Ellis Trailhead, Ellis Trail 202 & FR 488

Area Status: Open

The Ellis trail is 2.7 miles long and begins across the road from the lower parking area of Ellis Traihead. The trail is named for George Ellis who homesteaded Ellis Ranch, in the Sandia Mountains from the 1880's until his death in 1912. Elevation ranges from 9,640 to 10,270 feet for an elevation gain of 630 feet.

Access Forest Road 488 from the upper parking area at the gate.

Please refer to the Sandia Mountain Trails map and the Sandia Crest Trails and Trailheads to plan your course.

  • Cell phone coverage is not guaranteed
  • It is the recreationist’s responsibility to know which trails are designated for motorized vehicles and to follow the guidelines.
  • It is a multi-user area.
  • Trail(s) are open for the following uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Horseback riding, Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoeing.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Toilets, Parking
Fees: Requires a fee or day-use pass, such as the New Mexico Enchantment Pass.  If you do not have a pass, use the Pay Station on site. Envelopes for payment are in the box next to the fee tube. CASH OR CHECK ONLY at pay station.
Open Season: Open year round
Water: No
Restroom: Yes, at the trailhead parking area
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information


From Albuquerque, drive east on I-40 to Exit 175 toward Cedar Crest/N-14. Follow N-14 aka the Turquoise Trail for approximately 6.5 miles, to NM 536/Sandia Crest Scenic Byway. Turn left onto 536 and follow it for about 12 miles. Ellis Trailhead parking is to your left.

(MVUM) Official Motor Vehicle Use Map - North

More About Bears

Living With Large Predators in New Mexico

About the Civilian Conservation Corps

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking

Horse Riding

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.7 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,640 - 10,270 ft