A long slow climb following the Sandia Mountains ridge line.”
— Jason Fincher
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 piÃ±on 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.