused. We might do it again, but I’d definitely make sure your kids are going to follow instructions before you let them do it

I've been wanting to do this trail for some time. Finally, today we got out. It's a hard trail. We climbed all the way up and unfortunately did not find the eye or the blue feet. If anyone could help us out with tips where the eye actually is so we can find it next time, I would really appreciate it!

Love this trail!

I.was very excited to go to this trail but there's no markings and I got lost dozen of times. Some trails are not trails but it looks like it and some are trails but there's no way to figure out. I ended up going to way off trail and phone was going to die so I ran as quick as I could to find the way back. I didn't get to see the "eye", so disappointed.

1 month ago

My intention was to do a trail running but I was climbing rocks for the most part and was not able to run until I was coming down. Came from Colorado, so this was first hike in New Mexico and enjoyed a lot. Glad there were allow signs to guided me to the right direction, otherwise I could get lost.

1 month ago

It was a great hike!! But I would also rate it hard. I’m an active 22 year old female, but there is a lot of up hill terrain which really worked by legs. Awesome views, eye was not at what I was expecting, quite disappointed Lol. Also definitely longer then 4 miles!

I really enjoyed this hike. It has a little bit of everything; pine forest, desert scrub, nice hard packed trail, boulder scrambling and dramatic views. PL starts at the water storage tank and ascends the rim of the valley. The first 1.5 miles or so are a bit of a steep climb, but then the trails flatens a bit and the views open up. You can hike the entire PL trail as an out and back.

About midway through the loop you'll find the junction with the Del Auga trail. The name comes from the fact that the top half of the trail is actually a drainage that had running water when I hiked it. There are several sections of large boulders that require some scrambling and strong evidence of water erosion on rocks. I would not kike this trail during or right after a rain event due to the likelihood of flash flooding!

Once pass this section, the trail separates from the water course and provides dramatic views of the vast plain below.

Great hike. First time our in ABQ and my wife and I had a great time on this trail. Good views and friendly people. Took the recommendation of many others and went counter clockwise, great tip and highly recommend. We also got off the main trail once when I wasn’t hawking the map so make sure you do a good job verifying you’re land navigation.

I loved this trail! The view from the top and the eye made it completely worth it. However, this app has it listed as moderate, when I would rate it hard. I've done trails rated as hard and this is very similar.

Great hike. Saw 5 deer on the trail.

trail running
3 months ago

This is an amazing trail! I do this (or some close variation) twice a week. I'll usually hike/job up at a brisk pace ad then run down! The trail is not always clearly marked, and there are a lot of small offshoots, but it's not hard to know where you are as you basically can see the road and the parking area throughout the hike/run.

trail running
3 months ago

Quick fun trail run/hike in the Sandias. I did the trail counter clockwise as suggested. Trail well defined but not well marked, many off shoots that can get you off trail. I did this for the first time on a night run and lost the trail twice, so I recommend downloading the map. Steep sections with loose rocks and a few large boulders to traverse, but nothing crazy. The eye and view at the top are worth the hike!!

Nice quick hike

Terrain was a little rough.. very dusty and lots of sliding. Also pretty intense incline and got lost quite a few times at the beginning. Eye is very pretty though and great views of the other side of the mountain.

Very awesome hike for an afternoon in Albuquerque! Can be a little tricky with larger rocks towards the last bit of the hike, but still very doable. Our 2 1/2 month old corgi puppy did the majority of this hike with ease.

This trail was great. The difficulty surprised me a little. Starting out counterclockwise is advised. You can’t miss the eye, if you go counterclockwise. As previous reviews state, you almost have to follow a gps, or use the record feature on this app, as it outlines the trail really well, to find the eye. There are a ton of off shoots for other trails and the trail is not marked well. Definitely recommend it. My 8yo made it, no problem.

Susan Trumbo, IDK which direction it faces, but if you take the trail counter clock-wise (which I recommend sorta) you can't miss it. It is not to far from the peak and will be on the left side of the trail. When you are facing it, turn around and you see a "mouth" too. Now having said that here is the rest of my review about this trail. First, there are so many off-shoot trails that the trail is extremely hard to follow. Thankfully, we had our All Trails map downloaded and a full battery on the phone. There is virtually no signage! It seems there are trails going everywhere. I highly recommend some sort of device that will help you get back, whether a map and compass, GPS, or all trails map downloaded to phone with full battery. As far as difficulty, I will write this for both directions. First let me say, I'm an avid hiker who has not had the opportunity for a few months to hike in the mountains so I'm a bit out of shape. Next. I'm a short 65 y.o lady. Finally, I made it! :) When you go clock-wise, you have to climb some pretty good boulders to get to the very top and I'm assuming continue the trail. We didn't see anywhere else to continue this as as the loop as it is described and according to our downloaded map we were still on trail. Now, the down-side of doing the trail counter clockwise would be having to go down those same boulders. I think it was safer to go up for me. The only other issues that would make this trail hard was the scree. Parts of the trail are very steep with lots of loose, pebbly, rock (scree). It is very easy to lose your footing if you aren't careful. I certainly recommend good boots, hiking pole are very helpful, a first aid kit, a whistle, and plenty of snacks and water. If you are going in the winter, extra layers of clothes as you know it is colder and windier at the top. One last thing. When we reached to top, we found a young man who was there. He had fallen. He had lost a shoe, the least of his issues. He had taken a face plant and literally peeled the skin back from his entire chin and nose, and had cut his eye. I think his nose may have been broken. He had also peeled the skin back off his knee. He said he was fasting and initially wouldn't take any food, but I finally convinced him to do so. We patched him up (with that first aid kit) the best we could. He was coherent and there didn't seem to be any neurological issues (at least none caused by the fall) we did question what he was using. People just don't see the need in carrying first aid and a whistle. I don't care where I go. Even the kindest trails. I won't go without those extra two things. So I've told you all this, just to say. This trail is no joke and there are definite precautions you should take. It is a good trail with a good variety of activities. Just be careful. I would rate it on the higher side of moderate.

Very fun to do with family! Some parts were trickier for the younger ones but a lot of fun overall!

What direction does the eye face? Do you have to climb over boulders to stay on the main trail? There are a lot of side trails and poor signage. I’m going to try to find the eye again and could use a few tips.

Really nice footing for walking, pretty views, and many trails on which to detour. Started out on U Mound and switched off onto South Foothills for a short, relatively easy hike.

Many trails to choose from for every rider. Beginner to difficult drops and downhill action. Great place to ride.

This hikes nice to get out for a couple hours but not have to drive out of town. The terrain puts this at the high end of moderate. Steep inclines on loose ground. Having to traverse large boulders. The eye drawing is cool once you reach it. Poorly marked trail.

Some boulders make this fun.

I went well the 1.9 miles that’s shown for the trail. Well marked and then you are on your own scrambling up the rocks in what is water flow track from the Sandia’s.

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