Friends of the Sandia Mountains (FOSM)

Supporting Sandia Ranger District Since 1997

Notices and Highlights


  • Sandia Peak Ski Area reopens!
  • Sandia Snowshoe Classic a huge success!
  • Forest Service introduces new trails personnel.
  • FOSM working with Forest Service and rescue organizations to improve safety of La Luz Trail.
  • Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway closed until March. Watch for updates.
  • Forest Service announces closure of Cedro area for thinning operations.
  • Forest Service announces beginning of winter pile burning operations.
  • Check out our many volunteer opportunities.
  • Check out our awards and other recognition.
  • Read about our history, strategic plan, and board of directors.


  • Share info about road and snow conditions as well as your winter wonderland photos.
  • Contact Mike Madden to help with 2024 Snowshoe Classic.
  • Become the leader of our paint crew.

See below for further details.

Whether you are a hiker, mountain biker, cross-country skier, trail runner, or you just enjoy being in the Sandias, you know that our mountains are one of nature’s special gifts.

Have you ever wondered what you could do to help protect our mountains? Do you want to learn more about the animals and plants you find there? Do you like to meet people who share your concern for the Sandia and Manzanita Mountains?

Welcome! Please explore our website to learn more about the goals and many activities of the Friends of the Sandia Mountains (FOSM). We likely have volunteer opportunities that match your interests and abilities.

New to Albuquerque or just new to the Sandias? Explore the many recreational opportunities our mountains offer. Please carefully read the Safety section.

An easy way to get involved is to join Cibola Trail Rangers, an email group consisting of hikers, bikers, XC skiers, horsemen, etc., who frequent the trails in the Sandia Ranger District and are interested in exchanging information on trail conditions on both an immediate and continuing basis. The group includes FOSM members trained to correct reported problems. Please report corrective actions as well as problems so that the FOSM trail maintenance crew doesn’t hike to fix a problem that no longer exists.

Share your Information about Snow Conditions and your Winter Scene Photos

February 11 – Thanks to Gordon Eatman, Steve Roholt, and Kerry Jones for these great photos. There’s snow apleanty on the mountain.

February 11 – Cross-country skiers at Ellis Trailhead. Photo credit: Gordon Eatman
February 10 – “El Niño has been kind this year!” Photo credit: Steve Roholt
February 11 – Lots of snow at Del Agua Overlook. Photo credit: Gordon Eatman
February 5 – What a difference a year makes! Photos taken just below Kiwanis Cabin. Photo credit: Kerry Jones


Albuquerque Journal, February 10, 2024, page A7

2024 Snowshoe Classic a Huge Success!

Click for more information.

The weather was perfect, the snow was great, and 153 racers had a great time! We’ve got hundreds of photos and lots of video here. You can read Race Director Mike Madden’s final report here.

January 20, 2023 – From Julie Padilla, Recreation Staff Officer, Sandia Ranger District: Our trails program is growing again! I do ask for your continued patience as we take some time to get our feet under us and begin to develop the program. Please help me welcome our new District Trails and Wilderness Assistant Program Manager Canyon Young and new seasonal Trails Crew Lead Dorothy Hendrix.

Canyon Young started his federal career at the Sandia Ranger District as a seasonal, where he did a season of fire and a few seasons of trails. Leaving for a permanent position in 2020, he did a few years with the NRCS in Santa Fe, followed by a year with the BLM in Albuquerque, both as a Rangeland Management Specialist. Since 2018, Canyon has also owned and operated a small forestry contracting business in the East Mountains, implementing thinning for wildfire risk mitigation, as well as hazardous tree removals. As a lifelong Sandia Park resident, he is very excited to be working on his home USFS district again, and hopes to put his extensive local knowledge of the Sandias and Manzanitas to good use for SRD. Outside of work, Canyon is an avid trail runner, skier, hunter, and mountain biker.

Hi, I’m Dorothy Hendrix and I’ll be the Trail Crew Lead for the upcoming 2024 season. This will be my fourth season working on trails and my first official season as a lead! I completed my degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Northern Arizona University and have spent the past few years working a variety of seasonal jobs in the southwest. In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors, bowling, drumming, and a variety of hobbies. I’m very excited to be with the Sandia Ranger District for my first season with the Forest Service!

Click here for current Sandia Ranger District organization chart.

FOSM member and Sandia Ranger District volunteer Jamey Browning is working with the Forest Service and several rescue organizations to develop signage and maps to improve hiker safety on La Luz Trail.

The trail, one of New Mexico’s most popular hiking destinations year-round, can be very dangerous as exemplified by the recent (1/6/24) overnight rescue of three stranded hikers involving multiple organizations and culminating in a dangerous helicopter extraction of one of the victims. The danger and difficulty of this rescue were described in a dramatic article published in the Albuquerque Journal on January 18.

Jamey is working closely with Jonathon Yales of Cibola Search & Rescue and the Sandia Ranger Dsitrict to develop new signage and safety documentation that meets Forest Service requirements. The first tangible results of their efforts are warning signs and a map installed at the Lower La Luz Trailhead on January 10.

This effort is in response to a call for help from FOSM and Cibola Search & Rescue member Shannon Braune, who emphasized the frequency and severity of La Luz rescue missions during her presentation at our August 1, 2023 membership meeting.

Click to read Albuquerque Journal article about most recent rescue.
Warning signs and map at Lower La Luz trailhead
Map under development showing locations of “hot spots” – frequent rescue locations on La Luz Trail
Warning sign under development

The Tram will be closing on January 9th and will remain closed thru March 13, dates subject to change.

Click for backgound and updates

Order Number 03-03-05-24-02

Albuquerque, NM, January 12, 2024 – The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands (NF&NGs) has issued an area closure order (Order 03-03-05-24-02) for the Cedro 4 Project Area on the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola NF&NGs, described below and shown on the attached map.

This Order shall be in effect from January 12, 2024, at 0600 through May 1, 2024 at 0600, unless rescinded.

Purpose of this order is for the protection of public health and safety during mechanized thinning work in the Cedro 4 project area south of Forest Road 462.

This Closure Order includes the area south of Forest Road 462. Roads included within this closure order are as

  • Forest Road 12 from its intersection with Forest Road 462 (northern end of the closure) to its intersection
    with Lone Pine Trail (southern end of the closure);
  • Forest Road 13 from its intersection with Forest Road 462 (northern end of the closure) to just east of the
    intersection of Forest Road 13 and Cedro Peak Trail near Forest Road 252 (southern end of the closure).
    Trails included within this Closure Order are as follows:
  • Delbert’s Trail from its intersection with Chamisoso Trail (southern end of the closure) to its intersection
    with Forest Road 13 (northern end of the closure).
  • Mighty Mule Trail from its intersection with Forest Road 13 (northern end of the closure) to its intersection
    with Rattlesnake Trail (southern end of the closure).
  • Rattlesnake Trail from its intersection with Forest Road 12 (southern end of the closure) to its intersection
    with the Meadow Ridge Trail (northern end of the closure).
  • Meadow Ridge Trail from its intersection with Forest Road 13 (northern end of the closure) to its
    intersection with the Cedro Single Track Trail (southern end of the closure).
Click to read full announcement.
Click to enlarge map.

Click on the images above to read the full announcement and see an enlarged map illustrating the affected area and trails.

Click to access Forest Service website.

FOSM president Mike Madden advises: Pay special attention to trails at or near the colored areas on the map, at the Faulty/Sulphur junction, Cienega Horse Bypass, and Cienega Canyon, as these trails get heavy winter recreation use.

Click to enlarge.

Volunteer Opportunity – Paint Crew Leader

Thanks, Anne Hickman, for your years of faithful service as leader of the paint crew. Anne has stepped down due to other commitments. Please use the form here if you would be interested in assuming this leadership position.

Welcome, New FOSM Members!

Emily Moore – January 29, 2024

Christopher Mcgrew – January 25, 2024

Allan Miltenberger – January 17, 2024

Laurie Lacey – January 8, 2024

Kerry Jones – January 5, 2024

Linda Shedd – January 2, 2024

Aaron Browning – December 18, 2023

Shawn Dietrich – December 9, 2023

Laura Leon – October 20, 2023

Lawrence Shapnek – October 19, 2023

Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner – September 25, 2023

Susan Jacobsen – August 19, 2023

Kay Mayoora – August 11, 2023

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