Trail

Tecolote Trail, Sandia National Park, New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM
Length: 2.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

ACTIVITIES: Hiking

LENGTH OF HIKE: 2 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Out and back

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Easy–moderate

ELEVATION GAIN: 321 feet

PARKING FEE/PASS: No

TOILETS: Yes

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: No

DOGS ALLOWED: Yes

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: Good

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: No

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: A couple of steep switchbacks

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Water, sunscreen, a good camera with lenses to capture the views

This surprising little hike up the east side of the Sandia Mountains is only 30 minutes from Albuquerque but offers spectacular views overlooking the vast valley to the west upon reaching the summit. Our trail pick for this area is called the Tecolote Trail, which translates to “owl” in Spanish, but we’re not quite sure what the reasoning for the naming of this trail is. Also, there are some steep switchbacks going into the hike that you wouldn’t necessarily trust wobbly balance on. But once you reach the top, there’s plenty of flat space to explore.

This is a pretty, bare-bones, straight-forward hike. There is no nature center or nursing benches, and the outhouses aren’t open year-round, but the simplicity of it adds to the intrigue as well as keeps the crowds away. Look for a little cave at the
beginning of the hike. Then you’ll come to a few steep switchbacks on the ascent and descent. Watch out for cacti that you will want to keep your little ones away from. But other than that, we think you’ll enjoy this little journey through the coniferous pine trees to the viewpoint.

As you head up, you’ll stay fairly covered thanks to tall trees surrounding the trail. But once you reach the top, the hike is exposed with shorter trees and shrubs, so be prepared with sunscreen. The best time of year for this hike is in October, when the weather is perfect. You can feel a bit of the crispness of the higher elevation, but the  sun warms the hike perfectly, so you won’t break a sweat. What you’ll enjoy about this hike is the pretty drive and that it’s far enough out of town to really feel like you’re in some backcountry. Yet the trail itself is very manageable and well  groomed. Also as you head up, you’ll stay fairly covered thanks to tall trees surrounding the trail. But once you reach the top, the hike is exposed with shorter trees and shrubs, so be prepared with sunscreen. The best time of year for this hike is in October, when the weather is perfect. You can feel a bit of the crispness of the higher elevation, but the sun warms the hike perfectly, so you won’t break a sweat.
What you’ll enjoy about this hike is the pretty drive and that it’s far enough out of town to really feel like you’re in some backcountry. Yet the trail itself is very manageable and well groomed. Also because it’s far enough off the highway and the
parking lot isn’t well marked, you’ll never find yourself jockeying for a space, unlike some of the more popular hikes closer to town. Look for a sign more popular hikes closer to town. Look for a sign signaling the hike start just past the outhouse.

INSIDER’S TIP
Don’t miss all the beautiful perspectives that the summit has to offer of the Sandia National Park along with the sweeping views of the valley. Go slow and really check everything out.

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Trail Features

Elevation gain 321 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“This hike is perfect for a quick adventure! Not too long but far enough from town and enough of a climb to really feel like an explorer. Great views at the top will give little hikers a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The trail is well groomed, which
helps little feet stay on it.” —GLENNA BULLOCK

Trail Contributor

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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