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This is a 3.8-mile hike one-way on the east side of the Sandias. The hike starts in Canyon Estates at the south end of the South Crest Trail and then heads north on Faulty Trail to the cache.
18 Foot Gator
N 35 07.546 W 106 23.498
Elevation approximately 7450 ft
This is a 3.8-mile hike one-way.
There is a green ammo can located 30 paces on a bearing of 193 degrees (true north) from the largest Alligator Juniper in the Sandias and one of the biggest in New Mexico. My Mom had found this tree a number of years back and showed it to the Forest Service. There is another huge juniper near Fort Bayard, New Mexico (The Champion Tree Cache) and one in Lincoln County, which are bigger. There is another in Arizona which is bigger yet measuring 29 feet 10 inches in circumference (Big Tree Cache). At any rate this is a huge wonderful tree that is about 18-20 feet in circumference depending on where you measure and who knows how old. As you view it you will see where a bear recently climbed it leaving claw marks. Several months back a lady’s dog treed a mountain lion close by so this is a wild area.
One way to get to this cache is to head east on I 40 from Albuquerque. Take Exit 175 and bear right toward highway 337. Turn left at the stop sign and go back under I 40 (Don’t go through the stop light. (Turn left before getting to the stoplight). Turn right after passing under I 40 entering Canyon Estates on Arrowhead Trail. Go to the end of the road. There is a $3 parking fee that goes to the Forest Service. Start hiking at the south end of the South Crest Trail in Canyon Estates ( N 35 05.378 W 106 23.501). Hike up the trail past the cave and waterfall. As you are going up the trail, look for the Faulty Trail signpost. Faulty Trail splits off to the north or your right here (N 35 05.849 W 106 23.832). Continue on Faulty Trail north until the cache is east of you and then start down the hill. The waypoint given is for the cache, not the tree, which can easily be seen from the cache.
The cache is a log only cache at this point but there is a tape measure in the box to measure the tree. The reward is seeing the tree. There is room for treasures if you want to bring them and leave them for others.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum