dogs on leash
Great starting point in Tijeras Canyon to climb South Sandia Peak. Make sure you start early in the day as the beginning of this trail does not have much shade. Once you go over Post Pass, you drop down into some very nice (and cool) canyons before climbing up to Oso Pass. From Oso Pass, it is a very steep climb up to South Sandia Peak. The views along this hike are very nice. Instead of retracing your steps, you can hike down the south crest trail to the Canyon Estates trail head parking lot. When I did my trip I was dropped off at the Three Gun Spring trail head and picked up at the Canyon Estates. Take lots of water with you.
Very nice trail for a quick workout and great views! I used to hike this trail every afternoon in the summer after work to get into shape. Round trip (about 3.9 miles) can be easily done in 2 hours, however, once you get to the crest overlook you will want to spend some time taking in the view. Note: use caution on this trail after the first snowfall. The mix of snow/ice/mud can be deceiving and is easy to slip on ice if you are not careful. Make sure you bring along some good walking poles. It can also be very windy and cold at the top of the crest so bring appropriate clothing. I am always amazed, especially in the late fall and early winter, how many people will hike up this trail in tennis shoes and light clothing and not carry any additional gear, water, food, etc. I always take my ruck with enough gear and supplies to spend the night, if necessary, matter how nice the weather may be.
This trail is also a good starting point to get to the Crest Trail and the 10K trail. One of my most memorable trips was to hike up Tree Spring trail to the Crest Trail and then head south all the way to South Peak and exit at the southern end of the Crest Trail at Canyon Estates trail head. This was a very long trip (over 12 miles if I remember correctly), however, I had the whole day to do it and thoroughly enjoyed it! The hike through the aspen groves and short hike up South Sandia Peak was the highlight of the trip. This is a one-way trip so you either have to make arrangements to park a car at Canyon Estates trail head parking lot or have someone pick up up.
Trail is easy to follow until reaching the crest (follow the pink ribbons). Tons of sights and history. A cave, B-17 wreck, and early 20th century homestead plus grave site. Watch for grazing cattle. This hike is surprisingly worthwhile for a short few miles of investment. Approach trailhead via dirt road to Fourth of July campground out of Tajique. Google the trail for gps coords of various POI and directions.