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blue South Crest Trail #130


16.1 mile 25.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 4,998' 1,523 m
Descent: -935' -285 m
High: 10,625' 3,238 m
Low: 6,552' 1,997 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)


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Trail shared by Jason Fincher

A long slow climb following the Sandia Mountains ridge line.

Jason Fincher

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.


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. Hikers 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 hikers can enjoy a tram ride down from the peak for $12. Out-and-back hikers 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.

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Jul 7, 2019
Marco Berry
I took the CCC Trail 214 down which is found at the same intersection as the Faulty Trail. it's steep but about a mile and a half shorter. I also a…
Jun 23, 2019
Sara Louise
4mi — 1h 35m
Jun 21, 2019
Julie Wolf
Oct 14, 2018
Sam E
May 16, 2018
Michal P
Apr 12, 2018
Rachel Jagielski
Made a loop out of South Crest, Faulty, and Upper Faulty 5.7mi — 1h 30m
Oct 21, 2017
Jason Johnson
Sep 12, 2017
Ron Batcher
fantastic views and trail 9.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 10 votes


  4.3 from 10 votes
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in New Mexico


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3,562 Since May 12, 2015
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