Sandia Crest LbNA # 5152
|Placed Date||Jul 26 2003|
|Last Update||Oct 11 2008|
Terrain Difficulty: Easy (flat, .25 mile RT)
Sandia Crest, at 10,678 feet, is the high point on the Turquoise Trail and is accessed via the Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway or the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque. The name Sandia is a Spanish word meaning "watermelon", and was given to the crest by the first Spanish explorers to this region who were struck by the vibrant crimson reflection of the setting sun on the west face of the mountains, which reminded them of the sweet fruit of the watermelon. Located in the Cibola National Forest, the Sandias are home to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bear and many other mammals and birds, including golden eagles. So come enjoy a day of hiking and stay for the spectacular sunset while looking for this letterbox! Note: This box might be covered in snow and ice until well into summer. Some have put ATTEMPTED when this is the case, but the box could still be there.
Sandia Crest is about 23 miles northeast of downtown Albuquerque and can be reached by the Sandia Peak Tramway or by car on the Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway. The Tramway can be reached by going east on I40, then north on Tramway Blvd. approximately 9 miles. If driving, go east on I40, north on Hwy 14 for 6 miles, then northwest on Hwy 536 for 14 miles.
Park at the visitor center and go left to the Nature Trail loop and walk it counter-clockwise, turning right at the fork. Enjoy scenic views on the first part of the trail, then forest on the last part. In the forest, stop at the Englemann Spruce sign. From the sign, look left and behind you up the hill (south at 180) and find a large spruce tree about 20 steps away. Climb up the hill to it and look on its back side base under some rocks and pine needles for the box. Please re-cover well.