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Albuquerque, NM: Sandia Peak Loop

Summit a peak via open slopes and a wooded canyon on this hike with 5.5- or 13.7-mile options.

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This is perhaps the most beautiful canyon on the west side of the Sandias. The vegetation is lush and a city escape is only miles from the trailhead.

This is a loop hike (one of the hardest in the area), but you can certainly make a day of it by just going as far as the TWA crash site. This is an area where a small plane went down in 1955 and a memorial is in place. Please respect the area as you would any hallowed ground. It is roughly 3.75 miles from the trailhead to the crash site.

If you choose to continue from here to the La Luz trail, BE WARNED, you will be on a little used faint trail that is hard to find in some places. The path becomes very steep here and once you commit to it, it would be steep to go back.

Once you reach the crest, it’s an easy walk to Sandia Peak and its aerial tram (complete with restaurant!). Easy: Ride down to a shuttle car. Better: Continue south on the Crest Trail to the Pino Trail to finish the 14-mile loop.

-Mapped by Bill Velasquez

To Trailhead

From Albuquerque, take I-25 N to exit 232. Head east on NM 432 (Paseo Del Norte Blvd) for 5 miles. Go right (south) on Tramway Blvd 1.2 miles, then left on Simms Park Rd. In 1.4 miles, park at the Elena Gallegos trailhead (fee parking).

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