North Crest Hike – 10/12/2017

Hiking with Pat, we went looking for bright fall colors of aspen; a few weeks ago she had hiked with a friend north from the Sandia Crest House (Visitors Center) north on the Crest Trail and found a large grove of aspen.  By now, the aspen must have turned color.

The Hike

North Crest Hike.Pat.2017-10-12

This is a well traveled trail, ‘tho not as busy as the trail going south from the Sandia Crest Hosue. It proceeds through forest throughout, just below of the edge of Sandia Crest.  There are some sections of the trail that are a bit rocky, but overall it is ‘smooth walking’.  There are a few side-outs uphill that provide view opportunities down the west face of the Sandias and out across the Rio Grande valley – Albuquerque, Bernalillo, the Jemez mountains, and more. 

We reached the Del Aqua Canyon Overlook, an open area from which one has an even greater view to the west – North Sandia peak, the Rio Grande, etc., … and a very large aspen grove.  But our visit was too late – recent rains (we suspect) had stripped the aspen of their leaves and all that was left was a large area gray in color – the bare aspen trees.  Oh well, next year.  After our mid-hike break for coffee and snacks, it was a pleasant return to the truck (although it was uphill; we prefer the uphill portion to be at the beginning).


Total Distance:  4.37 miles
Elevation: start 10,652 ft, maximum 10,652 ft,  minimum 9,944 ft
Gross gain: 708 ft.  Aggregate ascending 1,179 ft, descending 1,180 ft
Maximum slope: 43% ascending, 45% descending, 8% average
Duration: 3:30

GPS Track Files for Download
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.

References and Resources

Forest Service: Sandia Mountain Trails (.pdf download)
Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide:
      Ojo del Orno, North Crest Trail
      North Crest, Penasco Blanco, Osha Loop, 10 K Trails
      Agua Sarca Trail, North Crest Trail, Del Orno Trail Sandia Crest Trail
      Sandia Crest Trail North Hike
      Sandia Crest To Del Agua Hike
          (and there are other hikes from ASCHG)
ondafringe: Day Hike: North Crest Trail to Del Agua Canyon Overlook

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