Las Huertas Canyon

Placitas, New Mexico (Sandoval County)

Last Updated: 12/01/2021
4.7 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 05/01 - 12/01
Length: 7.46 miles
Highest Elevation: 8585 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: South
Nearest Town: Placitas
Nearest Town w/ Services: Bernalillo
Official Road Name: 165
Management Agency: National Forest Service
District: Sandia Ranger District, Cibola National Forest


Highlight: Las Huertas Canyon
The drive through Las Huertas Canyon in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness is a popular one due to its close proximity to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area. In addition to providing an alternate route to Sandia Peak, this trail offers people an escape into a cool pine forest, away from the heat and bustle of nearby cities and towns. This trail also provides access to two large group picnic sites (Las Huertas and Balsam Glade), limitless hiking opportunities, and the Sandia Cave archaeological site. The Sandia Cave (a.k.a. Sandia Man Cave) is a National Historic Landmark that has played an important role in the history of archaeological thought about the Paleoindian period and Southwestern archaeology. It is located high up on the steep cliff walls of Las Huertas Canyon. Las Huertas Creek, which is adjacent to the trail, is the only year-round stream in the Sandia Range. The water draws birds and other wildlife to the picnic grounds and surrounding areas. aspen and fir trees surround the trail, providing shade from the sun.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. North Trailhead (0 mi)
At Mile Marker 9, stay left at the fork where the pavement ends and the trail into the mountain range begins.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Placitas

From I-25, take Exit 242 Bernalillo/NM 165. Proceed east on NM 165 and go through Placitas. The road will curve to the south and lead you into the Sandia Mountain Range. At Mile Marker 9 the pavement ends and the trail described in this guide begins.


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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.