Agua Sarca Trail is a 8.7 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Placitas, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.7 km Elevation Gain: 820 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

This trail offers great views but the foliage blocks a number of the viewpoints.

hiking
over grown
rocky
29 days ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Good "workout" hike. Signs and parking at the trailhead. The trail is very rugged, uneven and rocky. Warning. I saw Bear scat just under a mile in and just before the turn around point.

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Its a little too early in the season so there was a lot of snow but the views were great and the hike is extremely challenging. The elevation gain is very intense. Keep your eyes open for stacked stones which mark the trail, otherwise it is quite easy to get off trail, which is really the only downside I have to this hike.

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

This was a little more than if bargained for. I did it in early October and the views and foliage made it worth it. It was easy to get lost on the way up and the app was a godsend. But I didn’t see a single other human which was wonderful and scary all at once. I made it into a loop with the north crest trail which was very long but that was the most beautiful pet. But you have to pay a lot of attention to where you’re going and it’s not very well marked. It’s interesting to me that it seems kind of like a neglected part of the Sandias. Great for solitude but difficult to navigate. Also agua sarca is extremely steep. Slow going. I’m glad I did it but I’m not rushing to do it again.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Lots of uphill following drainage. Beautiful views!

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike !! First time up this trail - steep/rocky in areas - nice forested areas and the creek was running nicely :) Made it about 3 miles up - next effort will go much further :)

rocky
Tue May 28 2019

this steep and rocky trail is a nice but is also a challenging hike. beautiful views on top with wide open skies and sprawling vistas.

hiking
snow
Mon Mar 04 2019

This trail was exactly what I was looking for. Short and steep. There’s still quite a bit of snow for the last mile of the hike. Definitely bring snowshoes. The trail is also very easy to lose, download the AllTrails map so you can track where you’re at. The views at the top are amazing!

hiking
Fri Oct 19 2018

Hiked 6 miles up until I reached the N. Crest and Osha Trail intersection. I saw some of the best views I've ever reached! There were openings on the cliffs where you could see mountains stretching back in every direction. It was a difficult climb all the way up but definetly worth it! The trail is not marked very well so it is very easy to end up on another one without realizing it until you come across a sign again. I was the only hiker going up and coming back down so come prepared in case of emergency.

hiking
Fri Sep 14 2018

Hard hike with tons of rocks. Recommend doing during fall or early spring.

Thu Jun 07 2018

If you zoom in on the Agua Sarca map you can see and follow the full route to the intersection with the North Crest Trail. (Note: at the early Y in the trail you want to go left and at the stone fireplace you want to go to the right.) From the parking lot this is about 3 miles one way. You can then make a loop taking the North Crest Trail back (6.7 miles) or use the Ojo del Orno shortcut (zoom in, it’s the unnamed path straight back to the parking lot that cuts off the big curve in the North Crest Trail). Ojo del Orno is 0.8 miles long and takes you down 1000 ft over some loose rock but it cuts off 2.5 miles. Of course you could do the hike in the other direction. A much longer loop hike would be to continue on the North Crest Trail after Agua Sarca to the Ellis Trail to Osha Loop to Penasco Blanco back to the North Crest Trail (0.7 miles into the return loop above). This loop with Ojo del Orno seems to be at least 11 miles and goes from 6350 ft to almost 9800 ft. Yeah, it’s the one I did. Nice hike with plenty of high country meadow and forest and you go through Osha Spring.

hiking
Fri Feb 02 2018

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!

Sat Dec 30 2017

Was a good hike, but take a durable car up. The road is rough to get to the trail.

hiking
Tue Oct 24 2017

This is a hard trail. Steep and more steep but is one of my favorites.

Tue Oct 10 2017

rough climb, cool views but the top lookout is hard to find and you have to battle the trees

Sat Jul 15 2017

Some good views, water for the dogs in streams, but a few spots the route can get confusing and I ended up off trail for a bit. Bring a lot of water and when it says 'hard' trust it is, you're gonna end up stopping a decent bit. Some bear scat at the top but nothing other than that. Made it to North Crest trail and turned around and came back - use a stick coming down to save your ankles. There are better trails with better markings and consistent views in the Sandias hence the 3 stars. Also, trails aren't dog parks...PLEASE LEASH YOUR DOGS!!!!

hiking
Mon Nov 14 2016

Really nice challenging trail.

Sun Oct 30 2016

Very hard trial, we lost the trail at a point and picked up the end of the second trail (tunnel), going around the ridge; making it a 12 mile hike. Beautiful view and challenging hike

hiking
Sat Aug 13 2016

Great trail...when it says hard, it was hard..for me anyway. My Labrador was also very winded. Be careful coming down, the incline is somewhat deceiving and when coming down it was pretty slippery. The views were amazing, take a camera.

hiking
Thu Jul 02 2015

Great hike, can take a short cut up the valley instead of around, don't recommend going back down, tennis ball size rocks with hard footing can lead to injury. Beautiful vistas along the way. Bring lots of water.

hiking
Thu Feb 23 2012

Nice trail that will take you to the thickest forest. Nice views in spots but the foliage blocks many of the views. It is a bit strenuous as it goes, so I don't think small children would enjoy

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