Capulin Spring, Sandia Mountains (nearest town is Sandia Park, NM 87047)


Posted: June 25, 2014

Category: New Mexico, United States, View All

Capulin Peak Trailhead
Sandia Mountains. nearest town is Sandia Park, NM 87047
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A spring on the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains. To find this spring, take highway NM-14 six miles north from where it meets I-40. At the town of Sandia Park, turn west onto NM-536 and follow this for about eight miles, then turn right into a parking lot marked by signs for Capulin Spring Snow Play Area. Immediately inside this parking lot, turn right and park, the paved trail to the springs begins at a gate at the eastern [lower] end of the parking lot. Walk down this trail about .15 miles until you see two benches and a fenced in area on your left side. The spring is immediately below the fencing.

I visited in early June and the flow was slow (about 25 minutes to fill 5 gallons of water) but I’m told the flow fluctuates throughout the year. Be aware you will have to carry containers .15 of a mile to get to the spring itself from the parking lot. Water runs out of a PVC pipe from the source. Larger containers won’t fit. I used a half-gallon water bottle and then transferred that water into my containers.
There is a $3 honor system pay station to park in the lot.
I’m not aware of this water having been tested.
  1. Joey says:

    All three of the hiking guides I’ve read on the sandias say that there are no safe springs on the mountain. From personal experience I can say that in nine years of playing around up there I’ve never experienced any bad effects from any of the springs I’ve found. Three gun on the Tijeras side of the south mountain was specifically called out in one book but I and a few of my friends will hump up there when there’s a flow. And even funky little embudido is clean and sweet once you get above eight thousand feet or so. In neither case is one in for a leisurely stroll from a parking lot, I’ve never even bushwhacked my way up to embudido’s source, just pull it from a deep spot (four or five inches is about the best one can hope for). Neither is practical for any large scale harvesting… I mean, if you can carry more than a gallon or two back down that west face you’re in better shape than anyone I know in burque or the east mountains. But at any rate this is my verbose way of saying that despite the warnings I’ve seen or been given, I consider the spring water I’ve collected up there to be a treat and if capulin actually comes out of a pipe… somebody’s been drinking it. Of course, take it for what it’s worth coming from a guy who has been ignoring explicit warnings for the whole decade I’ve lived here in Albuquerque. In my defense, the warnings I’ve seen are a vague “it’s unsafe” and have never been able to find any hard data as to what makes it so. And the drinking of said water every summer since 08, as well as many friends, and the only effect I’ve noticed is that I can get by on a quart or two on a hard climb (like two hours from menaul and tramway to the crest trail) whereas if I know the little funnel is dry I usually bring a couple gallons.

    • Eva says:

      Yes I know, and have always wondered why;- Now I know after research,;- The government wants to keep everyone on the toxic city water.. Have always drank from wells and spring water and my health is better than the city drinking population.. If natural sources are becomming contaminated; then it is by the works of the polluting empire

    • Eva says:

      P.s. I still make the trip to my old well house to lug a 5 gallon bottle of water, but might have to start hiking as well after place is sold..
      There is still a well spiggot left at top of sims park rd, as the spain Emery has been changed years ago, so sad..

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