Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Late Summer Hike on the Sandia Mountains Crest

I love to hike in the mountains and I found a group on that organizes hikes for all abilities.  This morning, we drove to the Ellis Trailhead on the Crest Highway NM536 and started walking south along the Ellis service road that ends at the Tram and the Sandia Ski Resort.  We took the Kiwanis Meadow Trail to the Kiwanis cabin via Trail No. 130, then headed south to the Tram and the location of where a new restaurant is being built (replacing the old High Finance Restaurant that was demolished a couple of years ago),  The temperature was warm in the 60's and was a delightful morning to hike in the 10,000 ft. elevation of the Sandia Mountain high above Albuquerque, NM. Our total walking time at a slow pace took about 2.5 hours including stops to look at the Kiwanis cabin, the spectacular views, the wildflowers, a few wild turkeys, and the new restaurant building construction. We walked about 3.6 miles.

Turkeys in the meadow by the Kiwanis Cabin (photo by Terry Mulcahy)

Lots of limestone outcroppings on the Crest.



The fruit of the snowberry


The Crest

View from Kiwanis cabin to the Tram

The limestone cliffs of the Sandia Crest

A telephoto view of the Tram and the construction of the new restaurant

Velvet Umbrellawort

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Cinquefoil flower


Kiwanis Cabin

Fendler's Sandwort

Fossil impression left in the limestone by the Kiwanis Cabin.

Paintbrush in meadow by the Kiwanis Cabin.

Red Columbine

Our hiking group

Canada Violet

Kiwanis cabin is seen at the top of the summit

Views of Albuquerque from the Crest

Violet Wood Sorrell

Richardson's Geranium

Giant Hyssop

Western Wallflower

Sandia Coralbells

View of Albuquerque to the east

Sandia Coral Bells/Alumroot

Sandia Ski lift

Here are pictures of the new restaurant under construction at the top of the tram and ski resort.  The date of opening is now April, 2019.

Here is an artist's rendering of the planned restaurant:

Lots of mushrooms along the trail

Ferns in the limestone

Rattlesnake Orchid (not blooming)
Fanleaf Buttercup