Tree Spring Loop
|A longer loop in the Sandia Mountains that takes you through several vegetative zones. The variety of vegetation, including wildflowers in the spring, makes this hike worthwhile. Add to it the views from the Crest Trail, and the result is an excellent all-day hike.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||7:00.|
|Usage (people/hour):||0.00. People per hour not recorded. Parts of this loop receive heavy usage.|
|130140||Trail junction||Junction of the Pino trail (140) and Crest trail (130)|
|130148||Trail junction||Cienega Canyon trail junction with the Crest Trail|
|148195||Trail junction||Junction of trails 148 and 195|
|CHBFT||Trail junction||Faulty trail horse bypass|
|FTOC||Trail junction||Faulty trail junction with Oso Corridor trail|
|OSOTST||Trail junction||Junction of Tree Spring Trail and Oso Corridor trail|
|SCTFT||Trail junction||Sulphur Canyon trail junction with Faulty trail|
|TSTTH||Trailhead||Tree Spring trailhead|
|TSTWB||Trail junction||Tree Spring Trail wilderness boundary and junction with Crest Trail|
|TSTY1||Trail junction||Un-signed junction on Tree Spring Trail|
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|
|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:
Take I-40 to the North 14 exit (exit 175). Go north 5.75 miles from when you pass under I-40 until you get to a triangle of asphalt with a road heading west. There are signs on both sides of the road indicating that this is the road to the crest. Head up this road for XX miles. A sign indicates the trailhead parking on your left.
About the hike:
At the trailhead, you are walking over arkose sandstone (such as what is in the picture) in a Fir forest. This sandstone is feldspar-rich, and cemented with calcite.
After a short time, you reach a fork in the trail where the right branch is not heavily used (GPS TSTY1).
The Sandias are a good place to hike if you like wildflowers. Besides the wild iris shown at the top of this page, we also saw lots of these Canadian violets.
After another short distance, you reach the junction with the Oso Corridor trail (GPS OSOTST). Continue on the Tree Spring Trail; you will be returning on the Oso Corridor.
The trail begins to climb more now.
Another pretty flower you may find along the trail is the wallflower.
The trail shifts to being on limestone.
You may also see clematis along the trail.
After more hiking, you begin to get nice views to the east. This is an indication that you are reaching the Crest Trail and the wilderness boundary. Upon reaching the Crest Trail, (GPS TSTWB), go left.
Now, you head down Cienega Canyon. One of the things you may see is the field of Star Solomon Seal.
After about an hour of hiking, you reach the junction with trail 195 (GPS: 148195). Go left.
Keep your eye open as you hike. Interesting critters like this one can be found waiting for a meal to come by.
The trail climbs a bit. In about 20 minutes, you will reach The junction with the Faulty Horse Bypass (GPS: CHBFT). Go left, which begins to descend.
The next junction is the Sulphur Canyon trail (GPS: SCTFT). Go straight, which takes you up and out of the canyon.
About half an hour more hiking, and you come to the junction with the Oso Corridor (GPS: FTOC). Take the Oso corridor, which begins to climb.
A little over an hour later, you reach the junction with the Tree Springs Trail. This should look familiar to you. Go right, which will return you to the trailhead.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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