Yesterday, JoAnna and I hiked up the side of Sandia Crest using the Pino Trail. All said and done, it was like 8.2 miles, with 4200′ of elevation change. I tried to record the journey on my cell phone, but the battery died part of the way up.
We started sometime around 9:45 am. This is a view looking back on the city:
The trail went almost due east for the first four miles or so. The trail itself was not technical, though it was steep in parts. Overall, the trail was mostly shaded as well.
Rising up the trail, there were very few viewpoints, as compared to the La Luz trail that we had done the year before. Often, the view was of the mountains rather than over the city.
Occasionally, there was an opportunity to view the city, however.
There were tons of these orange flowers. Orange is my favorite color, so I was especially on the look out for these flowers.
There were also some very large dandelion-looking flowers about. Actually, they had all gone to seed, but the seed puff was bigger than both of my fists put together.
We could also see the lower tram tower any time we had a view to our left.
The trail remained shaded and steep for most of the way. This photo was taken about half-way up the mountain.
There was a strange marker on one of the trees.
This marker is for one of the oldest trees in the park. Read more about it on this blog.
As we approached the top, we could see that the mountain was unusually green.
Near the top, the trail looked like this:
The view from near the top. You can see that we have climbed quite a ways up!
We crossed over the Sandia Crest. The Pino Trail ended after around 5 miles. We took the Sandia Crest Trail towards the Tram station. This would be another 3.2 miles. This trail was on the eastern side, so we had a different view, looking towards Edgewood and Moriarty.
There were butterflies and less gnats at this altitude.
Eventually, we reached the top of the mountain, and so I took a fwe photos from the Sandia Tram station
For reference, here is the parking lot where we started the day, as seen from the Tram.
We met my girlfriend’s father at the bottom, who gave us a ride back over to our car. We originally thought we would hike three miles back to our cars, but the summer sunshine (and temperatures of near 100 F) did not thrill us at this point.