February 18, 1999
Highlights: An easy winter trail without the usual skis or snowshoes. Plenty of solitude and good views. Location: This interior trail serves as a connection between Faulty and Tree Spring trails. From Albuquerque, take Interstate 40 east to Tijeras exit. Go north on N.M. 14 to N.M. 536. Drive to Doc Long Picnic Area (about 2 miles) or on to Tree Spring trailhead 3 miles farther up the Crest Road (536). Hike Tree Spring Trail about 1/2 mile to join Oso Corredor. From Doc Long Picnic Ground, hike Bill Spring Trail (No. 196) to junction with Faulty Trail (No. 195). Go south on Faulty Trail about 1/2 mile to join Oso Corredor. Distance: One way for Oso Corredor: 2 1/2 miles. Round trip from Tree Springs trailhead to Doc Long Picnic Area is about 8 miles. Difficulty: Easy, but remember that the uphill return takes more time. Elevation: 7,800-8,650 feet Maps: Sandia Wilderness map available at Sandia Ranger Station
Oso Corredor Trail
This interior trail, well-marked by bears during the summer, must be accessed from Tree Spring Trailhead or the Doc Long Picnic Area.
Presently, you can leave your cross-country skies and snowshoes at home. Now and then, snow appears, but it's skimpy and left over from an early snow that we have trouble remembering.
Oso Corredor, a Spanish phrase which roughly translates to "running bear," offers an easy hike that sometimes overlooks N.M. 536 more than 200 feet below.
Venerable fir, spruce and pine trees keep you company as you experience a winter forest without the white covering. The trail provides a memorable afternoon outing with no worry about scaring a bear -- they're all taking a long winter's nap.
One-quarter mile from Tree Spring trailhead, take the Oso Corredor angling south and east as the trail slopes toward Bill Spring. A bit past the first mile, you'll have to side-step a fallen ponderosa pine, and as the trail continues, you come upon a clearing overlooking the San Pedro and Ortiz mountains and East Mountain habitats. The tall trees and views furnish solitude and an away-from-it-all feeling in the center of growing populations.
The easy trail joins Faulty for a short distance before picking up Bill Spring Trail leading down into Doc Long Picnic Area. Remember that the easy downhill hike now slants upward to get back to your starting point. On this straightforward trail, you can set your own distance by choosing your turnaround point.
Sue B. Mann