Fletcher Trail via Piedra Lisa Trail South

1 review #40 hike out of 99 in
3.5 mi
1 hrs 40 min
1,024 ft
Elev Gain


Fletcher trail is a medium high difficulty out and back trail in the North Western Sandia Mountains. It must be accessed via Piedra Lisa trail in upper Juan Tabo canyon and leads to a landmark known by climbers as the UNM Spire. The trail is about 1.4 miles long; however, the total travel from Piedra Lisa south trailhead is about 2.1 miles one-way. The altitude gain just over 1,200 feet from Piedra Lisa Southern trailhead with steep sandy sections of 30% to 55% slope. Hiking poles are recommended as it is easy to slip on this steep sandy section - especially coming down.

Fletcher is lightly trafficked, likely due to steep sections and summer raptor closures. However, it is used enough that most of the trail is well defined and not too difficult to follow. The mid-section; however, is a little faint. The trail is best enjoyed in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild. Some years it is is subject to a rapture closured from March 1st through August 15th - check with the forest service for information on closures.

At the top there is a nice view of areas known by local climbers as The UNM Spire, The Ramp, The Shield East Face, and The Prow.

Getting Started

Access Fletcher from the Piedra Lisa Southern Trail Head parking lot on FR333D. After traveling 0.63 miles on Piedra Lisa Trail you will have dropped into a canyon with a dry wash or arroyo. To access Fletcher, starting at the bottom of this canyon, veer North East up the arroyo. After traveling about 2,000 feet the trail turns East out of the arroyo. Pay attention as it is easy to miss this right turn and continue up the arroyo into the wrong canyon. This mid section becomes steep with about a 30% slope and is a little faint in areas. The loose sand in this section makes it slippery and hiking poles are recommended.

Taking Children

This hike is not recommended for children as there the last section has steep drop-offs which could be dangerous. Also, there are sections with 30% to 55% slope which is quite steep.

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