Spruce Spring Trail to Red Canyon Trail Loop is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mountainair, NM that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until November.
This is a great trail that's not to steep and ends at the crest. A little ways to the south down the crest trail there is a short trail up to Galio Peak which is one of the tallest in the Manzano range with exceptional views of the whole world. I like to go a little futher to the south and head down Red Canyon trail ( a much steeper and some what shorter trail) makeing a loop back to the parking lot. If you do the loop it will be 7 1/2 miles. If you stop off at the peak maybe 8 miles.
This is my favorite train in the Manzano's. This trail heads up at a very steep climb along a small stream with several nice waterfalls. The stream may not be running June - July but some water most of the year. In a wet season be prepaired with some dry socks. There are alot of rock walls and the vegetation is fantastic. In July and August you can pick lots of different berries. When I reach the crest trail at the top I head north and come down Spruce Springs trail to make a loop. Altogether it's about 7 1/2 miles. Spruce Springs is a little longer trail but not as steep so for me it's easyer on the knees. ;-)
Ox Canyon to Crest Trail 170 to crest trail 170A
We horseback rode this area September 2010. This is a beautiful area with the most variety of topo zones we have ever ridden and we have ridden mountain areas of SD, Wyoming, Colo and northern NM. We camped at the trailhead to Ox Canyon trail # 190. The campground is somewhat primitive compared to Red Canyon campground to the north of this one. But it is less crowded. We had the campground to ourselves. It does have toilets but no water. We watered our horses at a pond not far off the main road. The hike up Ox Canyon is forest with plenty of water seeping out of the ground. Once to the top you're on Crest trail #170. There you will find aspens which were turning colors when we where there. You need to go either left or right (south). South goes to Manzano Mnt the highest peak in the wilderness but you will be able ride/hike right to the top. Crest Trail is the only trail we've ever ridden that allows for views on both sides of the mountain, to the west and to the east. Great views to the west of the Rio Grande valley and Los Lunas. To the east the vast open land reaching out toward Texas. Past the mountain and continuing south you will ride in a burn out area. This is now trail # 170A. After which you will start heading SE. The worst part for horses was a narrow place thru some rocks that was steep and slick. Hikers will have no trouble. Eventually you will get to the campground at Pine Shadow spring. Before that the terrain will switch from pine forest to scub oak, catus and allegator juniper. What a change! How exciting. This would be a steep climb back up if one choose to. We ended up riding forest service road #422 back up to camp at Ox Canyon. This was an alll day ride. Rather then ride the road back we would have prefered to ride trail #73 Cotton Wood springs but for some reason it's closed to horse traffic. This is a fantastic area to hike or ride and the road to get there isn't terrible although high clearance vehicles would be recommended. Manzano Mnt wilderness forest service map is the guide we used along with a gps.