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Albuquerque, NM: Piedra Lisa South

Climb through the sandy canyons and shrubby ridgelines of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness on this 5-mile out-and-back outside Albuquerque.

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Legend has it that Spanish explorers named this range Sandia (meaning watermelon) for its rosy glow at sunset. You be the judge on this five-miler below North Sandia Peak. Less than a mile in, turn right for a .4-mile side trip to a pourover that transforms into a burbling waterfall after a rain.

Next, ascend 1.4 miles (and nearly 1,200 feet of elevation) to a high point dubbed “The Knob.” From here, walk .4 mile northwest along the summit ridge for distant views north of the Sangre de Cristos. Linger here ‘til dusk (or camp below The Knob) to watch the sinking sun bathe North Sandia’s west-facing crags in pink and red hues.

-Mapped by Bill Velasquez

To Trailhead

I-25 N to NM 556 E (Tramway Blvd. N) to FR 333 NE for 2 mi. until pavement ends. Continue N on FR 333D (dirt) to parking area just before a gate marked Private Road.

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