Tree Spring Trail – Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

Tree Spring Trail is a beautiful trail in the Sandia Mountains were you can see a diversity of plant and animal life, along with majestic views of mountains to the east. It may be one of the most popular trails on Sandia Mountain.

If you’re a flat-lander looking for a challenging hike, this trail is perfect. The trail is a 4.35 mile hike (round trip) and you’ll gain about 1,000 ft in elevation. If you have bad knees, be prepared – it’s mostly uphill or downhill. There aren’t many flat sections for your knees to rest.

No matter the time of year or day, I always run into another hiker. It’s a great summer hike with beautiful views and wild flowers. It’s also a great winter hike because it’s well traveled and typically the snow is packed enough for you to hike it without snow shoes (although not always).

Trail Specs

  • Total Miles: 4.35 miles (round trip)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,027 ft
  • Max Elevation: 9,484 ft
  • Time to Hike: 2+ hrs (for a leisurely hike)

How To Get There

Simply Google “tree springs trailhead sandia mountains NM” and the location of the trailhead will populate. It’s located about halfway up the Sandia Mountain road.

The parking lot is along the left side of the road and is well marked. It looks like ample parking, but on a summer weekend, it’s usually packed tightly with cars. The trail has nice bathrooms at the trailhead along with a picnic table. The trail head is an exit point for multiple trails in that area. Click here for the National Forest Service Tree Spring website.

If you use All Trails to plan out your hikes, click here for their link to this trail.

Trail Maps

Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, NM
Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, NM

View Points You Can Expect Along the Trail

Once you get higher up on the trail, the trees begin to open up and you’ll see magnificent views of mountains to the east of the Sandias. These views tend to come with mountain winds. In the summer it’s a welcome breeze but in the winter, it can be chilling to the bone. Be sure to bring a wind proof layer.

I believe that’s South Mountain! Where’s the app for identifying landscape features like we can identify constellations? Ha!
Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, NM in the winter
View Point from the top of Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, NM (you can see Albuquerque, NM)

Animals You May See Along the Trail

  • Chipmunks
  • Woodpeckers
  • American Crow

Plants You Will See Along the Trail

This trail is about half way up the mountain, so you’ll see more fir, pine, and oak than spruce trees. As you go further up in elevation, you’ll see fewer pine but more spruce and aspen.

If you want to learn how to tell the difference between a pine, spruce, and fir tree, click here! If you want to teach your kids or students how to identify them, click here!

Ponderosa Pine
Click on the image to access our lesson on how to tell the difference between a pine, spruce, and fir tree!
Gambels Oak
White Fir
Young Rocky Mountain Juniper
Engelmann Spruce
You’ll see a lot of witches broom along the trail!

Other Great Trails to Hike

In the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico:

Other Trails in New Mexico:

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