Hike the Sandia Crest Trail

    Rate this Adventure 26.5 miles 4904 ft gain  - Point-to-Point Trail

    Added by Korey Taylor

    This challenging 26.5 mile point-to-point trail is the perfect way to experience the drastic differences between the North and South Sandia Mountains.

    This point-to-point hike took me about 11.5 hours to complete, however I consider myself to be in decent hiking shape and was moving at about 2.5 miles per hour for the majority of the hike. I would give yourself ample time if you want to complete this in 1 day or you can back country primitive camp if you want to break up the hike into 2 days. If you decide to break the hike up I recommend camping on the saddle between the North and South Sandia Peaks, but closer the the South Peak there is a beautiful meadow and aspen trees that would make for an excellent spot. If you want to complete this in 1 go this is how I did it. 

    3:00am - Wake Up

    3:30am - Leave for the TUNNEL SPRING TRAILHEAD (35.29139, -106.43934) with another person driving a separate car. This will eventually be the end of the hike. 

    4:15am - Leave one car at this trailhead, the other person gets into your car and you're on your way! Drive to the Canyon Estates Trailhead. 

    5:00am - Arrive at Canyon Estates Trailhead and begin hike! You want to get on the trail before sunrise to ensure you have plenty of time to complete the hike.

    You're going to follow the South Crest Trail (130S) until you reach the Sandia Peak Tramway/Ski Area. Once you reach the ski area it can be confusing to what trail you stay on. I recommend downloading a topo map or when in doubt follow the trail that keeps you as close to the crest/ridge as possible. I will be completely honest the descent down the North side is BRUTAL. After about 20 miles you still have 6 miles of a downhill, incredibly rocky trail and it can be a beating on your ankles and knees. Wearing supportive shoes will help!! Once you make it back to the Tunnel Spring Trailhead you and your hiking partner will need to drive back to Canyon Estates to get the second car.

    After all that hiking and driving we rewarded ourselves with large pizza and a much deserved six pack. If you have any questions about completing this hike you can message me on my Instagram @koreyeleven. 

    Enjoy!!

    Read More
    Hiking
    Dog Friendly
    Easy Parking
    Forest
    Scenic

    Go Pro.

    We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

    Learn More

    Reviews

    Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

    Leave No Trace

    Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

    Stay Nearby

    Tijeras, New Mexico

    Cedro Peak Camping Sites Robin And Jay

    Cedar Crest, New Mexico

    Cienega Picnic Site

    Tijeras, New Mexico

    Pine Flat Picnic Sites A And B

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Albuquerque Koa

    Nearby Adventures

    Hike the Upper Faulty Loop

    5.4 mi / 1040 ft gain

    Hike the Hawk Watch Trail

    3.4 mi / 1540 ft gain

    Summit South Sandia Peak

    10.78 mi / 3595 ft gain

    Hike Embudito Canyon

    4.0
    4.2 mi / 1204 ft gain
    More Nearby Adventures