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Armijo Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.6 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop around the Cienega Canyon picnic area that includes part of South Faulty Trail.


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Map Key

5.3

Miles

8.5

KM

90%

Singletrack

7,860' 2,396 m

High

7,102' 2,165 m

Low

848' 259 m

Up

842' 257 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Features -none-

This route is typically snowy from November through February. May be closed during the summer months due to fire danger - check with the ranger station for details.

Overview

This is a nice varied loop in the east Sandias that gives a sampling of the steep and narrow South Faulty trail, the chunky switchbacks along the horse bypass, and a flowing canyon section.

Need to Know

Hiker traffic can be heavy in this popular area.

Description

Park at the horse trailer area or Sulphur Canyon picnic area if the gate is closed. NOTE: Parking anywhere in this area requires a valid permit. Patrols are frequent and fines approach $100.

Head east down the chunky switchbacks of Horse Bypass to Cienega Canyon. Turn downhill along an old road, then bear off and to the right onto Armijo Trail. Follow this uphill through a nice wide canyon with a couple of steep sections. Eventually you'll hit a section of South Faulty Trail that will take you north until you once again intersect Cienega Canyon.

Here, there are a couple of bedrock steps and a steep descent to the canyon floor. You can bail out here or continue following South Faulty Trail until it intersects the Horse Bypass. The Horse Bypass is a nice downhill ride with a couple of chunky spots.

Once you reach the road, continue on to the parking area and complete the loop.

Contacts

Local Club: AMBA

Land Manager: USFS - Cibola National Forest Office

Shared By:

John Geronimo with improvements by Sarah Councell

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 11 votes

#2

in Sandia Park

#2202

Overall
  3.6 from 11 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
27%
2 Star
18%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Sandia Park

#55

in New Mexico

#2,202

Overall
117 Views Last Month
2,171 Since Jul 13, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
11%
44%
0%
44%
0%

Photos

The view makes the tough climb worth it
May 7, 2018 near Sandia…, NM
Typical rocky tread on South Faulty
Aug 16, 2014 near Sandia…, NM
Nice cruising in Cienega Canyon
Jul 24, 2014 near Sandia…, NM
Steeper section approaching South Faulty Trail
Aug 16, 2014 near Sandia…, NM
This series of bedrock steps is the one of the few on Faulty
Jul 13, 2014 near Sandia…, NM

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 37 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 20, 2019
Nick Bustamante
Trail is very fun going CCW. Steep and rocky at times but nothing too bad. Scenery is beautiful. A few overgrown stretches and a couple downed trees. — 1h 45m
May 12, 2018
Anthony Gauna
May 7, 2018
Ro Noland
May 4, 2018
Sara Doorley
5.3mi
Aug 4, 2017
Anthony Gauna
Jul 18, 2017
Dylan Davis
Nice trail to get some practice climbing loose rock and over brick sized rocks. 5.3mi
Jun 20, 2017
C. Shain Tanner
Jul 16, 2015
steven crisp
The right turn at the creek halfway is very easy to miss. Don't follow the horses.