Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

Box Spring - Ox Canyon - Crest - Red Canyon Hike
In Manzano Mountains East Region

Hike Id H10391
Last Update 2018-05-22 22:03:12.0
Hike Class D
Hike Miles 8.6
Minimum Elevation 7910
Elevation Gain 1980
Total Uphill 2250
Total Downhill 2250
Avg Grade 10 %
Route Type Loop
Drive Miles Round Trip 160
Drive Time Oneway 1:20
Hiking Seasons Sprg, Smmr, Fall
Hike Rating (5.0 by 1 hikers)
New Mexico Game Unit 14
All On Trail Yes
All Paved/Gravel Roads Yes
GPS Recommended Yes

Highlights Hike in a rocky area of the Manzanos up to the Manzano Crest Trail and down lush Red Canyon.

Cautions Some of Ox Canyon is in an old burn area. Hiking poles advised for Red Canyon.

Trailhead Directions From Albuquerque, take I-40 east to exit 175 for south NM 337. Take 337 south. From the stoplight, head 28.7 miles south on NM 337 through Chilili until the road ends at a T intersection with NM 55. Turn right (west) and continue another 12 miles passing through Tajique and Torreon to the town of Manzano. Watch for a sign which says: Manzano State Park; Red Canyon Campground; NM 131. After going 2.4 miles on NM 131, you are at the entrance to Manzano Mountains state park. Turn right; you are now on a one-lane paved road. 0.5 mi down the road you get to the forest boundary and the road turns to gravel. A few small side roads branch off, but remain on the main road for 1.8 miles, where you will see a sign for the Red Canyon campground. Park at the horse camp at the Red Canyon campground just past the sign for Box Spring.

Actual Hike The BOX SPRING (0.0 mi) Trail takes off to the south in the woods from the Red Canyon Campground. Go right (west) up the trail at the intersection with OX (1.3 mi) Canyon trail. At first you'll see some evidence of recent fires, but fortunately you pass that quickly. There are some extensive ROCKFALLs (2.4 mi). While there's no stream along the trail, you'll go by several springs. The Lower Ox Spring near VIEW (3.1 mi) may produce enough water for a side stream. There are a number of switchbacks that keep the grade at a steady 10%. Have lunch at the intersection with the Manzano Crest Trail (CREST INT (4.7 mi)) at a lovely meadow. Make a turn to the north on the Manzano Crest Trail, watching carefully for cairns, especially at the beginning, on a good trail. You'll need to go uphill a little further to the HIGHPT (5.1 mi), then the rest is mostly downhill. Go by the intersection with the Salas trail from the west at SALAS INT (5.7 mi). At the intersection with the RED (6.2 mi) Canyon trail, stop to enjoy the meadow and view. Then head down Red Canyon. There's a STREAM (7.0 mi) that you follow much of the way. Pass the WILDERNESS (7.5 mi) boundary, and stop again at the WATERFALLS (7.6 mi) before you hike the rest of the way to the van.

Comments Near the waterfalls are some beautiful rock formations. Unfortunately, there is rarely much water in the stream any more.

Hike data were obtained from Garmin BaseCamp using track data recorded by a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx. Trackpoints recorded during lunch were deleted.

Map created by TOPO!® ©2011 National Geographic

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

PARK: N 34 37.326, W 106 24.697
BOX SPRING: N 34 37.308, W 106 24.699
OX: N 34 36.449, W 106 24.884
ROCKFALL: N34 36.645, W106 25.758
VIEW: N 34 36.696, W 106 26.193
CREST INT: N 34 36.947, W 106 26.600
HIGHPT: N 34 37.206, W 106 26.513
SALAS INT: N 34 37.708, W 106 26.678
RED: N 34 38.035, W 106 26.459
STREAM: N 34 37.702, W 106 26.161
WILDERNESS: N 34 37.526, W 106 25.711
WATERFALLS: N 34 37.468, W 106 25.651

GPS Files Click link to download file.
GPX:WayTrack, 08Sep16, Garmin, Marilyn Warrant

Pictures Click here to see them.

Text Author Marilyn Warrant
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Marilyn Warrant
Track Author Marilyn Warrant
Maintainer Marilyn Warrant