Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Good trail, lots of options of where to go. I enjoyed getting up in elevation as you had shade and trees.

hiking
1 day ago

I really enjoyed this little hike. I didn’t complete the whole thing because twice I got off the main trail because it was unclear where the real trail was. My phone was dying so I was trying to use the app as little as possible but if I had a fully charged phone, it would have been easy to navigate. A beautiful trail with lots of wild flowers. Maybe I didn’t go far enough but I don’t understand the hard rating for difficulty. It was rocky in places but down hill to start with. Some of the side trails coming off the road are actually better because you don’t have to contend with the rocks. The trees are much denser though. July/August there are almost always late afternoon thunder storms so you might want to take that into account when planning. I’ve been in lightning storms twice in the Sandias and they’re pretty scary. I love September/early October in the Sandias. The aspens are turning yellow, the weather is cool and you just might catch the ski lift open that goes to the top of the crest to look out over ABQ. Only $3 to ride.

hiking
2 days ago

LPT: As you go into the canyon, stay on the North or left side for the easier way through the rocks. This is dog friendly. Make sure and look for the trail leaving the wash as you leave the big rocks, otherwise you will be walking in stand. When you catch the trail on the South side, you will then see the Embudo Horse Bypass coming in from the South or right. If you do an out and back, come back on this trail for a change. It will take you above the rocks with a good view. Once you get to the west end of the ridgeline, turn north and drop down to the trail you came in. on.

Worth the trek. Navigation gets tricky after Domingo baca trail as you head towards the TWA crash site. Highly recommend to keep an eye on waypoints.

easy and good trail for even first day

Need more trail markers , otherwise beautiful trail

12 days ago

It probably wouldn’t be so bad in winter but not a great summer hike. Indecent amounts of exposure and views weren’t that great. There are many trails that are much better in the Sandias.

From the 10k parking lot we went down in elevation, maybe along what the map titles capulin trail 234a. Looked to be some decent mountain bike jumps. Found patches of wild raspberries and currants, mullein, yarrow, plantain and alfalfa in right next to the parking.

hiking
14 days ago

This hike is not for the faint of heart. It’s very difficult, but the views are breath-taking. We started at the tram trail (2.5 miles) which then connected to the La Luz Trail so we did about 10 miles total including the trek to the Tram. This is definitely not a hike for beginners, but is a great challenge. We did this hike in preparation for Wheeler Peak in September. If you hike this on a weekend and ride the tram down expect to wait about 45 mins or more to get on a tram back down the mountain.

17 days ago

Great trail.

hiking
22 days ago

Probably the best hike in New Mexico! Start as early as you can to beat the heat.

hiking
24 days ago

Difficult but the views make you forget about all of that. beautiful wildflowers along the path and we were greeted by a cute bunny. there's a rock formation that reminded us of a thumbs up and it helped us press on.

hiking
25 days ago

First hike I’ve taken in years. It’s defiantly a challenge because of how quickly the elevation rises. I became slightly dizzy at one point and took a 10 minute break. The most important part though is to keep moving. It certainly isn’t an easy hike.

I forget which trail we took because there were two paths. I think we ended up on the back side of the mountain because we never saw the tram. Either way me and my mate managed 5.13 miles in a 3 hour 15 minute hike. There are portions that have nothing but gravel in ridiculously steep areas, so proper footwear is an absolute must. Also beware that cacti is abundant across the trail. I accidentally slipped and my hand landed right on top of one.

In the end, I’d do it again. The trail offered incredible views and is certainly offers a true hike. Not for beginners in the slightest bit.

Did the first 4 miles today. Going back tomorrow to do it all.

hiking
29 days ago

There had been closures of this range due to fire hazards but it is indeed open as of 7/21. We got to the area late in the day and decided to ride the tram up and hike down. We’re in good shape but will never race to set a record as we enjoy taking in the sites and taking pictures. That’s not to say we don’t hump out a good pace at times. We started the descent at 17:00 and made it to the parking lot at 21:00, a solid four hours. Trail is well marked. It was 85 at the top when we started. Consumed about 1.5L each. There is decent exposure but if you’re not the clumsy type and pay attention it’s no biggie. The AllTrails map says 13.3 up and down. We logged 7.3 on my Suunto coming down only which I have to reconcile.

Steep. B’cse of poorly marked trail in early miles, general recommendation is ‘bear right.’ The trail is good.

This hike is quite strenuous at the beginning because the first 2.5 miles are climbing through mostly desert and rocky areas. It doesn’t start to vary until you enter the forest. There are intermittent views at the beginning and the top but that’s not really what this hike is for. There are better views, the hike itself is lovely. Be careful if you hike in summer like I just did. I had 2 liters for 5 hours and it was just enough. The last 3 miles back to the car in 100 degree weather is brutal so be mindful of that. Use lots of sunscreen and bring extra water.

Back open

trail running
1 month ago

**CLOSED All wilderness areas (trails to the peaks)** because of drought and fear of wildfires. Shorter trails in the immediate area are open. Beautiful area, will be back for the peak. Call to figure out when they re-open

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of trail closures in the Cibola National Forest due to lack of rain. Check before you go.

Lovely views. No shade so go when it’s cool. Nice trail for dogs.

on Osha Loop Trail

2 months ago

Whole area closed due to high fire hazard.

hiking
2 months ago

Great tree cover. Nice views of the west valley. Easy terrain. Downhill on the way out, uphill on the way back.

Parked at the Crest House and hiked the Crest Spur to the La Luz trail down and Chimney Canyon back up. Would not want to hike down the upper part of Chimney Canyon but going up is a great workout, even if you stow the poles and use all fours for awhile. The super-steep part (+/- 100% grade) ends in a grove of aspen and a field of wildflowers (May 26) below the radio and TV towers. Note: those towers and the canyon I imagine made my GPS a bit off. The intersection with La Luz was hundreds of feet downtrail from where the GPS and AllTrails map said it was. The trail is actually a trail most of the time so if you’re making your own deer trails or the Ap says to go through the dense forest or up a cliff, reassess. The views and overall Zen of this hike rate the full 5 stars. Chimney Canyon is mostly through forest. See the Chimney Canyon pictures.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked up the trail on Memorial Day. I began at the trail head parking lot at 6:45am, but didn't reach the top until noon. I lost about two hours helping another hiker who was doing the trail for the first time. Poor guy almost passed out on his way to the top as he wasn't used to the elevation spike. I got to the top and took a break for 45 mins and hiked back down. I arrived at the parking lot by 4pm. Total miles= 18, calories burned 2,000, steps walked over 40K. I would recommend beginning the hike early in the morning this time of year, otherwise you'll be getting the brunt of the sun hiking back down. It was a great hike, awesome workout & fantastic views. If you pay attention to where you are going, you won't get lost. This was my first time hiking the trail. Challenging for sure. Definitely not for novices.

Overall a nice easy trail if you're looking for something short. Zero shade, so go early or in cooler seasons/weather. I hit the trail about 10 after my morning run so it was already getting a bit hot even though it was a slightly cloudy day.

Lots of bike traffic so be mindful & remember your trail etiquette! Signs may say for bikers to yield but reality is that it's a lot easier for a hiker to stop than a cyclist. Give them some space & take the time to snap some photos or just enjoy the view.

Trail is very smooth throughout but there are a lot of intersecting trails so pay attention and/or watch your map! Beautiful views of the mountains and the city!

hiking
2 months ago

I started at the Tramway Trailhead and connected with La Luz trail to the top of Sandia Crest (3.5 hours, 4,960 ft elevation climb). From there i took the trail along the peak over to Kiwanis Cabin (20 minutes) - which if you haven't been there I'd highly recommend! The views from where it sits are amazing, and the cabin itself is pretty cool considering the history. After that I made my way to the Sandia Peak Tramway (30 minutes) and rode the tram back down. Overall the hike was 10 miles. The weather was perfect, however at the top i had to put my sweater on due to the very crisp breeze (it didn't help that my clothes were damp from all the sweating). This trail doesn't require a lot of caution or technique, but stamina and determination are definitely a must! Bring plenty of water!

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.

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