Ellis-Survey Loop

Ellis-Survey Loop Hike
In Sandia Mountain East Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10086
Last Updated: 03/20/2023 2:26pm
Last Updated By: Marilyn Fixer
Hike Class: C (Challenging)
Hike Distance: 4.9 mi
Minimum Elevation: 9850 ft
Elevation Change: 570 ft
Total Uphill: 735 ft
Total Downhill: 735 ft
Avg. Grade: 8 %
Route Type: CCW Loop
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: No
Hiker Limit (NF/BLM/NP): 15 (Sandia Wilderness)
Drive Distance Round Trip: 60 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:00
Hiking Seasons:
New Mexico Game Unit: 8
Hike Status: Published


Varied terrain, with some portions in the open and some in the trees. Good views to the west, especially beautiful when aspens are showing fall color.


Ellis trail is open to the summer sun, so wear your big hat and bring plenty of water!

Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque go east to the SR 14 exit and go north to Cedar Crest. At SR 536 turn left and go up the crest road 11.7 miles to The Ellis Trailhead PARK (0.0 mi) on your left. A three dollar fee or Golden Age Pass is required.

Actual Hike

From PARK (0.0 mi) go north, crossing the highway. The hike follows the cutting for a road intended to go to the Sandia North Peak area. The road was never completed. The trail intersects the 10 K TRAIL (2.0 mi) after up and down travel. Turn left onto the 10K trail which goes up, crossing the SURVEY TR . Continue to the Del Agua OVERLOOK (2.3 mi). To go back return to the intersection with the SURVEY TR (2.5 mi) and go right on that trail. This trail gains elevation at a moderate rate and reaches the state ROAD (4.3 mi). The trail officially ends here. Cross the highway and go downhill on the trail. The SWITCHBACK (4.6 mi) trail joins from the right. Go straight; this is now the Switchback Trail. At LEFT (4.8 mi), leave the Switchback Trail. Arrive at the service road and go left to the parking lot.


The Ellis segment of this hike is in the open. The Survey segment of this hike is in the trees. At the far end of the hike there is a view to the west overlooking Del Agua Canyon. In the fall a large stand of yellow aspens covers the northwest facing slope.


PARK: N 35 12.530, W 106 26.454
10 K TRAIL: N 35 14.057, W 106 26.852
OVERLOOK: N 35 14.277, W 106 27.000
SURVEY TR: N 35 14.151, W 106 26.945
ROAD: N 35 12.727, W 106 26.763
SWITCHBACK: N 35 12.583, W 106 26.639
LEFT: N 35 12.487, W 106 26.456

Map Filename: Ellis-SurveyLoop_Nnew.jpg
Hike GPS File Name: Ellis-SurveyLoopWayTrack_DBDB.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Dick Brown
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: Dick Brown
Track Author: Dick Brown
Maintainer: Ken Smith
Editor: Howard Carr