Forest Loop

Placitas, New Mexico (Sandoval County)

Last Updated: 06/18/2018
4.8 / 5 ( 5 reviews )
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Highlight: Forest Loop
Amidst breathtaking vistas, Forest Loop (FR445) lazily meanders through the northwest corner of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. Nestled between Sandia Pueblo and the Village of Placitas, this trail winds around in juniper, cactus, sand, and sage as the ridgeline of the Sandias climbs above. At nearly any point along the trail, one can see for many miles across the Albuquerque Basin and Rio Grande Valley. The region's surrounding mountain ranges, dormant volcanoes, ancient lava flows and mesas are all visible in the distance. A prominent hiking trail off of Forest Loop, Piedra Lisa, provides access to Waterfall Canyon and linked trails leading all the way to the 10,678-foot Sandia Peak. Whether you want to load up your bike, day pack, picnic basket or just take a pleasant drive through the foothills, Forest Loop is a great destination.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. West Trailhead and Staging Area (0 mi)
Turn right off of NM 165 and cross the cattle guard into the parking area. Bear immediately right to head out on the trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Bernaillio

From Interstate 25 take Exit 242, NM 165 east toward Placitas 3.0 miles. The west trailhead and parking/staging area are on the right (south) side of the highway.


Not allowed

Trail Reviews (6)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: I stopped by today this trail and have seen the sign saying “Motor Travel Restricted Area” at around point #10. Not sure if it’s O.K to go forward with my Jeep so just turned around. Is it O.K to go inside with Jeep?
–Kyounghwan Kim (11/02/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (11/04/2019)

Writer Information

Scott Mitchell

Mapping Crew - New Mexico

Scott Mitchell is a Personal Defense and Defensive Tactics Instructor in Albuquerque. A New Mexico native, Scott lives in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, adjacent to the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area in the Cibola National Forest. Scott likes to get out at every opportunity to explore his state's off-road trails. As a Trailsoffroad contributor, his goal is to find and share as much reliable information as possible to help others navigate and enjoy the great New Mexico outdoors.
For individual use only, not to be shared.