From the intersection between I-25 and I-40, go north on I-25 to the Tramway Rd. Take a right onto Tramway and continue past Sandia Casino towards the mountain. Several miles past the casino, turn left onto the FR-333 to the La Luz Picnic Grounds near the base of the mountains. There are two places where you can pay the parking fee, the first is near Tramway Rd. and the other is at the turn off to the La Luz Trailhead parking lot. Continue straight beyond the turnoff to La Luz onto FR-333D (a dirt road) to the Piedra Lisa Trailhead, which is just before a gate that has a sign saying “no public access.”
Elevation Gain: 1,360'
From the Piedra Lisa Trailhead, walk up the road ¼ mile to reconnect with the trail on the right side of the road. Once on the trail, stay left at all forks because several trails go off into the larger Sandia Mountains like Movie and Fletcher Trails. Continue to the top of Rincon Ridge where the trail begins to descend to the north trailhead.
Take a hard left at the blue wooden pole marking the trail onto the Rincon Spur trail. Follow it to the top of a rise in the ridge where it appears to end. At this point, take a shallow left and a faint trail reappears below the branches of juniper. This trail travels to the base of a large monolith of rock and ends.
When facing the large rock formation, a smaller one stands at 6 o’clock. Climb over this to the north and climb down the hill a ways along side a large patch of oak brush. Make your way to the bottom of the oaks in a sandy gully and twenty feet below that, another faint trail travels west below a pine tree. The basic idea is to continue along the ridge to the 8,250 foot peak’s base, so just find any path through the trees and rocks to that point.
The rise before the saddle to the base of the 8,250 foot peak must be descended from its top, straight toward the larger peak in a shoot made by two rock outcroppings. Find your way along the north side of the 8,250 foot peak to its west side, staying as level as possible to the previous ridge.
On the northwest and western flanks of the peak, large outcroppings of rock, slippery dirt on loose rock, and massive amounts of cacti make it challenging to find a path. Just feel your way through and test different routes, but make sure to stay pretty straight on in elevation in order to find the shortcut through the oak brush onto the next ridge.
Stay off the highpoints along the ridge and a lot of difficulty with the flora can be avoided. The best way is to travel just below the top of the ridge on the south side and begin to climb northwest when near the base of Rincon Peak. It is a rough scramble with loose rocks and cacti up to the summit from the ridge below. The northeast face seems to be the easiest way to the top.
Basic hiking gear should be enough. Gaiters and a machete could help with thorn bushes and oak brush. A little rope could aid climbing down and up rock outcroppings.
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