Located just outside the bustling city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Sandia Crest Trail offers a rugged escape for mountain bikers looking to test their skills and stamina. This network-style trail rewards its riders with majestic views and thrilling descents. But, as our avid cyclists and reviewers remind us, it's not a trail for the faint-hearted.
For those planning a trip, getting to the trailhead is straightforward. From Albuquerque, one should take I-40 EAST, not north, to the Cedar Crest Exit and turn left. Passing through town, look for the Sandia Crest turn off on the left. It's essential to note that while it's commonly said to be 13 miles to the ski area, it's closer to 12 miles from the I-40 exit. The trailhead awaits at the base of the ski area.
Riders should be prepared for a challenging climb for roughly 8.2 miles. Records, like the one set by Ned Overend with a stunning time of 49 minutes, remind us of the trail's demanding nature. But with effort comes reward. The descent promises to be as sweet as the climb is challenging. Here's a breakdown of some direct feedback from those who've pedaled this path:
The Sandia Crest Trail serves as a testament to Albuquerque's diverse outdoor offerings. While some may find the route tedious or too challenging, others relish in its rugged beauty and technical demands. Before embarking, one might consider checking out the trail conditions or even hopping over to Winsor in Santa Fe for a different experience. No matter the choice, New Mexico's trails promise adventure and awe in equal measure.