Domingo Baca TWA Route

Domingo Baca TWA Route Hike
In Sandia Mountain West Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10458
Last Updated: 03/20/2023 2:15pm
Last Updated By: Marilyn Fixer
Hike Class: E (Most difficult)
Hike Distance: 7.2 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6435 ft
Elevation Change: 2325 ft
Total Uphill: 2529 ft
Total Downhill: 2529 ft
Avg. Grade: 13 %
Route Type: InOut
On Trail: No
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: Yes
Hiker Limit (NF/BLM/NP): 15 (Sandia Wilderness)
Drive Distance Round Trip: 13 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 0:15
Hiking Seasons: Spring and Fall
New Mexico Game Unit: 8
Hike Status: Published


A strenuous, beautiful hike mostly in the woods, along a small babbling stream with many small waterfalls. Go to the wreckage of a TWA flight.


A difficult hike with areas of rock scrambling and steep trail. Trekking poles and gloves recommended. Poison ivy possible along the trail.

Trailhead Directions

Tramway North past Academy. Turn right at Elena Gallegos Picnic Area and make a hard (120 degrees) left turn after the guard station and go to the extreme North parking area. Trailhead starts through the bushes on the North side of the parking area.

Actual Hike

From PARK NORTH (0.0 mi), hike north then east on Trail 230A and make a left turn at Trail 230 (Domingo Baca Trail). Follow Trail 230 through waypoints GATE (0.65 mi) and INTO CANYON (1.1 mi) then passing ROCK RUINS (1.6 mi) about 0.2 miles to waypoint TURN TO TWA (1.75 mi) where you scramble up the south bank to the sandy flats (this is the most often missed turn). Follow the trail past TO LOWR FALLS (2.5 mi) and past WTRFALL TOP (2.65 mi). Proceed up hill on main trail approximately 3/4 mile passing BYPASS LOWER (3.35 mi) to the large boulders at waypoint BOULDERS (3.4 mi) and then up hill another 1/4 mile to waypoint TWA (3.6 mi) which is the beginning of the TWA crash site and is directly under the tram cables. There is more wreckage up hill from here. There is as much elevation gain the last mile of the hike as the first 2.5 miles. Although there is a bypass around the large BOULDERS, it would not be recommended unless the boulders are slippery from rain, snow or ice. This is an in and out hike so follow the same waypoints back to the van.


TWA flight 416 crashed in 1955 due to bad weather and compass problems killing all aboard. This can be a dangerous hike so don’t try it alone. There are several areas of rock scrambling and many smaller trails which often lead back to a main trail but conditions (dead falls, etc.) change so some deviation from main track may be needed. Take lots of water, walking poles, gloves etc. and be prepared to do some rock and log scrambling up and down. Watch out for poison ivy along the trail. This is a beautiful hike with much of it in the woods along a small babbling stream with many small falls.


PARK-NORTH: N 35 09.949, W 106 28.378
GATE: N 35 10.261, W 106 28.011
INTO CANYON: N 35 10.520, W 106 28.117
ROCK RUINS: N 35 10.805, W 106 27.718
TURN TO TWA: N 35 10.886, W 106 27.594
TO LOWR FALLS: N 35 11.116, W 106 27.054
WTRFALL TOP: N 35 11.205, W 106 27.002
BYPASS LOWER: N 35 11.539, W 106 26.572
BOULDERS: N 35 11.578, W 106 26.581
BYPASS UPPER: N 35 11.598, W 106 26.612
TWA: N 35 11.696, W 106 26.552

Map Filename: DomingoBaca_TWA_Route_Image1_ks.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: DomingoBaca_TWA_Route_ksks.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Frank Ernst
Map Author: Ken Smith
Waypoints Author: Ken Smith
Track Author: Ken Smith
Maintainer: Ken Smith
Editor: Marilyn Warrant

Photos of This Hike
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