Capulin Peak is a small unranked peak on the backside of the Sandia Mountains. Like many other peaks in the area it is an elongated ridge. Although the views are not as spectacular as many other Sandia Mountain peaks this summit has something else to offer. Just below the summit on the main trail are the ruins of an old mining shack and mining pit.
Capulin Peak Ruins
New Mexico Rank:
Rank and Prominence information from
Lists of John
Go east on I-40 to exit 175 (Tierjas). From the exit ramp turn left (north) and go under the highway continuing north on Rt 14. Follow Rt 14 north for approximately 6 miles and turn left (west) onto Rt 536. Continue up Rt 536 past the turn off for Rt 165 and Balsam Glades to the Capulin Snow Play area. Turn right into the parking lot. The gate is usually closed forcing you to park in the lot closer to this road. This only adds about 100ft to the hike.
Capulin Peak Routes
There are two main trails to the summit of Capulin Peak however, one trail has no defined parking area. Both trails are equally easy and require little time or effort. The standard trail begins at the Capulin Snowplay area while the second route begins at Rt 165.
Capulin Peak Trail:
The standard trail is an easy trail that follows cross-country ski trails. The beginning of the route passes through dense pines before ascending to the summit ridge. The final part of the trail is rocky with only scrub brush.
Views from the summit:
Looking West Looking Southwest
There is a $3 per car fee to park the trailhead. Payment envelopes and stations can be located in the parking area as well.
There are no campgrounds in the Sandia Mountains. There are numerous commercial camping sites aloug route 14 between I-40 and route 536.
Local weather: Albuquerque
City of Albuquerque open space info: here
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