The hike to the cache requires a little over 2 mile/2 hour journey (one-way), with an elevation gain of about 1400 feet. You should start your trek to the cache from the north (Del Agua trailhead). If you start from the south, you will find your way blocked by a private in-holding in the national forest. Besides the northerly route is more interesting. In wetter years, you would be almost certain to get your feet wet, and be able to enjoy a small waterfall. Unfortunately this year (2002), the waterfall is dry, and except for a far off gurgle, and some small rivulets near the cache site, the water is gone. There is an intermittent trail that runs from the start and passes within 100 feet of the cache site; however it has a tendency to disappear when you most need it. It took me three trips to this area before I was able to scope out the route the path takes, but then I'm no Daniel Boone.
To get to the Del Agua trailhead, take I-25 Exit 242. Head east toward Placitas on NM 165 for three miles. Just past the three mile marker, turn right on a dirt road. Pay your fee, then continue on, passing the turn for the Piedra Lisa Spring trailhead. 2.2 miles after leaving the hard road, park in a small parking area on your left (13 S 365023, 3904766 [UTM]). There is no sign, but this marks the start of the Del Agua trail, which heads south out of the parking area.
From the parking area, follow the Del Agua trail for about 0.9 miles , until you come to a trail (13 S 365399, 3903789) heading south up a side canyon. Follow this trail as in goes in and out of the stream bed. After about 0.64 miles (13 S 365395, 3902957), the trail will leave the stream bed on the left side. It follows the stream for a little, and then heads roughly 130 deg True up the right side of a small rocky arroyo. Along the way will should see several rock cairns.
Eventually you should came to a rock cairn at 13 S 365463, 3902850. Here, if you look to 155 degrees True, you should see a couple of dumpster size boulders about 20 feet away, with small trees to their left. Over the top of the boulders, about 500 feet away you should see a small hillock, topped by some bare rocks. The trail runs through a clearing to the left of this hillock, but if you head straight for it, you will have some bushwhacking and climbing to do. Instead continue following the trail starting out at 120 degrees true, up the rocks to a point just to the south and slightly downhill side a group of very large rocks -almost a small cliff (13 S 365547, 3902765). Here the trail turns south and heads for the clearing (13 S 365505, 3902687 ) . The clearing is about 0.9 miles from where you left the Del Aqua trail. The clearing is a good place to take a short stop.
Once you are rested, follow a trail that exits the southern corner of the clearing. The trail heads SW and comes to a ridge overlooking the stream. Continue following the trail best you can as runs it up and slightly left of the ridge - but don't drop too far the left. Just after you make a short scramble up an incline, about 0.15 miles from the clearing, you should see the trail heading to the right (SE), down into the canyon. Eventually (about 0.25 miles from the clearing) this trail will come to the stream amidst pines and aspens. Staying to the left of the stream, follow the trail. Shortly you will come to an arroyo (with several large ponderosa pine next to it) that intersects the trail and the joins the stream bed from the left (about 300 feet from the cache site).
For more help to find the cache (or if you have troubles getting your GPS to lock), see the hint.