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Whitewash Loop

  4.2 ( 6 ) Favorite


12.9 mile 20.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,910' 887 m
Descent: -2,910' -887 m
High: 8,531' 2,600 m
Low: 5,948' 1,813 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 55% (29°)


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Trail shared by Brian Pilgrim

This basic loop consists of hikeign the Whitewash Trail to Oso Pass then coming back down the Embudo Trail.

Brian Pilgrim

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views


This hike is great training for steep climbing, with the tough uphill of Whitewash coupled with great views of the city and north Sandia Crest. Whitewash is little used so there is a long section of solitude before hitting the more frequently used trails. The approximate half-way point is Oso Pass, which is a nice spot for a picnic if you are hiking or just a rest and re-fuel break if running.

Need to Know

It's important to bring plenty of water as there is really no useful water on the trail. There is an occasional mud/water puddles from a seeping spring low on Embudo Trail, but it's really only good for wildlife. The Hiking Project mobile app may be helpful for finding your way on Whitewash Trail.


There are many possible beginnings and ends to this loop but the basic loop consists of the Whitewash Trail which you'll take to Oso Pass, and then heading back down into the southern foothills using the Embudo Trail.

Whitewash Trail can be difficult to find and follow going up unless you already know it. This is mostly because of multiple user trails that cross it and split from it within the first mile. There is also the fact that it's completely unmarked at any point. It's easier to find the first time by doing this loop in reverse. Once you get to the Oso Pass intersection using the Embudo Trail you take a hard left onto Whitewash. It's unmarked but it is the only option for a hard left.

Once you get far enough down along Whitewash to where you have the multiple user trail it's not hard to find your way because you can see all the southern foothills, so you just keep heading down. The nice thing about Whitewash is that it's great climbing going up, it's scenic once you start getting higher up on the mountain, and it is little used. The largest number of people I've seen in a day on the trail is two.

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Mar 10, 2019
Elijah Jans
Jan 26, 2019
Elijah Jans
Oct 26, 2018
Cathy Harris
Aug 5, 2018
Jen Jones
Mar 24, 2018
Marco Berry
good trail. No snow cover. 12.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes


  4.2 from 6 votes
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in New Mexico


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