I've been to Ball Ranch six times since 2006 and never hiked the same route twice. This time I'd like to explore the west side of Espinaso Ridge.
Best guess is a 5-mile loop. It's not a speed hike, far from it, in fact may require long breaks for photo ops. However, be aware it may also require scrambling in and out of deep trenches (and maybe some quicksand, which as you probably know is terribly slow).
The goal is to be on top of the ridge in time for sunset. From there it's an easy downhill mile to the parking area by the windmill.
Access to Ball Ranch requires a key, so we'll carpool from Walgreens just east of I-25. The trailhead is about an hour drive from there. BLM couldn't provide an update on road conditions beyond the gate, so let's assume the worst. Please indicate if you intend to drive or ride. For reference, my Outback will probably scrape twice, but I'm ok with that. No need for 4WD unless it rains. (Not likely.)
More details about the area are in 60 Hikes ABQ: http://www.restlesstribes.com/26