As the North Crest Trail (130) heads north from the Sandia Crest parking lot, it passes just east of a series of communications towers. There’s an alternate route you can take for the first half-mile or so of your hike, just west of those towers. Gaia GPS refers to it as the Crest Spur Route (84A) but I haven’t seen that designation anywhere else; it’s neither signed nor maintained. The route is shady and uncrowded and offers great views, but it’s for experienced hikers only. There are wrong turns, the trail surface tilts downslope, and if you slip you may slide off a cliff. If you do decide to check it out, avoid it in anything but dry weather. Unless you have the feet of a mountain goat, use a hiking pole or two.
To begin the route, park in the Sandia Crest parking lot and head up the first flight of stairs at the north end of the lot. At the top of the flight, where the paved walkway curves southward, step off the concrete and head northwest, angling down onto the west face of the Sandias. You are now in an area where routes branch off in various directions, so GPS readings will come in handy. About 45 meters (straight line) into the hike, about 35 deg. 12.679 min. N, 106 deg. 27.012 min. W, take the left fork and head roughly south. About 50 meters later (straight line), about 35 deg. 12.652 min. N, 106 deg. 27.018 min W, take the right fork and head NNW. After those two forks, the route is easier to follow. About 35 deg. 13.102 min. N, 106 deg. 29.091 min. W, near the north end of the communications complex, the route joins the North Crest Trail. Once there you can turn left and continue northward, or turn right and return to the parking lot after a roughly one mile loop.