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King of the Mountain, Golden Eagle Loop

Difficult
 3.9 (24) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A grueling climb followed by a fast descent on the Sandia Peak Ski Area trails.


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Map Key

12.0

Miles

19.3

KM

95%

Singletrack

10,275' 3,132 m

High

8,653' 2,637 m

Low

2,108' 642 m

Up

2,122' 647 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

May be closed during summer months due to fire danger, check with the ranger station for details.

Overview

Singletrack switchbacks is what you're in for. The trail tends to be narrower and smooth when in the open area where the ski runs are and wider and more technical in the trees. At the top, take the time to pedal up and look out over the city from the actual Sandia Crest. Most of the descent is fast with banked corners, though beware of the soft sand on the outer edges as you exit the corners especially when it's been dry.

Description

If the ski area parking is closed, park on the road and ride into the lot, otherwise start by riding to the northern end of the lot and up the dirt road that loops back to the south. Take the signed singletrack on the right a short ways up for "King of the Mountain", Falcon Ridge and another trail. Follow this through grassy switchbacks occasionally moving from one ski run to another. Eventually take another right, this one signed for "King of the Mountain" (King), at this point the climb begins to get more interesting.

Through the middle portion of the climb you'll end up in the trees and are faced with rocks and roots in the corners. There are several technical sections, some on short downhills, that feature big rock ledges and roots or very narrow lines. The upper bit of the climb smooths out again and you eventually come out on a short section of dirt road to get up to the top of one of the lifts.

This is a great place to pedal up to the crest and look out over the city or have a burger at the High Finance restaurant.

Continue past the lift and around the ski patrol shed to pick up the Golden Eagle trail. This trail descends almost the whole way, though there are a couple of short uphill spots and few longer flat sections that require pedaling. There is not much beyond controlling your speed and the chop from other riders breaking into corners to challenge the rider. There will be several times that you cross trails and service roads on the descent, just stay straight on the singletrack.

Contacts

Local Club: AMBA

Land Manager: USFS - Cibola National Forest Office

Shared By:

LeeAB Brinckerhoff with improvements by D Inoobinati

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 24 votes

#1

in Sandia Park

#1006

Overall
  3.9 from 24 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Sandia Park

#20

in New Mexico

#1,006

Overall
132 Views Last Month
7,088 Since May 31, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
26%
0%
68%
5%

Photos

A full value couple of hours of cool, grueling uphill, away from that valley heat. Dozens of these open flats provide a few moments of recovery between many more steep and loose hairpins.
Sep 5, 2020 near Sandia…, NM
Framed by trees rounding a switchback
May 31, 2013 near Sandia…, NM
Derek peddling grassy switchbacks in the lower portion of the climb
May 31, 2013 near Sandia…, NM
Enjoying the downhill
May 15, 2021 near Sandia…, NM
Trying to clear big rocks, roots and miss the tree.
May 31, 2013 near Sandia…, NM

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

May 9, 2021
Drew Lito
Only did the downhill portion from top of ski lift. Trail was perfect except for occasional snow mounds. 2nd half of trail had no snow. 6mi — 0h 30m
Aug 7, 2020
Kristina Gonzales
Jul 22, 2018
Dion Smith
Conditions were dry & hot; multiple fallen trees; loose rocks in the rutted trail sections, but passable. It’s KOM trail, it’s not supposed to be e… 14.1mi
Jun 10, 2018
Lauren Perry
12mi
May 18, 2018
Aaron Reilly
Apr 23, 2018
Bobby Kantz
A lot of down trees on the way up. From the storm last week. — 3h 00m
Oct 21, 2017
Rachel Danczyk
14mi
Sep 24, 2017
Matt V