Explore the most popular forest trails near Cedar Crest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

beautiful hike this afternoon!

Really an enjoyable hike with plenty of shade and wonderful views. Lots of parking and places to picnic after your hike.. trailhead kind of hard to find...it’s on the east side of the parking lot in the Sulpher Canyon picnic ground and spits you back out in the same lot,

I enjoyed this hike today with friends. Perfect loop. Not to long or too short. Enjoyed watching the butterflies and looking at the different wildflowers.

this trail was fairly easy. the trail was along the road a majority of the time which took away from the view.

1 month ago

I did a loop trail to South Peak going up the CCC Route and back on the South Crest Trail, which is about 11.5 miles. There’s now a small cairn marking the CCC Route off the South Crest Trail just past the sign for the Upper Faulty Trail, but it’s simpler to just take the Upper Faulty Trail and turn left at the big pile of rocks immediately in front of you.

See my recording for the trail to South Peak off of the South Crest Trail. It is marked by a sign. What is now marked by a small cairn is a great back way off this trail (also on the recording). You head across a field with the trail only sometimes visible and then into the forest (quite steep at first). The wind is blocked as you go through the aspens and past some nice rock formations to come out right at the top of South Peak! The return loop can be the usual trail to Embudito and then left to join the Crest Trail.

The CCC Route is 1.7 miles and gains 1720 ft in the process, from 7600 to 9320 ft elevation. There are only a few “steps” and no real switchbacks, so
mostly you are just hiking the grade, which never gets super-steep like Oso Ridge or Hawk Watch (two other great trails that can be made into loops and include South Peak). The CCC Route opens up to a rocky expanse in a few places and I turned on the recorder to find the trail.

Be sure to check out Travertine Falls and the rock cave off the South Crest Trail before the Faulty Trail turnoff on the way up (there’s a sign for both these trails). The trail to Travertine Falls rejoins the South Crest Trail and actually cuts a little off of it. It’s the loop on the recording.

1 month ago

I’m happy I did this trail but won’t be doing it again. It’s the least charming of the longer Sandia trails. The middle portion of the trail is poorly maintained, filled with overgrown scrub and dead trees blocking the trail and the creepy shack in the least hiked section of the trail was eerie. I wasn’t really paying attention to the topo map so each descent that was followed by another grueling climb became a little demoralizing after the third or forth time. The last few miles to the tram were a steady incline and the map in AllTrails was wrong at one point so I ended up doubling back to find the actual trail. (& This is totally my fault but I didn’t check to make sure the tram was running and when I got there it was closed for maintenance so I hiked another two miles in the dark (with headlamp thankfully) through pitch black snowy forest to the north crest and got a ride back down the mountain. All told it was closer to a 17 or 18 mile hike. The Forest Service map says the South Crest Trail is 15.97 miles but AllTrails says 13.9 - not sure which is correct but the AllTrails map errors on this trail make me thing the park services map is the more accurate. Happy to say I’ve now section hiked the full crest but will skip the south portion in the future.

Great trail loop. Snow is still melting so it was muddy Nd sometimes icy in early March. I was glad I had my spikes with me.

Nice trail even in late December. No snow unusual for this time of year. Some of the trails that were off shoots of the main trail were no longer open and there were some trails that were available that were not on this map at all. Got concerned they were not going to reconnect so had to bush whack back toward the main trail. Thank goodness for GPS.

6 months ago

Did this in deep snow with my brother - we only went about 2 miles in but it was gorgeous in the winter. Would definitely suggest some grippy shoes.

8 months ago

This trail is stunning if you only hike the west side of the Sandias. Shaded by tall pines and towering aspens which makes for a nice refreshing hike. This trail is a strenuous for new hikers since the elevation and the at times Steep trail can really take it out of you. Plenty of moss covered trees and logs and beautiful patches of wild flowers. This trail is a great change to the high desert trails of the Sandia foothills. It's a little bit of a drive but by far worth it.

Closed due to bear activity.

9 months ago

very good view

Closed today due to bear activity.

This is a nice trail. Loved the loop. Really nice people passing by infrequently. We had a nice cloud cover most of the time. I imagine parts are really hot in summer sun. Could have done without the hailstorm but it was at the end so... whatever. Would do again.

We saw bears, wild turkeys, humming birds, and woodpeckers. I also got an $80 ticket for not paying the parking fee. Oh well.

Nice trail with a good amount of shade. Lots of wildflowers now.

this was a perfect trail for a hot summer day. it had a good amount of shade and wasnt too buggy. however, if you are looking to do the 3 mile loop dont follow the all trails directions to the trail, it will take you to the middle of nowhere. to do the loop, park at the sulphur canyon picnic area. take the sulphur trail to faulty trail and then that takes you to the bill springs trail and back around to the parking lot.

Absolutely love this trail! The Faulty Loop portion is a little more difficult/narrow but not too bad. I think the Faulty Trail is actually very long (if you took it the whole way), but this loop just does part of it. I was dazzled by the butterflies and all the beautiful plants! One of my favorites in the Cibola National Forest, for sure. We saw a rattlesnake too- so watch your step!

11 months ago

Nice hike with some great views once you get to the top.

trail running
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This review is for trail runners.
First, the parking lot to armijo trial is still closed. Another reviewer covered this and where else to park.

This trail is one of my favorites for several reasons.
It's not too long and the elevation is steady. If you want a rather leisure 5 mile run, this is a good trail. It has a good amount of shade and the views atop the ridge are pretty.
You will see people on this trail, especially on weekends, but it isn't too busy. I think seeing a few people on trails is good because you can check in on whether there are wild animal issues. (This area has seen bear activity lately, especially at the picnic area).
Cons: You'll be following a horse trail at parts, so watch out for manure. Not a big issue, but just something to know.
Biggest con: People and their fucking dogs. For some reason, people think THEIR dog is the ONE dog that deserves to be off leash. Even though the entire forest is ON leash. You can tell a lot of the people that let their dogs off leash are locals that live really close by...they have that entitled air to them.
As a runner, off leash dogs are the worst. If you run this trail on the weekend, you'll most likely encounter an off leash dog and their irresponsible owner.

Only other con is that some of the forest has been cut (I'm assuming either due to drought or to fire?), and that takes away from some of the scenery.

I love this trail, I just wish dog owners were more responsible and less defensive about being called out on their b.s.

The road is closed down to the parking/picnic area and trail head. At the road closure turn left and go 700ft to another parking area. There is a trail at the far end of the parking area that will connect with the Armijo and Faulty Trail Loop. It adds about a mile to the hike, which my app said was 5.1 miles when I made it back to the parking area. Really nice trail, probably my favorite so far since I started hiking in the ABQ. Well marked and maintained trail with lots of shade. Stop by the coffee shop in Cedar Crest on your way back out and have coffee.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pretty nice and average difficulty trail. Finished with my friends at a very recreational pace and within 2.5hrs.
It can be better accessed once the picnic area is open.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Did it about ten days ago. Beautiful and not difficult.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

I went out exploring the area (new to New Mexico) and I stumbled across this trail. I didn't finish it by any means but the portion I hiked was a lot of fun! Really beautiful views, especially now since it's Autumn. It's a long hike but even if you do part of it, it's worth it! I'd love to complete it sometime.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Just did this today. The first part reminded me of hiking on the east coast. But, the full loop was 5.8 miles, per my Sports Tracker app. They did just re-locate Faulty trail where it hits Armijo, but I don't know where the old intersection was to know if that is why it is longer.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Great to get back to this altitude and smell the pines

trail running
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tried to get up south peak from Bart's trail,... Once on Cole's road, the road was blocked by what looked like a disgruntled resident, so as opposed to 'trespassing,' I drove back down to the south crest trailhead just off exit 175 in Tijeras. The first five miles were lovely just after sunrise around 6 am. Mile 5.25 revealed a very overgrown trail. The alltrails app shows this hike as a 5.5 mile RT hike, which may be true if you do just the loop with the upper faulty trail, however, if you plan to ascend the summit from this side, the hike becomes significantly longer. I unfortunately went north at the embudito trail turn off,... I realized my mistake that I was continuing on the south crest trail but wanted to ascend the South Peak. I turned back after a half mile and then headed northwest along the embudito trail. This is where it gets a little tricky. About .3 miles or so, the trail has an immediate take off to the north and this entrance is overgrown. I suggest pulling up your alltrails app and clicking 'record,'... this will show you on gps your exact location in relation to this take off so as to not get lost. You need to use the trail entitled South Sandia Peak via Bart's trail however to see this route to South Peak. Once atop, the views are wonderful and worth all the effort. My RT with my excursion to the north along the south crest trail put me at about 14.5 miles with about a mile of that in excess as I missed the turn off. The elevation gain was 3400 feet and top elevation was 9785 ft. I used a garmin 235 which utilizes both gps and glonas systems to coordinate location. Anyway, enjoy and happy trails! Pictures posted on South Crest Trail via Tijeras as a separate trail on alltrails.

great views awesome workout

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