Tunnel Spring

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5/5 (3 reviews)
Placitas, New Mexico (Sandoval County)
Last Updated: 03/20/2018

Trail Information


Nestled in the north end of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness is the 1.5-mile Forest Service Road 231, an easy drive leading to Tunnel Spring and some of the area's best hiking trails. At any point along this trail, there are spectacular 360-degree views. A short 20 minutes north of Albuquerque, this trail is a readily accessible getaway from the stresses of urban life. The trail's proximity to the metropolitan areas of the Rio Grande Valley and its many opportunities for adventure and recreation make it a great destination in this area. The Sandia Mountains are the most visited in New Mexico, with about half of the state's population living within an hour's drive. Sandía means watermelon in Spanish, and a popular belief is that the name is a reference to the reddish hue of the range's granite escarpments at sunset. The people of Sandia Pueblo, who are Tiwa speakers, consider the mountains sacred and also refer to the range as Bien Mur, "big mountain." The granite of the Sandias is topped in many areas with a 300-foot layer of limestone, rich in marine fossils that can be seen where the rock is exposed. Wildlife in the area includes mule deer, black bears, squirrels, and bobcats as well as golden eagles, various species of hawks and roadrunners.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (3)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/27/2020

This trail was recently maintained with new crusher rock. No ruts or ridges, a few steep spots but nothing bad. Actual off road is maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile at the end. Fun and easy!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/01/2019

Short, enjoyable trip with a nice site for hiking or picnic at the end. As of 26 May 2019, was passable in 2WD with stock height truck.
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Official Crew
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/20/2018

Great little trail that will get you to some of the best hiking in the Sandia wilderness. The view at the end of the trail is pretty awesome.
Trail Review: Tunnel Spring - Scott Mitchell
Trail Review: Tunnel Spring - Scott Mitchell

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