|This easy hike is notable for being close enough to Albuquerque that you can decide at the last minute to go hike it. It also is easy enough to take young hikers. The network of trails gives you many options of places to go, and it would be hard to get truly lost here. It is a popular mountain biking area as well.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||2:00.|
|Usage (people/hour):||1.00. I only saw two other people when I hiked it. However, the trail network is popular with mountain bikers, and the proximity to Albuquerque means that you can expect to see people.|
|Cleanliness:||7. A mountain biking friend says that they have regular "cleanup weekends", but people using the area seem to leave plenty of litter.|
|CDROGT||Trail point||Gate on the Cedro Peak trail|
|CDROTH||Trailhead||Cibola National Forest Cedro Peak trailhead|
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Albuquerque New Mexico||USGS||1983||1:100000||Y||from sar.lanl.gov (free)|
|Cibola National Forest, Sandia Ranger District||US Forest Service||2006||1:63360||N||from Amazon (purchase)||Sandia Ranger District portion|
|Cibola National Forest, Sandia Ranger District||US Forest Service||2006||1:36000||Y||from Amazon (purchase)||Cedro Peak enlargement area|
|Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah||Automobile Club of Southern California||1998||1:0||N||from Amazon (purchase)||Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
Exit from I-40 at NM 337 south. From the stop light at NM 337 and old US 66 (NM 333), head south for 5.0 miles. You will see a left turn with a left turn bay and a sign that says: Cedro Group Campground and Juan Tomas. Go 0.6 miles on this road to a left turn on a gravel road. A pair of signs indicate that this is the route to Cedro Campground and Cedro Peak Multiple Use Trail System. Go 1.5 miles and just past the Cedro Group Campground is the parking area for the (according to a sign) Cedro Trailhead Dispersed Area. It is a large, gravel parking lot with a pair of pit toilets, some trash bins, and one picnic table nearby. When I was there, there was a large, eroded stream gully down the middle of the parking lot, so drive carefully. The trailhead is just down the road, across from the campground entrance. The trailhead sign is small.
About the hike:
You head into the Piñon and Juniper and almost immediately the trail branches. Take the left branch. The trail along here is eroded several inches down from the surrounding ground level. Unfortunately, this further increases the water flow, increasing the erosion.
As you hike along the trail, you should be able to see the trailhead parking area off to the left, between the trees. This trail often parallels the road to the peak.
It appears that as people have hiked, biked, or ridden their dirt bike or ATV, they have gone most anywhere that the trees were wide enough to permit passage. Therefore, you will see many "trails" as you hike. Normally, you can tell which one to be on, and even if you cannot, you just get to see more of the area. A GPS will keep you from getting lost. Also, knowing that the parking area is on the southwest side of the mountain, a compass will get you back to roughly the right area. Finally, you can always just head for the peak and take the road down to the parking area.
When the trail reaches the road, it parallels the road on the right side as you head up. You will see trail 13, which is a two-track heading off to your right. This trail heads back down, so it is not the one to take if you are heading for the peak. You can see trail 13 in the photo to the right.
Instead, the trail to the peak parallels the road, about three to five feet (one or so meters) to the right of the road proper for a little while before diverging slightly. It was along here that I took the picture at the top of this page.
After a little bit more hiking, you meet the road again near a gate (which was clearly set up to prevent vehicle traffic and not foot or bicycle traffic) (GPS: CDROGT). Cross the road and follow the two-track to its end for a great view spot, part of which is in the picture to the right. From this place, you can see the Manzano mountains, Tijeras canyon, Albuquerque and the mountains much further west like Mount Taylor, and the Sandia Mountains. Unfortunately, some people have also decided it is a great place to throw cigarette butts, beer bottles and cans. Backtrack somewhat to another two-track; that is the trail. If you reach the road on the other side of the gate, you went too far; back up just a little and you will see the main trail continuing to head uphill (or, you can simply take the road).
After only a little more climbing, you reach the peak, where you can wander amongst the microwave and cell phone towers, taking in the views in all directions.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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