The Eye of the Sandias 

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Author: 4085956033
Date: 10 Oct 2006 4:55:36 PM
Source: Trimble Outdoors on my Nextel phone
Activity: Hiking
State: New Mexico (NM)
Distance: 3.96 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1649 ft
Total Loss: 1649 ft
Net Change: 0 ft
Difficulty: 3 / 10
Tags: Albuquerque, Hiking, loop, New Mexico
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

If you are looking for a fun cool weather or winter hike, this may be the spot. This route follows a series of well used, faint, and non-existent trails as you make a large loop at the SW end of the Sandia Mountains. For this hike we chose to do the second half of the route in off trail. This is a fun experience with lots of places to stop for sight seeing, but you may opt to follow our hike in reverse and stay on the well-worn path. Either way, you will reach a rock formation where an unknown person painted a weeping eye. Urban legend has it that the eye represents the mountain crying over the encroachment of the city. Nobody knows who is responsible for the original painting or the recent new coat of paint, but half the fun is the hike anyway. I recommend this hike for around Halloween time as part of a month long theme of spooky and weird things. You may want to check out the North Mystery Trail Hike or the Crest Full Moon hike described elsewhere. I do not recommend hiking this during the summer. The area is very exposed and can get very hot. Getting there: From Tramway Boulevard in Albuquerque, take Copper Avenue East to its terminus at the parking lot at the TH.

Position Format: Datum:


Distance: 0.00 mi Points: 1
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Eye Track

Distance: 3.96 mi Points: 323
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
For this hike, follow the track in a counter-clockwise direction. If you prefer to stay on good trails, follow the track in a clockwise direction and return the same way.

Points of Interest


Location: 35.072845, -106.482391 Altitude: 1828
Take trail #401 as it heads south from TH and intersects trail #365.


Location: 35.071609, -106.482307 Altitude: 1845
Head towards visible saddle between two hills.

Eye 2

Location: 35.071758, -106.480400 Altitude: 1892
At this point, this hike begins to head off trail and in to a series of drainages that make for interesting navigation. You may want to follow the more well worn path that parallels the old boundary fence. Locate that trail by continuing up hill in a N

Eye 3

Location: 35.072784, -106.469475 Altitude: 2087
Trail leaves fence and climbs NE towards the Eye.

Eye 4

Location: 35.072823, -106.470131 Altitude: 2076
As you return from the Eye, follow a different trail as it heads NW back towards the U-mound rock formation and trail #365. This is a well-worn path.


Location: 35.072872, -106.470284 Altitude: 2075
As you head east of drainage, you will catch a glimpse of the old boundary fence where you will again join well-worn trail.

Leave #365

Location: 35.078949, -106.479752 Altitude: 1830
Leave trail #365 as you proceed east across dry open space back to TH.

Parking Area

Location: 35.079205, -106.484856 Altitude: 1793
Lot only has a few spaces so come early or plan to park on a side street.

Power Line

Location: 35.079712, -106.478615 Altitude: 1876
Trail passes under power lines.

The Eye

Location: 35.076202, -106.466461 Altitude:
An interesting way to express a message? The Eye has become the stuff of folklore and urban legend. You may not agree with the media of the message, but the message itself hits close to home.

The Eye

Location: 35.076233, -106.466515 Altitude: 2184
The Eye will be visible about 100yds before you reach it.

Trail #365

Location: 35.080322, -106.478477 Altitude: 1862
Locate trail #365 at near U-mound and follow it SE back to TH.


Location: 35.079193, -106.484474 Altitude: 1791
The trailhead is in Albuquerque Open Space property. You can visit the city website at and go to the Open Space Map section to download maps of the trail system in the foothills.

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