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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

Point to Point

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.

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. 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Fincher

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes

#5554

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

#86

in New Mexico

#5,554

Overall
122 Views Last Month
4,956 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
Easy crest line hiking from Tram
May 12, 2015 near Sandia…, NM
Meadow just below Kiwanis Cabin
May 12, 2015 near Sandia…, NM

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 9 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 29, 2020
Nick Bustamante
Trail in excellent condition. A few downed trees along the trail and some overgrown sections. — 11h 30m
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
16.1mi
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