Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Sandia Mountain Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Really enjoyable hike. Views along the ridge to the south peak were fantastic. The rocky stretch at the start is very hot with very little cover from the sun. If you're returning in the heat of the day, be prepared.

Really beautiful, challenging trail. I started at the Pino Trailhead to get to the Domingo Baca Trailhead, which adds about .5 to the 7.7 mile trail. Starts with a desert landscape, slightly scaling to overlook Albuquerque then into very rocky terrain at the base, into shady, wooded terrain. It gets more challenging after the first mile. If you’re not acclimated to the already 6000’ city of Albuquerque, then this will be very challenging (I just got here a few days ago and had to go much slower than my usual pace). You climb about 1000’ in the first 2.5 miles. I only made it 4 miles in, and will go back as I am more acclimated. Enjoy!

Beautiful and challenging trail. The last half up to the TWA site has significant altitude gain. You should be in good condition, especially if you don't live at mile high altitude. The plane wreckage is historic and creates a bit of a melancholy vibe, which adds a unique aspect to the hike.When I did this hike two years ago I tried to keep up with a group 25+ years younger than me as they raced down the trail. I wound up with a torn meniscus and knee surgery! Not likely to happen to you (I hope), but that's probably what stopped me from clicking 5 stars.

worth checking out. and if u like going off trail and really feeling some altitude its a few miles to la luz and right up to the tram. be prepared to deal with lots of foliage and some steep includes that can have loose rocks. my favorite part of this trail was the memorial for those who died in the crash very peaceful.

Easy trail with outstanding views.

awesome trail! If you like a good challenge this one will do it for you towards the end. The crash site is epic and makes you think about life. It almost goes to la luz. It tough to tell where it goes at times but I ended up going off trail at the end to hit the tram awesome exercise

A chill loop, nice to do around sunset. Lots of mountain bikers so watch out!

A beautiful and challenging hike. And a great workout with beautiful views. Also lots of critters to enjoy. Saw a red tailed hawk perched on a tree right beside the trail. Saw the most gorgeous horny road I’ve ever seen as well as a gopher snake. All in the same day! Overall a beautiful day on a beautiful mountain.

hiking
25 days ago

The trail itself was fine, but it wasn’t as interesting to me as the previous hikes I have been on. Mostly flat. Would rate it easy to moderate. At least try it once.

Stellar hike on Watermelon Mountain. Do it.

hiking
1 month ago

See recording from today. The only parts recorded are an easier way to access Oso Ridge from Embudito (it’s just the second left after the Embudito trail marker), a direct way to South Peak from the top/end of the Oso Ridge trail, and the path back through Embudito Canyon off of Embudito trail (which cuts at least half a mile off the trip and of course is another great way up).

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorites now. It’s a pretty good elevation gain but feels less strenuous than La Luz because it’s a longer trail so the climb is spread out. It’s a good blend of covered forest and open scrub. Probably a good idea to wear pants as that scrub takes a few layers off. There is still snow on the trail on the top 2 or 3 miles (March 30) but micro spikes weren’t a necessity. There are a few spots with spectacular views but most of the crest trail is set back a bit from the edge - unlike the top of La Luz. I hiked from the bottom to the tram (a little over 12 miles) in about 6.5 hours. Don’t plan on catching an Uber if your want to hop off around mile 10. Better to have someone pick you up or just walk the extra few cushy miles to the tram. It’s a pretty good workout so bring plenty of water and some poles. Oh and I saw a bobcat which was awesome! Even better - saw no bears : )

Beautiful scenery in the forest canyon and breathtaking views the at the top. Not an easy hike but well worth the trek. I will say there is something a little creepy about the rock caves here and there. Combine that with the cougar prints and bear activity and it gave me the heebies while hiking alone as the sun set.

Tough trail, lots of boulders but with nice breaks of relatively level sand. Lightly trafficked so you’re not passing or yielding to other hikers all the time

Nice easy hike. If you want to avoid the bikers I recommend taking the side trails. Very pleasant overall.

Very nice hike. Easy and relaxing.

backpacking
2 months ago

A truly challenging hike, not for the faint of heart! Great path to the 1955 Plane Wreckage memorial. Be aware that it can be a bit difficult to distinguish the trail at times.

This should be designated as a bicycle trail as the number of cyclists greatly outnumber hikers, at least midday on a Sunday. It's hard to hike when you have to get off the trail every minute or two to let bikers (who ignore the signs that say bikers yield to hikers) pass. This was our first time on the trail and had a difficult time following the map because the trails are not well-marked. There are a few places where two or three trails branch off and there are no signs telling which is the one you want. The map and signs are great if you know where you're going already, but not helpful for a first timer. The scenery is nice but it's not an enjoyable hiking experience.

3 months ago

Great hike! The high altitude makes the last bit of it difficult but it’s worth it.

Great hike!

Great hike! Lots of views and super enjoyable!

Definitely a challenging but rewarding hike! A lot of climbing and steep elevation near the crash site, but worth it!

Wonderful/ beautiful hike, very steep towards the end of the hike. Continuing past the crash site will take you to the top of the La Luz. Would highly recommend.

It’s not so nice during the winter when everything around is brown.

More like a walk than a hike but very enjoyable

This was hands down one of my favorite hikes that I have done in the Albuquerque area. The hike is challenging, but you feel so rewarded when completed. Looking up above and seeing the Tram was really surreal! The TWA plane crash stretches up the mountain at the end of the hike for quite a ways...It is very sad, but also very interesting. Take lots of snacks and water!

Perfect afternoon hike!
NOTE- the old approach trail is CLOSED. Enter via new trail directly across from the parking lot!!!!
Do not use the old trail!

Not the prettiest place in the world, but it's quiet and very interesting. Always something to enjoy. I love the massive rocks & the bright moss, beautiful dessert foliage & fall colors in the canyon.
We did some geo-caching here with the kids too. 2 were duds but one was a good little cache. But really it's fun to just treasure hunt

Well maintained, but a very popular trail. Everyone there was nice and the mountain bikers were well behaved for trail sharing. However, pet owners either don't pick up poop, or they bag it then leave the bags along the trail. We saw at least 10 bags of crap.

hiking
4 months ago

This was the kind of trail that, for me, taught me a few things. At just shy of 7 hours, it was pretty grueling. In fact, the last 4 hours were grueling. 2 caveats to that: I’m from sea level. I hiked to the South peak and back, covering about 15 miles a few days earlier.

Another important point about the North Crest Trail was that the road to the trailhead was too washed out for my mother in laws low profile car to get me all the way there, so I had to hike an extra 1/4 mi or so at the beginning.

By the end, my knees were hurting pretty badly every time I lifted my legs up to take a step and even worse whenever I had to walk down hill or, God forbid, down anything that looked like a step. For the last 2 miles I was pretty focused on completion and was leaning VERY heavily on two sticks that I had picked up along the way.

My plan was to walk down La Luz when I got there. Ha! The arrogance! The fallback plan was to walk along the ridge the additional 2 miles and take the tram down. No way I could have walked any further than the peak. I ended up hitching a ride back to ABQ from the parking lot at the peak.

So... I learned to not try to save weight while traveling if I plan to hike, I absolutely need walking sticks for any kind of serious hike. I learned that a 4,000 foot gain qualifies as serious. I probably should have been fresher for this and not recovering from a hike earlier in the week. And included Tylenol in my day pack.

I’d do it again though. The trail was empty and beautiful.

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