Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

North Mystery Trail to Lagunita Seca Hike
In Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Id H10676
Last Update 2019-05-28 21:18:14.0
Hike Class D
Hike Miles 9.9
Minimum Elevation 7360
Elevation Gain 755
Total Uphill 2190
Total Downhill 2190
Avg Grade 10 %
Route Type InOut
Hiking Seasons Sprg, Smmr, Fall
Hike Rating (Hike not rated)
New Mexico Game Unit 8
All On Trail Yes
All Paved/Gravel Roads Yes

Highlights This is a beautiful, little-used trail running through healthy forest land and ending at a meadow just below Palomas Peak. There are three medallions between the start of the trail and a short distance into the meadow.

Trailhead Directions Take I-40 east from Albuquerque, then go north on NM 14 for six miles, and take the turnoff to the Crest Highway (NM 536). Drive 2.4 miles along the Crest Highway and park on the left side of the road at a long pullout 0.4 miles past the turnoff to the Doc Long Picnic Ground, just before a sharp turn in the road. The trail begins on the east side of the Crest Highway, just after a guardrail.

Actual Hike From the trailhead, the trail heads up Barro Canyon north of the Crest Highway from the hairpin trail. The first portion of the trail keeps to the eastern slope just above the canyon bottom. After 0.4 miles the trail comes to a distinct saddle point. North Mystery Trail goes west, up the hill from the saddle point. Look for diamond blazes on the trees. Some of the blazes are etched with "Faulty Trail." The trail climbs steeply uphill from the saddle point to the top of a canyon. The trail continues north on relatively flat terrain for almost two miles through beautiful and isolated country. There are nice views of Tecolote Peak to the west through this stretch. The trail passes through a noticeable saddle point at 2.3 miles into the hike at elevation 7,960, then begins a steep dip into Madera Canyon. The trail then passes under a set of power lines at 2.7 miles. From here there are impressive views of Capulin Peak and Madera Canyon. The trail reaches the canyon bottom 0.3 miles later. A streambed and old logging road cross the trail at canyon bottom. Cross the stream and continue north out of the canyon through a steep uphill section. Palomas Peak comes into view when you have neared the top of your climb. The trail ends at the southeast edge of the meadow named Lagunita Seca ("small, dry lake"). This would be a nice place to stop for lunch before the hike back.

Comments Hike data were obtained from National Geographic Topo New Mexico's digital elevation model.

Garmin Topo U.S. 24K Southwest, Garmin BaseCamp Version 4.6.2 © 2008-2016 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries (

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

PARK: N35 10.876, W106 22.620
SADDLE1: N35 11.266, W106 22.673 (0.5 mi)
CNYN TOP: N35 11.189, W106 22.828 (0.7 mi)
SADDLE2: N35 12.438, W106 23.277 (2.6 mi)
LINES: N35 12.786, W106 23.197 (3.0 mi)
MADERA CANYON: N35 12.939, W106 23.271 (3.3 mi)
LAGUNITA SECA: N35 13.631, W106 23.969 (5.0 mi)

GPS Files Click link to download file.
GPX:WayTrack, 02May19, Garmin, Marilyn Warrant

Text Author Nan Burke
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Mike Coltrin
Track Author Dick Brown
Maintainer Unassigned (contact Administrator)