Sulphur Canyon, Faulty Trail, and Bill Spring loop
|This easy hike near Albuquerque is a good one for seeing wildflowers, as well as the occasional squirrel or other wildlife.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||2:32.|
|Usage (people/hour):||0.00. People per hour not recorded.|
|281FAULTY||Trail junction||Junction of 281 and Faulty trails|
|281TH||Trailhead||Trail 281 trailhead at Sulphur Canyon picnic area|
|BSPRFAULTY||Trail junction||Junction of the Faulty and Bill Spring trails|
|BST DLONG||Trailhead||Bill Spring trailhead at Doc Long Picnic area|
|DLNG WOLF||Trailhead||Trailhead for Wolf Spring trail in Doc Long picnic area|
|OSOFAULTY||Trail junction||Junction of the Faulty and Oso Corridor trails|
Maps:Geohack online map list Paper maps:
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Albuquerque New Mexico||USGS||1983||1:100000||Y||from sar.lanl.gov (free)|
|Cibola National Forest, Sandia Ranger District||US Forest Service||2006||1:63360||N||From the National Forest Store (purchase)||Sandia Ranger District portion|
|Cibola National Forest, Sandia Ranger District||US Forest Service||2006||1:24000||Y||From the National Forest Store (purchase)||Doc Long-Cienega enlargement area|
|Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah||Automobile Club of Southern California||1998||1:0||N||Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (purchase)||Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
From Interstate 40, take the exit for North 14. Go north about 5.9 miles to the triangle of asphalt, where you go left, heading toward Sandia Crest. After about 1.7 miles, turn left at the sign for the Sulphur Canyon picnic area. At the stop sign, go right for about 0.2 miles to the picnic area. The trailhead is at the far end of the picnic area (GPS: 281TH). As you can see, the trailhead does not really look like one. In fact, you pass picnic tables for the first part of the hike, which is on asphalt.
About the hike:
As mentioned above, the first part of the trail is asphalt, and you go past picnic tables nestled amongst the trees, as you can see here if you look closely.
You can see some clematis in the foreground (purple flowers).
The asphalt lasts for about 0.3 miles. Here you can see Diana walking down the trail, near where the asphalt ends.
Beware, as poison ivy grows along this trail---Note the white berries which are its fruit. The poison ivy is easy to avoid, but we do recommend caution if you bring a dog or child.
After about 0.7 miles, you come to the junction of 281 (which you have been hiking on) and the Faulty trail. You will want to make almost a 180° turn to the right. In the GPS waypoints, this is 281FAULTY.
About 30 feet after you make this turn, you come to another, unlabeled junction. Go left, which keeps you on the more heavily-traveled trail.
This part of the trail is drier, and you can see the effect in the type of plants that grow here. Most of the wildflowers have disappeared. One example which is still here is the Cliff Fendlerbush. Another example is the thistle with the butterfly at the top of the page.
After about 2 miles of hiking, you come to the junction with the Oso Corridor trail (GPS: OSOFAULTY). This is the highest point on your hike, at 7847 ft (2392 m). Go right, which keeps you on the Faulty trail. The trail now heads down.
After a short distance more hiking, you meet the Bill Spring Trail (GPS: BSPRFAULTY), where you make a right. The trail is wide, and you will see many small trails appearing.
When you have hiked a little more than 3 miles, you arrive at the Doc Long picnic area. The photo here is of the Bill Spring trailhead at the Doc Long picnic area (GPS: BST DLONG). Walk through the picnic area on the road, staying straight when there is a junction.
After the junction, you will see the trail (Wolf Spring Trail) that connects the Doc Long and Sulphur Canyon picnic areas going up on your right (GPS: DLNG WOLF). Take it. From here, it is a short walk back to the parking area where you started.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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