Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Trailhead is accessed via Cole Springs Road which the owner has kept closed to the public since 2011. Access Cañoncito Trail via Faulty Trail #195
Need to Know
Cañoncito Trail #150's original trailhead cannot be accessed by the public because Cole Springs Road has been restricted to private use by the owner.
Amenity fees are required to park at Cienega Picnic Ground or Sulphur Canyon Picnic Ground; $3 per vehicle ($10 for 15+ capacity vehicles).
To access Cañoncito Trail, you use Cienega Picnic Ground after May 15 when it re-opens for the season. If you are hiking before it opens, you can park at the adjacent Sulphur Canyon Picnic Ground ($3 amenity fee required per vehicle; $10 for 15+ passenger vehicles). From there, you can hike past the locked gate along the road to Cienega Picnic Ground and take Cienega Horse Bypass
#266 to Faulty Trail #195
, heading south until it intersects Cañoncito Trail.
Cañoncito Trail is a lightly-traveled trail, in part because of the extra miles one must hike in order to access it. Expect numerous fallen trees and a somewhat indistinct trail in the first few miles. Steep and rocky the first mile, the trail transitions to softer soil and becomes more obvious as it ascends to its juncture with South Crest Trail #130
. Despite its ruggedness and inconvenient accessibility, the trail does offer a pleasant solitary hike through the Sandia Mountain Wilderness.
Cañoncito Trail ends at its junction with the South Crest Trail #130
. You can retrace your steps down Cañoncito Trail and back along Faulty Trail and Cienega Horse Bypass
. However, if you want to take a more interesting route back, continue north on the Crest Trail
for about 1.2 miles until to the upper trailhead of Cienega Trail #148
and use this trail to make a loop back to your car.
Depending on where you parked, you can either travel via Cienega in its entirety back to the trailhead at Cienega Picnic Ground, or if you parked at Sulphur Canyon, after about the fourth mile coming down Cienega, take the Cienega Horse Bypass
back to the road and head past the locked gate to where you parked at Sulphur Canyon Picnic Ground.
Flora & Fauna
You'll be hiking amongst ponderosa pine, spruce fir, oak, and aspen. Wildflowers are plentiful in spring. You may encounter birds such as Stellar's Jays and mammals such as squirrels and chipmunks. If you are really lucky, you'll see some mule deer.
Shared By: Anthony Hjalmarson