Hawk Watch

Hawk Watch Hike
In Sandia Mountain South Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10164
Last Updated: 03/20/2023 2:29pm
Last Updated By: Marilyn Fixer
Hike Class: C (Challenging)
Hike Distance: 3.3 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6325 ft
Elevation Change: 1170 ft
Total Uphill: 1170 ft
Total Downhill: 1170 ft
Avg. Grade: 14 %
Route Type: InOut
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: No
Hiker Limit (NF/BLM/NP): 15 (Sandia Wilderness)
Drive Distance Round Trip: 40 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 0:30
Hiking Seasons: Spring, Fall, and Winter
New Mexico Game Unit: 8
Hike Status: Published


Hike to a ledge good for viewing migrating raptors.


Short but steep hike. Hiking poles recommended.

Trailhead Directions

I-40 east to Carnuel Exit 170 (first exit past Tramway) onto old Rte. 66 (now SR 333), east 1.5 miles to Monticello Drive on left (Whittier is on the right). Follow Monticello Drive through the Monticello Subdivision, then Alegre St. (522) then north on Siempre Verde bearing right on dirt road, Tres Pistolas (Three Guns) and dead-ending in a cul-de-sac parking area at the mouth of the arroyo at PARK (0.0 mi).

Actual Hike

This hike is also known as “Hogwash” by at least one hiker. Hike as if going on Three Gun Springs Trail. At the USFS signboard at HAWK WATCH (0.5 mi), the Hawk Watch Trail goes off to the right (east). Follow the cairn-marked trail across the arroyo and up the ridge using several switchbacks to a level area about 7,480′ at LUNCH (1.7 mi), the customary end of the hike.


Try to do this hike during the raptor banding operation conducted during March and April of each year by Hawk Watch International.


PARK: N 35 04.582, W 106 26.655
HAWK WATCH: N 35 04.960, W 106 26.617
LUNCH: N 35 05.197, W 106 25.970

Map Filename: HawkWatchImage_MW.JPG
Hike GPS File Name: HawkWatchWayTrack_DBMC.gpx
Hike GPS File: Click link to download hike waytrack file

Text Author: Roger Holloway
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: Mike Coltrin
Track Author: Dick Brown
Maintainer: Ken Smith
Editor: Marilyn Warrant