The Spruce Spring Trail – Trail #189 is a 3.4 mile trail that begins at the Red Canyon campground and ends at the Manzano Crest Trail – Trail #170.
Trail Condition: Good
Pick up the trail on the west side of the parking lot. Follow this trail, passing the campground below you. Once past the campground, you will reach a junction with Red Canyon Trail – Trail #89. Go right to follow Trail #189.
The Spruce Spring Trail acts as one large switchback, slowly climbing to the small saddle at the junction with the Manzano Crest Trail – Trail #170. Over the first mile, the trail climbs slowly, if at all. It wraps around into a canyon to the north, at which point it begins to climb at a slightly steeper clip, but is still relatively easy walking.
You will enter the Wilderness after about 2 miles, marked by a small metal sign. The first 2.5 miles of the trail are in very good condition. Over the final mile to the crest, there are a few trees down, but they are fairly easy to bypass.
Just as the first downed trees appear, you will also pass Spruce Spring to the right. A new sign marks the 50 yard trail that ends at the spring. This is the only water source until you reach Red Canyon.
After passing the spring, it is about 1/2 mile to the grassy saddle where the Spruce Spring Trail meets the Crest Trail. At the junction, turn left onto Trail #170 at the signed junction.
For more information, see the trip report from Gallo Peak.