Where to Snowshoe in the Sandia Mountains
One of the most frequently asked questions by our snowshoe rental clients is “Where can we go?”
The Sandia Mountains offer plenty of trails for year-round use. The first step is to make sure there is enough snow on the mountain. Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway have a live snow report feature on their website. Snow shoes can be used in multiple ways. If there is only a few inches of snow reported, you may not need the flotation offered by snowshoes, but instead use the traction provided by integrated crampons. As you ascend, the snow will hold over longer and become deeper. While you may not need anything at the start of the trail, you might be up to your thighs by the end!
There are so many trails to choose from in the Sandia mountains, it can get complicated. Sticking closer to the crest will provide you with the best snow opportunities, especially earlier in the season. By mid-season, many more areas will be available for snowshoeing, even as far down into the foothills as the Pino Trail (weather dependent, of course).
Here is a link to a simple map provided for free by the US Forest Service. Unfortunately, not all of the available trails are listed on this map. For a better, more detailed, topographic map of the Sandia Mountains, check out this one by Dharma ($11).
Here are a few of our favorite trails to snowshoe in the Sandia mountains:
Tree Spring trail (147)
Crest trail (130N, 130S)
10K trail (200)
Sandia Snowshoe Race Course (Map)
Remember to always check the weather conditions, tell a friend where you are going, and if conditions worsen, have an escape plan.