Outing of the Week: Tree Spring Trail

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Sierra Club outings and in-person events have been cancelled through February 28th, 2021. While we’re all disappointed, we understand that everyone’s health and safety are most important. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and go for a hike! Our do-it-yourself outings are designed with you in mind and offer a range of difficulties and outdoor experiences. We hope you’ll climb the mountains and receive their good tidings during this challenging time.

Tree Spring Trail (Trail 147)

Location: Albuquerque east mountains
Difficulty: Moderate, ~3.8 miles round trip, out and back
Hiking time: 2.5-4 hours
Cost: $3 per vehicle and pay at the trailhead or display the appropriate pass
Dogs: permitted on leash Map: All Trails

About this hike: This is a great trail to defeat the summer heat and is located in our backyard. If you’ve never hiked in the Sandias, this is a great first time outing; and if you’ve hiked in the Sandias extensively, this is perhaps one of your old-time favorites. This shaded trail winds it’s way through piñon-juniper and Ponderosa-Douglas fir forest and you’re rewarded with a view all the way to Santa Fe on the East side of the mountain and to the Continental Divide on the West side of the mountain. Rated as moderate, you’ll gain about 1,000 vertical feet over the two miles to the top with plenty of spots to catch your breath or a beautiful view along the way. Don’t forget water and snacks to enjoy while you savor the vistas from the Sandia Crest.

Pro Tip: Because this is a popular trail, we recommend going during the week, or if you’re going on the weekend, get to the trailhead before 8:00 a.m. or in the mid-afternoon. Don’t forget to check the weather. Trail running shoes and light hikers with good tread are usually a great choice for this trail.

Open space etiquette: While our Open Space trails are a great asset during this time, it’s critical that anyone visiting any public lands help take care of these lands as well. All trail users can help by practicing the following:

  • Maintain social distancing on trails of at least 6 feet from other trail users.
  • Keep group sizes to fewer than 5 people.
  • Pick up after your pets. Mutt Mitt stations and trash cans are available at most trailheads.
  • Pack out any trash from anything you bring with you on your hike (e.g. food wrappers, water bottles, etc.).
  • Stay on all designated trails to help reduce soil erosion and disturbances to plants and wildlife.
  • Enjoy, but do not disturb plants and wildlife.
  • Do not remove any artifacts, rocks, or other things that belong in Open Space.

Getting there: Take I-40 East to exit 175 and go North on NM-14 towards Cedar Crest. From the exit proceed North on NM-14 for approximately 6 miles and turn left (East) onto NM-536. Look for the Sandia Ski Area sign and the Shell station as prompts for the turnoff. Travel up NM-536 for approximately 5.7 miles and there’s a sign marking the Tree Spring Trail trailhead and parking area. GPS coordinates: 35°11’37.1″N 106°24’16.4″W or 35.193633, -106.404550.

Outing of the Week: Tree Spring Trail