Route: Watermelon Loop in the Sandias (NM)

New Mexico, US
21.1 mi

This is a rather popular loop among ultra-runners in the area, so I wanted to post my slow time with the hope of seeing what some faster runners can do.

The loop starts at the Elena Gallegos trailhead in the Sandia Foothills, then heads north along Trail 365 to the Sandia Tramway station. From there, a small trail links up to the iconic La Luz Trail. This trail goes to the crest or, when doing the Watermelon Loop, follows a path to the Ski Lodge/Tram station. The South Crest trail is picked up at the ski area and followed to the top of the Pino Trail. The Pino Trail is then followed back to the Elena Gallegos parking lot. This clockwise direction is the standard direction.

The route is right at 21 miles, with ~4700' of vert.

GPS Track


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Profile picture for user marcy_beard

I'm making an unacclimated attempt at the Watermelon Loop tomorrow.  I heard there's construction around the tram station (thank you Christopher!) so I'll be double-checking everything there.  I'm trying to get the Garmin website to work tonight (was very finicky and now it doesn't come up at all), but my new Mini should send the tracking points here once I start:

With a time of 3:35:28 athlete Sabeyta17 held the FKT for this route from 8/22/20-10/03/20.

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My wife and I went out and did this loop last Saturday, 8/7. It was fricking amazing and highly recommended. Note that the gate to Elena DOES NOT OPEN until 7 am. But there is parking outside the locked gate. The 365, Tramway and La Luz trails are all in good condition. The Pino is overgrown but still nice. Note that the Tramway has cold water in the Tram building. 

We had a blast but didn't set any FKTs as they are stout for both genders, so it was the Funnest Known Time.