The Ox Spring Canyon Trail is located one canyon north of Forest Trail 80. It is also longer because of the additional 1.5 miles that must be traveled along the crest trail. Though a little longer, the difficulty of the trail remains on the lower end of moderate.
Round-trip Length: approximately 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2100'
From Albuquerque, take I-40 east to Tijeras. Continue south on NM 337 to NM 55 where you will take a right to continue toward the town of Manzano. About 1000 feet past the general store in Manzano, take a soft right onto NM 131. After two miles, turn right onto County Road B062. In another half-mile, you'll enter the Cibola National Forest, upon which the road will turn into Forest Road 253. Continue past the turn off to the Red Canyon Campground staying on Forest Road 422. 2 miles or so down the road, a sign will mark the location of the trailhead.
From the trailhead, it is an easy half-mile walk to the junction with Box Spring Canyon Trail No. 99 that begins at the Red Canyon Campground further north (about 1 mile away). From there, it is 3 miles of beautifully forested trail to the junction with the crest trail. After a mile on the crest trail, there is a large meadow below what is a false summit. The western shoulder which the trail crosses has a massive fallen tree bleached by the sun. Redondo Peak, Mount Taylor, Ladron Peak, and San Mateo Mtns. are easily viewed from here. To get to the summit of Manzano Peak, continue south. The trail drops 100 feet or so to a saddle. Rock cairns on the hikers left beyond several trees mark the continuation of the crest trail. Walk on, pass a sign showing the distance to the peak (1/4 mile) and you're there.
Normal hiking gear should suffice. Make sure to take plenty of water (at least 2 liters per person)