This trail forks right off of Three Gun Spring Trail
. It is accessed by taking Old Rt. 66 and turning into the Monticello subdivision (some signs have been removed so pay close attention or you will miss it). Turn right on Sierra Verde until the road dead ends into a parking area. Make sure to lock your belongings as there has been some vandalism in the area. Follow the sandy trail until you get to a post (there used to be a sign there but someone removed it). Take the LEFT path. The right path will get you there but it is a tough, sandy walk for nearly 3/4 of a mile and the trail crossing can be easily missed from here. After about 3/4 of a mile you will enter the Sandia Wilderness
. Three Gun Spring trail
bears north east and is a strenuous hike which accesses the South Sandia Peak
. Hawk Watch Trail
is used for raptor counting by Hawk Watch International
. Follow the trail to the south. The trail is clearly and easy to follow although quite steep and gravely in places. I brought my walking stick with me and found it useful on the way back down. The trail ends on a flat ridge used by Hawk Watch International to tag and count raptors. Parts of the area are closed during certain months of the year to allow the roosting raptors privacy.
We didn't actually see any raptors on this hike. The biggest bird we saw was a blue jay. But it was a really good hike just the same.