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.

Easy to access, steep, scenic and counter clockwise is definitely better. Fun hike nice mix of single track, switchbacks and light bouldering

hiking
21 days ago

Very pleaseant trail for a quick Sunday afternoon hike.
Easy to find, well indicated. However, far too many mountain bikes (we had to yield every 2 mins).

1 month ago

The way down on the North side was entirely too steep and slippery with kids.
The trail itself seemed off from what my GPS said, so we ended up off trail for a good while.
With just adults it’s probably fine, but don’t take kids.

Wow what a different view of the Sandias! Beautiful. St the top you can decide to go right and explore knifes edge or left and explore another good bouldering spot. Very beautiful.

A multitude of trails makes reliance on gps a good idea out and back. I’ve gone clockwise, and counter clockwise, and the latter is a bit steeper. Can be windy at the top. And wonderful views!

Well-maintained trail system with lots of different offshoots and options for hikers and dog walkers, runners, and bikers. Pretty busy on the weekend so be prepared to share the trail. Relatively easy for hiking but beautiful backdrops of the mountains, wildflowers/brush, and houses. Parking lot holds about 25 cars and has a porta-potty but no water.

enjoy early in the morning.

very scenic. Good views of Albuquerque area. lots of scramble but not dangerous. Go slow and enjoy!

My fav short foothills trail. Who needs a stair master.

great trail. lots of choices. we'll definitely. do it again.

It’s really pretty and not to hard to hike. Just make sure you bring lots of water.

This is a shorter hike, but there is very little shade and a lot of elevation changes. If you aren't acclimated, I'd rate it Difficult.

There is a cutoff, visible on the Topo map, beyond the Needle (Rock gap) by about half a mile.

Lots of climbing rocks.

Overall moderate hike with some difficulty sections and precarious footing when descending.

* All recommendations say to go counter clockwise so I did. You should. Makes your descent longer and not as steep meaning your ascent will be a bit steeper.

* You need the map. You will get lost. Too many trail intersections at the beggining and end.

* If you follow the trail counterclockwise you won't miss the "eye"

* There is one spot you will be on all fours for a moment to go down and continue on the trail.

* NO SHADE so maybe early morning and non summer hiking.

* Good hike overall for locals or people who have spent no time in the southwest

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.

hiking
7 months ago

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!

8 months ago

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.

hiking
8 months 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.

hiking
8 months 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.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Saw 5 deer on the trail.

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