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Sandia Crest

nm

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 19.7 miles


Hiked the entire length of the Sandia Mountains in a day!!

I prepositioned the car the day prior at the south end of the Sandia Mountain ridge at the “Three Gun Springs” trailhead and rode my bike back home which was a quick 20 minute ride. Next morning, early push for the north end of the Sandias up to Placitas area on Tunnel Springs Road. We started the hike around 0630, hiking south on the Agua Sarca Canyon Trail. Fairly steep, but nice and cool due to the sun behind the ridge to the east. After a couple of miles or so, we joined up with the Crest Trail and continued this up to the summit where the parking lot is and the observation point. Once on top, trekking the Crest Trail, it was fairly easy going compared to the abrupt altitude gains at the beginning. From the top, we hiked down to the lodge around noon where a green chili cheese burger and a couple of tall hops were in order. This turned out to be a bad move, because now we had a long hike ahead of us and a full belly full of grease and couple of beers. Don’t recommend this!! We were in the restaurant for roughly 1.5 hours and then started the remainder of the hike enroute to the Hawk Watch Trail where I had left my car. This was a fairly benign hike with tons of lookout points to peek over the ledge for some good pics! We ended up finding 5 or so geocaches on the route. We did hit a section just prior to the south Sandia Peak that looked junglish! Lots of green and some hidden ledges in the woods. Pretty interesting. We also came across a little hut towards the end of the ridge that would make a great shelter for a hike enroute if you planned on staying the night. As we came adjacent to the south peak, we came upon some open meadows that looked inhabited by some local deers due to the scrape marks I found on a little scrub tree. The sun was rapidly going down and I was having some friction issues from the long hike and one of the other hikers had developed some blisters that were ruptured. Once to the edge near the Hawk viewing area, we had to search for the Hawk Watch Trail and finally found it with the help of the ole’ GPS. This was the most painful part of the hike. Finally made it down around 2000. It was just starting to get dark when we arrived at the car. Thank goodness I remembered my keys!!    

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