Waterfall/Juan Tabo Loop-Difficult

This is an off-trail route and loop to Sandia Crest up the south ridge of Waterfall Canyon and down Juan Tabo Canyon and the Fletcher Trail. No dogs please. Hike is under 10 miles but the going is slow (expect an all-day affair) with about 4,000 feet of elevation gain. No dogs.

Challenges: bushwhacking (not too bad), scrambling (non-technical climbing without protection using hand and foot holds) with some exposure, and route-finding.

Dangers: falls, slips, rockfall, abrasions, and puncture wounds.

Hiking requirements: Confident and comfortable with heights and exposure, steep and loose terrain, and rock scrambling.

Gear: Poles, traction aides, gaiters, water proof shoes, and leather garden gloves are recommended. 


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  • Doug F.

    Great hike, weather, and company!

    November 3, 2013

  • Terry M.

    Hiking with a mountain madman can be difficult. However, it was well worth the views and new experiences. An amazing day. Now, where did I put that Advil?

    November 3, 2013

  • chris s.

    doug, as for the scrambling. How would this compare to
    scrampling up piedra lisa canyon, and I mean way past the
    trailhead ending once up the main wall?

    November 1, 2013

    • Doug F.

      Probably not, as every off-trail hike in the Sandias has its challenges but it is definitely difficult. What is the most difficult hike for anyone, including yourself, is subjective and dependent on experience, comfort level, physical condition, weather, terrain, bugs, etc...

      November 1, 2013

    • Xuyuan P.

      I'll take it as the most challenging one, haha

      November 1, 2013

  • Doug F.

    I expect to see some ice and or snow near and above 10,000 feet. It may be a good idea to bring a traction aide and gaiters. Waterproof boots or shoes are recommended.

    November 1, 2013

  • Xuyuan P.

    the way up was so much fun!

    November 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there any sort of recreation pass required to park by the trailhead? I have seen signs in the area for that sort of thing.

    October 30, 2013

    • Doug F.

      It's free if you have a Federal Lands or Cibola National Forest Pass. If you don't want to pay the fee you can park at a pull-out before passing the National Forest Boundary Gate (less than 100 meters from Tramway Blvd. just before you drive over the cattle guard) and I'll pick you up. If you or anyone else wants to do this, leave a reply and plan to meet 10-15 minutes earlier.

      October 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll probably just pay the fee. Seems simpler. See you guys on Saturday!

      October 31, 2013

  • Kim Meucci H.

    Gone this weekend

    October 28, 2013

  • Jeff A.

    I could do Nov 16th

    October 28, 2013

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