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Cedar Crest is a small settlement in Central New Mexico, situated on the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains, opposite Albuquerque. Scattered along the base of the mountains alongside the village of Tijeras directly to the south and the tiny settlement of Sandia Park directly to the north, Cedar Crest serves as a primary gateway into the Sandia Mountains and to the Turquoise Trail scenic roadway north to Santa Fe.

Get in[edit]

The town is located a few miles east of Albuquerque, at the junction of I-40 and NM State Road 14 (the "Turquoise Trail", a scenic route heading north through the town of Madrid to Santa Fe). From Albuquerque, I-40 passes through the narrow Tijeras Canyon. Running alongside I-40 through the canyon is NM 333, a winding two-lane road that follows the route of old Route 66.

Get around[edit]


The view from Sandia Crest
  • Cedar Crest serves as the primary gateway to the 1 Sandia Crest, the ridge that tops the Sandia Mountains. You can drive up to the crest for a spectacular view over Albuquerque and the surrounding countryside; just drive north on NM 14, turn left on NM 536, and follow the winding road up into the Sandia Mountains to the crest.
  • 2 Tinkertown Museum, NM 536, Sandia Park (about seven miles north of I-40, off NM 14 on the way to Sandia Crest), +1 505 281-5233. Open April 1-November 1. A folk art museum featuring thousands of miniature, wood-carved creations including animated figures, instruments, animals and objects, miniature Western towns, carnivals, Old West memorabilia, old-fashioned arcade machines, dolls, antique tools and more. $3.50 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children, children under 4 free.


  • 1 Sandia Peak Ski Area, NM 536 (on the way to Sandia Crest, six miles from NM 14), +1 505 242-9052. During the winter, you can ski or snowboard at Sandia Peak. The ski season is typically mid-December to mid-March, depending on the seasonal amount of snowfall. There are 30 trails with four chairlifts and two surface lifts, and a terrain park. Most of the facilities are at the bottom of the slope (which is accessible by road), including a cafeteria, ski school, the equipment rental shop, and a sports equipment shop. At the top of the hill is access to the Sandia Peak Tramway from Albuquerque (see the "See" section on that guide). Presuming there's enough snow at the top, you can take the tramway (skiers get a discount on tramway tickets, but you have to bring your own equipment); otherwise, you have to drive. $55 adult full-day lift tickets, $40 children full-day lift tickets (half-day and Beginner Lift Only tickets are also available).
  • The Cibola National Forest, which encompasses the Sandia Mountains, offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The 2 Sandia District Ranger Station is located just south of Cedar Crest in the village of Tijeras, at 11776 Highway 337 south of I-40, where you can purchase trail maps and get information about conditions in the forest. NM 536 above Cedar Crest is lined with trailheads and picnic areas, as well as a sledding hill at 3 Capulin Spring in the winter months; a daily amenity fee of $3 is required for all vehicles parking in designated areas.



  • 1 Ribs BBQ, 12220 N. Hwy 14, +1 505 281-4227. Tu-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11:30AM-8:30PM, closed M. One of the better ribs joints in the state.




Go next[edit]

Routes through Cedar Crest
GallupAlbuquerque  W  E  EdgewoodTucumcari
GallupAlbuquerque  W  E  EdgewoodTucumcari
Santa FeMadrid  N  S  END

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