Hiking the South Piedra Lisa Trail in the Cibola National Forest

Join us as we climb the Sandia Mountains along the South Piedra Lisa Trail.

No comments

When we need to get out of the RV and the RV park, our first choice is always somewhere outdoors. Preferably somewhere we can bring our dogs and let them stretch their legs.

We are using the All Trails app to locate trails in the Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and Albuquerque area. The South Piedra Lisa Trail in the Cibola National Forest has 4.5 stars. It is rated moderate, dog-friendly and reaches 1,309 feet into the Sandia Mountains.

On a crisp, sunny Saturday in early February, we packed the dogs, camera, and water into the car and drove 20 miles to the South Piedra Lisa Trailhead parking lot.

The number of cars in the lot confirmed it was a popular trail. Max and Sadie were anxious to get out of the car and get walking. Leashes in hand, we walked the short distance to the trailhead and started our ascent into the mountain forest.

We didn’t walk far before we saw snow under trees and along a dry creek bed. We haven’t seen much snow this winter and it was nice to see some along the trail.

2-Snow on side of trail
Snow along the trail
3-Snow in creek bed
Snow in the creek bed

The trail is a steady incline up the mountain. As we walked, the views got better and better.7-Peek at the Peak

9-View on the trail pano

We saw several groups of hikers heading down and others going up. We stepped to the side and let those behind us pass. We were not in a hurry and did not want to hold others up.10-View from the trail panoAfter walking over an hour, we met a family heading down. We asked if they had reached the top. They said they turned around before reaching it. We asked other groups heading down the same question. None of them made it to the top.

Hmmm . . .11-near the top

We wondered how much further it was. We really wanted to reach the top. We kept on walking, watching for trail makers showing the distance.

We decided to keep walking until 4:00 p.m. before heading back down. We wanted to be down before sunset. At 3:45 p.m., Andy started feeling lightheaded. We knew it was time to turn around. We had stopped at the 1.8-mile marker.

12-1.8 mile marker
Someone had written the distance on the pole. The original sign was no longer visible.

We didn’t know our elevation. Later, I looked it up on an elevation map. The elevation at that point is 7,900. We were close to the top, but couldn’t risk proceeding. We rested a few minutes before walking back down the mountain.13-Near the top


15-Walking cactus among the pines
Walking cactus among the pines

The trip down took about an hour. We stopped several times to enjoy the view and take a few more pictures. When we had the trail to ourselves, we let the dogs run ahead a short distance.14-Heading down

27-Hillside houses seen from trail
Houses on the hillside

We have a long list of places to see while we are here. However, if we can work it in, we will go again. Maybe to the top.

If you are in the Albuquerque area and like to explore trails, we recommend you try the South Piedra Lisa trail.


19-February flowers
February Flowers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s