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Tres Pistolas (Three Gun Springs) Trail

Intermediate
 3.8 (4)

A moderate trail leading up Three Gun Springs Canyon to the Ponderosa Trees and the Embudo Trail.


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Map Key

4.1

Miles

6.6

KM

Point to Point

8,481' 2,585 m

High

6,329' 1,929 m

Low

2,232' 680 m

Up

99' 30 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views

Description

Start off in the Monticello Subdivision following signs to the trailhead. This trail has parking for 10 cars but you can probably squeeze more along the road. Hiking early is a must here (as it is in most of the Sandia foothills) as the beginning offers little shade.

The first third of the trail is Easy/Intermediate through the high desert foothills with many different kinds of cacti (prickly pear, barrel, cholla). You'll meander on, passing decent sized boulders and juniper. This part is sun-exposed but you'll get a great feel for the canyon and higher mountains around.

You'll eventually start to hit some switchbacks and a solid Intermediate section. At the start, you'll see a signpost trail marker as the trail turns left. Here to your right you see some different trees growing. This is likely the namesake Three Gun Springs as it allows different types of trees to grow lower than normal. This section is steep, loose, and tough. Power through and you come out of the canyon on the ridge and into the ponderosa pines. Here you'll intersect with the Embudo Trail. Continue up and to the right on the Three Gun Springs Trail.

The final third is Easy/Intermediate to Intermediate as you weave along ridge lines going higher and higher. Pause to take a few views of the Albuquerque to your left as you go. Eventually you'll come to intersection of 2 trails, Embudito Trail (192) and Whitewash Loop, at Oso Pass. Taking a right on Embudito you'll eventually intersect with the South Sandia Crest Trail (#130) close to South Sandia Peak. Taking a left on either Embudito or Whitewash will lead you back to the Albuquerque Heights.

Contacts

Shared By:

Noah Patterson

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#17953

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#272

in New Mexico

#17,953

Overall
86 Views Last Month
2,116 Since May 28, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

Barrel Cacti blossom in beautiful spring color.
Apr 18, 2017 near Carnuel, NM

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Apr 5, 2020
Amber Montoya
Feb 2, 2020
Cristina Ricci
May 25, 2019
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Apr 22, 2018
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Jul 8, 2017
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