Carlito Springs – A Wonderful Walk in the Woods

Carlito Springs-9

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Twice a year my wife, Lynn, and I head through Albuquerque on our way to Arizona for the winter and return. My sister resides there so we often plan a couple of days to visit. She always has someplace interesting for us to visit if we plan to stay. Her house is at the western base of the Sandia Mountains. A popular tram takes visitors to the top of the mountain for viewing or to enjoy skiing on the east slope in the winter. I featured views from the tram in a previous post here. You can search the category New Mexico to read about other places we’ve visited near Albuquerque. This year, in addition to last week’s article about the International Balloon Fiesta, we went on a couple of short hikes. One of those hikes is the subject of today’s Travel Tuesday.

Carlito Springs-4

It can be hot, but plenty of cloud cover kept our small group of hikers comfortable on this short, uphill hike to Carlito Springs. The trail is a new addition to Bernalillo County, completed in 2014. Near the village of Tijeras, on the eastern slopes of the Sandia Mountains, a long-abandoned residence and several cabins near the peak of the hike provide a park-like resting area. A perennial spring was the attraction for the private owner that built the property many years ago. Today the property is part of the 179 acres bordering the Cibola National Forest on the north.

Carlito Springs-6

The trail is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length and once you reach the peak about a third of the way, the trail loops around through lush vegetation meandering along easy switchbacks until it returns to the parking area. The views to the southeast feature a concrete plant that doesn’t do much for the view of the area. Industry has its price.Carlito Springs-5

On the day of our visit, we noticed several cut roses marking the trail. I suspect a wedding or anniversary party might have been in the offing, but the only other person we talked with is a volunteer who was unaware of the significance of the roses. The gallery of images included features a glimpse of the trail of roses. Opened in 2014, the hew trailhead is open for day hikes. No camping facilities are available. At some future date, plans include renovation of the buildings and natural features improvements. The buildings are not open as of our visit, they are scheduled for phase 2 of the construction as funding allows. Click on one of the images below to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner


4 thoughts on “Carlito Springs – A Wonderful Walk in the Woods

  1. What a beautiful hike! I’m still getting caught up on blog posts over our vaca just got to this one today… You’re camera takes stellar macro shots! Happy travels.

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