Richard and I went to the east side of Sandia Mountain for a short Saturday afternoon hike. Our destination this time was a loop consisting of the Sulphur Spring Trail, connecting to the Faulty Trail, and returning by way of Bill Spring Trail.
It was a rainy day. However, Weather Bug was reporting no precipitation on Sandia Crest, so we decided to take a chance. Despite some rain showers during the drive to the east side, it was not raining when we arrived at the Sulphur Canyon trailhead. the rain had obviously just stopped, as the foliage was still wet.
After our encounters the week before with bears and rattlesnakes on the Armijo Trail, Richard was concerned about meeting up with more bears. The warning sign at the trailhead didn’t help, and I’m afraid I added to the anxiety level by pointing out that our trail would intersect the Oso Corredor Trail for a short distance. Oso Corredor is Spanish for Bear Corridor.
Unlike the previous week, we saw almost no wildlife. An Abert’s Squirrel was peeking at us from up a Ponderosa Pine as we started the hike, but that was the extent of wildlife.
Sulphur Spring is located near the trailhead. From there the trail begins a steady climb of about 300 feet to the intersection with Faulty Trail. Faulty Trail is an interior trail — it does not directly connect to trailheads and is used a lot for connecting between other trails. We used it to connect to Bill Spring Trail.
Near the connection to Bill Spring Trail was a connection to Oso Corredor Trail. This was the highest point on the trail, at about 7800 feet, about 600 feet above the trailhead. At the Bill Spring Trail intersection, the trail takes a switchback and begins a descent, parallel to the Faulty trail we had just traversed.
Bill Spring Trail took us to the Doc Long picnic area. Probably due to the wet weather, we saw no picnickers. We walked all the way through the picnic area to the Crest Highway, then walked around the corner to the Sulphur Canyon trailhead.
More pictures of this hike, with photos geolocated to where they were taken, are available at Sulphur Spring – Bill Spring Loop at EveryTrail. Roll your mouse over the pins on the map below to get a thumbnail of the photos.
EveryTrail – Find the best Hiking in New Mexico