Faulty Trail isn't just another ride in the woods; it's a full-on technical adventure for mountain bikers who relish a challenge. Nestled on the eastern bench of the Sandia Mountain Range near Cedar Crest, New Mexico, this 20-mile trail network offers rocky terrains, steep climbs, and fewer crowds. It's the ideal setting for those looking to escape the more trodden paths like Otero Canyon.
Starting your journey from Albuquerque, head east on I-40 and exit onto Highway 14 North. Once you pass through Cedar Crest, watch for Highway 536 leading left towards the Sandia Ski Area. Although the southern tip of Faulty Trail is cut off by private property, you can easily access the trail by heading about 4 miles up Highway 532. Here, you'll find the Doc Long Day Use Area—your gateway to Faulty through the Bill Spring Trail.
Faulty Trail isn't for the faint of heart. It begins with a harrowing wash, steep and cluttered with jagged rocks ready to test your tires and nerves. After surviving this initiation, the trail mellows out but continues to offer varied terrains. The east bench route includes sharp climbs, rocky stretches, and smoother paths, keeping the experience fresh and challenging throughout.
One of the standout aspects is its connectivity with other superb trails in the area, including Oso Corredor, Sulphur Canyon, and Armijo Trail. All major intersections are well-marked, ensuring you won't lose your way, especially if armed with the Sandia Mountains map from Dharma Maps.
Overall, Faulty Trail and its connecting networks make for an ambitious biking expedition, only recommended for advanced riders. With its extreme terrains and seclusion, it comes close to being a world-class biking destination. It's a less-accessible but rewarding option, especially when you're looking to extend your trail repertoire beyond the more popular rides in the Albuquerque area.