Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

North Mystery Trail Hike
In Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Id H10251
Last Update 2018-05-22 22:02:50.0
Hike Class C
Hike Miles 5.8
Minimum Elevation 7357
Elevation Gain 752
Total Uphill 809
Total Downhill 1334
Avg Grade 9 %
Route Type Oneway
Drive Miles Round Trip 60
Drive Time Oneway 1:00
Hiking Seasons Sprg, Smmr, Fall
Hike Rating (4.0 by 4 hikers)
New Mexico Game Unit 8
All On Trail Yes
All Paved/Gravel Roads Yes
GPS Recommended Yes

Highlights Several Medallion Trees, beautiful wooded hike.

Cautions Mostly downhill, but still contains 800 feet of uphill.

Trailhead Directions From Albuquerque take I-40 east to the Tijeras exit. Go north on SR 14 for 6 miles to SR 536, the Crest Highway. Leave a shuttle vehicle at the 2.5 mile point on the Crest Highway (PARK-SOUTH (5.9 mi)) at the hairpin turn where there is a large area to park on the left. Continue for 5 miles to The Balsam Glades area where SR 165W leaves to the right. Take this road, which turns to dirt, for 2.2 miles to PARK (0.0 mi) on the right side of the road at the concrete barriers at a bend in the road.

Actual Hike From parking take the Palomas Cliffs trail which starts at the uphill end of parking and goes east for about 0.7 miles to the start of the cliffs area. LEAVE (0.7 mi) this trail and go southeast along the left edge of the meadow for about 400 feet to the NORTH END (0.9 mi) of the North Mystery Trail. At this point the trail begins a sometimes steep 1.8 mile descent into the bottom of MADERA CANYON (2.5 mi).The trail then climbs back out of the canyon, a vertical rise of 600 feet in about 0.7 miles to a flat at the TOP (3.3 mi), a good place for lunch. Once out of the canyon there is a 2.0 mile mostly moderate descent towards the SADDLE (5.4 mi) in the bottom of Barro Canyon. Then it is 0.5 miles to SR 536 and parking.

Comments Note that this "downhill" hike involves 800 feet of climbing vertical. This hike is also described in Mike Coltrin's Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide.

This is a shuttle hike. Road conditions at the north end are marginal when wet, with deep, muddy ruts.

© DeLorme. Topo North America ™ 9

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

PARK: N 35 13.584, W 106 24.561
LEAVE: N 35 13.686, W 106 24.080
NORTH END: N 35 13.631, W 106 23.969
MADERA CANYON: N 35 12.939, W 106 23.271
TOP: N 35 12.452, W 106 23.282
SADDLE: N 35 11.267, W 106 22.674
PARK-SOUTH: N 35 10.880, W 106 22.620

GPS Files Click link to download file.
GPX:WayTrack, 11Apr13, Garmin, Dick Brown

Pictures Click here to see them.

Text Author Dick Brown
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Dick Brown
Track Author Dick Brown
Maintainer Dawn McIntyre