Three-Gun Trail

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New Mexico, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day

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Created On: Jan 2, 2006
Last Edited On: Jan 2, 2006


The directions are on the main page.

Route Description

From the north side of the parking lot, it is a relatively flat half-mile trek to the Sandia Wilderness Boundary. At this point, a kiosk features a good map and a lot of great, useful information. Also, the Hawk Watch Trail starts at this point and travels east into an area, which offers incredible opportunities to observe birds of prey and other wildlife. Three-Gun Trail continues north and remains at the same grade for another mile.

After a pole directing hikers to the correct trail on the first switchback encountered, the grade increases a bit and stays constant over six or seven more long switchbacks. Beyond the last switch back, the trail levels off very slightly and continues more to the northwest. Several hundred feet past the first tall ponderosa, the Three-Gun Trail intersects the Embudo Trail. From there, the Three-Gun Trail winds north along the contour of the mountain for another mile before becoming pretty steep for the last half-mile to the intersection with the Embudito Trail.

After hitting the Crest, Embudito intersects the South Crest Trail. About .75 miles further north is the summit. The best way to approach the peak is by finding the trail that starts in Oso Pass just west of the intersection between Embudito Trail and the Crest Trail and travel north, or you can find a clearing to the crest and search for a route along the ridge. The only way to get to the summit is by the approach from the south along the ridge. There is a faint trail (the trail from Oso Pass) in the vegetation that travels along the ridge and traverses it to reveal the summit several dozen feet above, which can be gained by continuing north until an easy scramble becomes apparent. The top is marked by a couple large cement blocks.

Elevation Gain (To Summit): 3,462 feet
Length (To Summit): 6.2 miles
Elevation Gain (To End of Trail): 2,140 feet
Length (To End of Trail): 4 miles

Essential Gear

Regular hiking gear will suffice in the summer, fall, and late spring. Normal winter gear for protection from the elements are a must and snowshoes, crampons, and an ice axe should be considered for early spring and winter travel.

Miscellaneous Info

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