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South Crest Trail #130

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (11)

A long slow climb following the Sandia Mountains ridge line.


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Map Key

16.1

Miles

25.9

KM

86%

Runnable

10,625' 3,238 m

High

6,552' 1,997 m

Low

4,998' 1,523 m

Up

935' 285 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Upper portions of the trail will be snow covered in the winter. This trail can be closed in the summer due to fire danger.

Visit the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands website for current alerts, closures, and warnings.

Runner Notes

This is a very dry trail. Carry plenty of water.

Description

Trailhead: Take I-40 east from Albuquerque, and take the exit for South Tijeras. Turn left at the stop sign and go under the freeway. Turn right at the T-intersection onto Arrowhead Trail. Follow Arrowhead Trail about 0.7 miles to its end and look for the trailhead.

This is a strenuous climb from the start and should not be tackled without some preparation and the proper equipment. The peak is much cooler than the trailhead, especially in the spring and fall. Warm layers should be carried. There are no points on this trail to collect water and during the summer it can be very hot. Runners should carry at least two quarts of water per person and plan for lunch or snacks along the way.

This can be done as a one-way or an out-and-back. Mileage shown is for a one-way trip. One-way runners can enjoy a tram ride down from the peak for $12. Out-and-back runners should plan for an overnight as this would be a challenge to complete in a single day.

Flora & Fauna

This trail passes through three distinct climate zones. The lower trail is consistent with the Albuquerque highlands characterized by sparse high desert scrub forest with juniper and piñon pines as well as cholla cactus and prickly pear. The middle portion of the trail is shaded by an alpine forest of ponderosa pines and spruces. The upper trail continues to display the evergreens in greater density as well as groves of quaking aspen. Wildflowers are abundant in the later spring and early summer.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Fincher

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes

#5434

Overall
  4.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
45%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#87

in New Mexico

#5,434

Overall
135 Views Last Month
4,780 Since May 12, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

South Sandia Crest
May 12, 2015 near Sandia…, NM
The South Sandia Crest Trail continues its steady grade through this spot about 4 miles in.
Jan 28, 2017 near Carnuel, NM
La Luz overlooks Albuquerque from the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway.
Jun 18, 2017 near Sandia…, NM
Sandia Crest Panorama 2
May 12, 2015 near Sandia…, NM
Meadow just below Kiwanis Cabin
May 12, 2015 near Sandia…, NM
Late afternoon view of the Rincon Ridge with trail marked in red.
Jun 14, 2020 near Carnuel, NM

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Check-Ins

Jun 23, 2019
Mark Kotanchik
May 16, 2018
Michal P
Apr 8, 2018
Tim Shultz
Jan 28, 2017
Jonah Underwood
8mi