Welcome to Albuquerque!

With 310 average days of sunlight, New Mexico is an outdoors paradise offering all kinds of activities to residents and visitors alike. Golf, horseback riding, camping, bicycling and boating are available year-round, with plenty of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice skating to keep you busy when there's snow on the ground. With our spectacular landscape and crystal clear skies, New Mexico also offers great opportunities for those who like to leave the ground with hot air ballooning and hang-gliding, and for those of you who'd rather watch than participate, New Mexico also offers semi-pro baseball and hockey teams, as well as college teams' in football and basketball in the central and southern parts of the state.

Below are some of the most popular places to visit in New Mexico, and enclosed is a list of hikes that can be enjoyed right outside of Albuquerque in the Sandia Mountains. Remember to take time to yourself to enjoy New Mexico and relax!

1. Jemez Hot Springs: Bask in the warmth of hot springs while enjoying nature near Los Alamo

2. Bandera Center/Ice Caves: Hike the rim of an 800-foot-deep volcanic cone that exploded some 10,000 years ago. Cave inside the icy 17-mile lava tube, always a perfect 31 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Santa Rosa's Blue Hole: an 81-foot-deep artesian well bordered by a ring of sandstone featuring azure waters in a soda bottle-shaped configuration. The well was once used as a fish hatchery, but it now serves as a dive-training and recreational site for those with water on their minds.

4. Bosgue del Apache National Wildlife Refuge: Here, tens of thousands of birds-including sandhill cranes, Arctic geese, and many kinds of ducks--gather each autumn and stay through the winter.

5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Take a tour in the comfortable 56-degree climate and behold Carlsbad Caverns' bizarre formations - stalactites and stalagmites - borne out of the earth' own vibrant imagination.

6. International UFO Museum, Roswell: Famous for what is now known as the Roswell Incident the town of Roswell hosts an annual UFO festival and the International UFO Museum and Research Center where you can decide for yourself about the flying saucer that allegedly crashed here in 1947.

7. International Balloon Fiesta: The world's largest balloon event is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held each October.

8. Acoma Pueblo, Sky City: The oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States. The Pueblo was built on a 70-acre site of the massive sandstone mesa which rises 367 feet above the valley and approximately 7,000 feet above sea level.

9. White Sands National Monument: At the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert lies a mountain ringed valley called the Tularosa Basin. Rising from the heart of this basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico.

10. Valley of Fires: The Valley of Fires Recreation Area is adjacent to the Malpais Lava Flow, a BLM Wilderness Study Area. The lava flow is between 1,500 and 2,000 years old, making it the youngest such flow in the continental United States.


The Sandia Mountains tower 5,,000 feet over the flood plains of the Rio Grande, their 20-odd mites of west-facing granite cliffs glowing pink in New Mexico's dusty sunsets, They hem Albuquerque's eastern edge, putting a 37,OOO-a.cre wilderness within minutes'drive of Nev;v Mexico's largest city.

o The Sandias were formed several hundr~d. minion years ago and were once 'much higne{than their current 10,678 feet.

How the Spanish word sandia, which means "watermelon," came to be applied to the mou tains is the subject of much debate. One theory holds that when Coronado conquered the area in the 1540s, he found watermelons growing in the nearby pueblos. Another suggests that the Spanish, upon seeing the rosy, wedge-shaped range in the sunset, were reminded of a slice of watermelon.

History has flowed through the Sandias. They have been a hideout for Apaches, a place of . terror for Confederate soldiers set upon by hungry bandits and deserters, and a place of crazy dreams for gold and mineral hunters, who left behind scores of tiny mines.

Today, the Sandias are a district in the Cibola National Forest, and most of them fall wlthin wilderness area. Albuquerqueans use the mountains as an escape from city life, though the area has much to offer any hiker.

Summers are very hot. Temperatures frequently get over 100 in the foothills. Many trails on the' side of the mountains pass through long treeless stretches, so a wlde-brimrned hat and good sunscreen are necessities. Humidity Is often very ('ow.

Hikers need to carry lots of water. No spring in the Sandias isdependable enough not to .. mountains get such heavy use -- including by dogs -- that all water should be treated before drinking.

Many trails, especi.ally the La Luz and the Tree Spring, are very busy in the summer. Early mornings and weekdays are the best times to hike.

The Sandias are subject to sudden violent thunderstorms, especially in afternoons from Ju to August, New Mexico's rainy season. It can be 20 or 30 degrees cooler and much windier at the top of the mountains than at their base.

Winters are heavier than one might think. Snow starts falling in November in the higher e tions and may fall anywhere in January through early March, though snowfall at lower elevations is usually light.

Tips for Hikers



The following is a short list of hikes to do in the sandra mountains. You can also take many roads east until you hit a parking, lot designated for hikers (such as Academy, Candelaria, Indian schoot, and Lomas). That hikinQ:~e~q~}9 n:1.0rg~~t also well suited for mountain bikingt

If you want more trees, Ibiiher'alfitw:fe\ and steeper hikes" fake 1-40 to 1'4 North and. head u towards the Sandia Crest. There are tons df'tl!Jtrl offs, or youcan take the road to the top of the peak. Beware that these hikes are more intensive, and the altitude takes some adjusting to. If you feel dizzy for a p.rp,longed-perio~<of time, nauseas, or have difficulty breathing, get immediately to

lower elevaitior"i:. " , .

1. ·Pi~dra Li,sa Trait

. '

'> ,

What mclk~$itSl?eci~I~l?ied~'ti~a {Spahlshfor" ' "smooth rock")6ffers \liewsof some of the" , Sandiest most spectacular granite formations, including the massive wall known as the

Shield. It's not difficult, and can usually be

hiked in the winter.

Length: 4 miles

Hiking time: 2 to 4.5 hours Difficulty: 'Easy to moderate Elevation gain: 6,920 t08,200 feet Season: Spring through fall

Directions: From Tramway Boulevard (an exit on both 1-40 and 1-25), head east on the Juan Tabo road near the north end of the range. The paved road ends at a dirt road. Take the dirt road to a parki ng lot, then walk past the gate a short distance to the trail head on the right.

Notes: Rincon is Spanish for "corner," and this trail leads to the point at which a small front ridge connects to the main bulk of the mountains. The trail continues after cresting the obvious, ridge at the 2-mile mark, butthe owner of a plot that straddles the trail a 'UUlefarther ahead has prohibited travel through the area. During certain times of the year,a faint spur trail is open that leads east along the ridge of the Rincon for about half a mile.

2. Tree Spring Loop

What makesit special: ltbeqins at about 8,500 feet, so it's quite cool. It's not very hard and offe an excellent view of Pino and Bear canyons at the top. Shady for most of its length,this is a relaxing introduction to the pine forests on the east side of the Sandias.

Length: 4 miles

Hiking time: 1.3 to 3 hours

Elevation gain: 8,480 to 9,400 feet Difficulty: Easy " Season: Late spring through early fall

Directions: Take Interstate 40 to the Cedar exit about 6 miles east of Albuquerque. Go on N.M. 14 about 6 miles and turn left on N.M. 536, the road to the crest. The road passes several, picnic areas before coming to the Tree Spring trailhead on the left. Signs mark the park ing area.


• 3. La Luz

Wh~t makes it special: La Luz is afmost ever-lthing. the Sandias have to offer wrapped up in a single trail. It traverses all four of the Sandias' life zones, wi'nding through craggy rock formations and over along talus slope.

Length: 16 miles

Hiking time: 5 to 11.5 hours Elevation gain: 7,080 to 10,280 feet. Difficulty: Hard

Season: Fall or late spring

Directions: Take Tramway to the Juan Tabo road. Just before the paved road ends, turn right through the stone gates. There's a paved parking lot at the end of the road and the trail head is clearly marked.

Notes: This is the most popular tralil in the Sandias .. Joggers, hikers and ·dogs stream steadily up and down ., the trail's heavy levels of use are its only serious drawback. Start very early -- preferably at daybreak -- to get past the first few miles of treeless hliking before it gets really hot. Even then, there's no way to beat the heat on the way back. The return trip requires lots of water.

Part of the La Luz Trail

The best time of year for this trail is fall. In


spring there's still snow up high. Summer can b

unpleasantly hot. The trail is impassable in the' winter.

Near tlil€l top, .the trai~ branches to the Ie toward Sandia Crest, which at 10,678 feet is tho highest point In the mountains. A small concessian waits at the top, which is also the end of crest road 536. It's a steep mile of hiking eno t crest is always crowded with visitors.

Try the branch to the right instead. Two miles of fairly level wallkingl allong limestone cliff lead to the top of the Sandia Tram, where you can sit in the shade on the wooden patio with spectacular views of the city and seemingly limi - less desert. It is slightly less crowded than the crest and there's no parking lot.

Either way it's a I'ittle anticlimactic, thoug the water fountains at the tram are a blessing; especially for those who underestimated how much water they would need. The fun-service restaurant run by the tram serves food on the deck for those who don't feel strange hiking 8 miles to eat overpriced sandwiches.

If you're really dying, a tram trip down costs about $8. Then it's a 2-mile walk alongth flat Tramway Trail to get back to the La Luz trail head.

4. Tecolote

What makes it special: This trail has become popular with families because it's easy enough for almost everyone. It loops around a mesa co ered with gambel oak and dotted with wildflower strewn meadows, giving excellent views both of the green eastern slopes of the Sandias and the vast plains that stretch east An informal trail which has only, lately been malntaineo, the . Tecolote.Trail does not appear on ForestServic . maps.

Length: 2.7 miles

Hiking time: 1 hour to 2.5 hours Elevation gain: 8,200 to 8,800 feet

. Difficulty: Easy

Season: Late spring through faH

Directions: Take crest road 536 about 6 miles to the Dry Camp Picnic Area. The trail starts behind

3. the bathrooms.

5. Ag~ua Sare8, Canyon

What makes. it special~: Few people know about t~is pretty trail, whlich climbs through a rugged canyon at the north end of the mountains. Aspen and gam bel oak line the trait and several poets of spri!ng water in the canyon bottom are deep enough to splash in. It also has unusual views of the cliffs at the mountains' northern edg,e and a sweeping panorama of the flats and the Sangre de Cristo range to the north.

Length: About 4 miles

Note: A number of faint trails at the beginning can make finding the one you want a I,ittle tough. The correct one immediately veers southwest from the road and climbs up a little before dropping down into the canyon, following an old jeep road. When it reaches a streambed, it turns right and the canyon narrows.

Hiking time: 2 to 4.5 hours

The elevation and distance are approximate because the trail has no definite end. It's faili"ly clear for most of its distance. The trail forks at least once along the way; the correct branch is the left.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Elevation gain: 6,400 to about 7,600 feet Season: Spring through fall

Directlons: Take Interstate 25 to the Placitas exit, about 12 miles north of Albuquerque~ Go east about 5 miles, then turn south on Forest Road 231. This isa residential dirt road that should always be passable. About 2 miles south, just before the road turns sharply east to Tunnel' Spting', is a parking area-on the left for Agua Sarca Canyon. The trail begins across the road.

6. Ptno Canyon

What makes itspecjal-: This peaceful! hike isn't a crowded or as hard as the La Luz. It isn't as spectacular either, but it's very nice in its own right. It begins in the desert and ends in a pleas. ant saddle with commanding views of the rest 0 the Sandias and the plains to the east. Shade from big ponderosas and a small spring provide cool spots to rest along the way.

Length: 9 miles

Hikina time: 3to 7 hours

Elevation gain: 6,44.0 to 9,230 feet Difficult: Moderate to hard

Season: Late spring through fall Directions: Take Tramway Boulevard to the Ele Gallegos recreation area (about 2 miles north 0 Montgomery Boulevard on the eastside of the street). Pass through a toll gate. The trail begin at the eastern edge of the parking. lot.

Note: There isa $2 daily fee per car on the weekends, and $1 on weekdays.

7. Embudito

What makes it special: This tough trail is notabl I for the steep-walled canyon that it winds throug early on. But the Embud'itbTrailcontiinues up iFl the relatively lush meadQWs6fthe southern Sandias ano offers.aecess.tofhe South Peak

area (see.Bart's Tt~II)'/; .: -~; .'

LeDgth: About 11' rTliies :'.

Hilsi_ng time: :3.7 to 8 hours"; . Elevation 'gain: 6,240 to9,~OO feet

Difficulty:/Har,d ' ." ..v . . _, ".' ; '.

Season:Lat.espr,ihg:thrQ~@'b:earIYf~U . ':

,~,; } _,' .'(', .. , ~ <:. "'·:'.·~~~.1'r .. ,. l' - ,

Di rection~i:'Frdm:'Tratl1way;~_$aston . MontgomerY'BQufeva~rd;Jus.e;l15efore itends. turn north on Glenwg.q~.' Hrris~hd:f9How to a parking

-·_"'i .. AA I~' "'~". ," .

area.',"·· ,;, .

This ,trail is frequently used for access to the South c.~est Trail, at Which it ends, and is clear for its entire distance,


• '8, Crest TraHI between the parking lot and the Tram terminali

t t

What m~'kesit speciall: Both natives and peepie visiting Albuquerque hike this easy trail fer its spectaeuiar views. If you hike this trail, you will be rewarded by views of Albuquerque, Mt. Taylor, the Jemez mountains, the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the San Pedro mountains, the Manzano mountains, and Ladron peak, . just to name a few. In the summer you can enjoy the.wildflowersalong'tlle trail. At'any time of year you can ex~eri'~nci§ t~ehistory of

the CCCby visiting the K!M'anis,~pitl. '

You can hike fromthe Crest parking lot to the terminal and restaurant at the top of the tram. Or, ride the tram up and hike it the other way. The trail is well signed, and in spite of the collection of trails allover the crest, it is hard to get lost. In fact, this coll!ection of trails makes it possiblefer you to do different parts in each dilrection for much of the hike.

Along the trail, take a detour and check out the Kiwanis cabin, located on the edge of the mountains and overlooking Albuquerque.

View from inside the Kiwanis cabin

Length: 3.36 mi; , This dlstance is round-trip di ,~ tance.

Hiking, Time: 2:40

ErevatiQI1 Galin: 10,278 to 10,290 Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Season: ~II,year. How hike,able this trail is in winter depends on the snow, Some winters, yo could hike it year-round, Other winters, you co Id not.

Notes: It is almost always windy on the crest. Even in the summer, a windbreaker is a good idea,

Directions: Take 1-40 to the North 14 exit (exit 175). Go north 5.75 miles from when you pass under 1-40 until you get to a triangle of asphalt with a road heading west. There are signs on both sides of the road indicating that this is the road to the crest. Take it the 14 winding miles where you will arriveaUhe parking lot at the v top.

You can also take the tram up to the tra terminal.

9, South Foothills Trail

What makes it special: This trail can hiked aim any day of the year. Early mornings are a great time to see deer and all kinds of birds. Going at dusk is a great way to see the Sandias at their best.

Length: 4 miles

Hiking time: 1.3 to 2.5 hours Elevation gain: 6,440 to 6,240 feet Difficulty: Easy

, Season: All

Directions: Follow directions for Pino Canyon Trail. The Foothills Trail heads south from the parking area and is well worn.


10'. The South Peak area by way of Bart's Traili

Wbatmakes it special: In contrast to the northern half of the Sandias, the gentler southern half gets little use, mainly because it's harder to get to. It's a beautiful stretch of high mountain meadows with stands of aspen and patches of wildflowers. This is the fastest way to the South Peak area, which offers solitude and incredible views.

Length: About 9 miles

Hiking time: 3.5 to 7 hours Elevation gain: 7,300 to 9,605 feet Difficulty: Moderate to hard Season: Late spring through fall

Directions: Take Interstate 40 to N.M, 14 and go north 3.5 miles. Turn left on Cole Springs Road. A sign marks the spot. Follow the road to a fork; take the intimidating dirt road to the left marked with a sign warning passenger cars. The first part of this unmaintained road is the worst. Most cars should handle it without trouble. The word is that the Forest Service discourages use of the area because it can't afford to maintain the road and residents who live along the road aren't fond bf hikers. Try to go unnoticed so that the road isn't cl'osed alto-

gether. '

A few miles up, park outside the gate for

the Cole Springs Picnic Area, which has been closed, Bart's Trail climbs steeply, gaining 2,000 feet in just under 2 miles. Before heading left (south) on the Crest Trail, be sure to hike to the cliffs edge for an unmatched view of the north crest complex. After 2 miles of easy hiking, veer right (east) on the Embudito Trail for a few hundred yards. A faint trail branching to the north heads up a small hill a few hundred feet to a 9,6Q5~fpot Ll.S, Geological Survey marker. The 9,782-foot South Sandia Pe~k is just one ridge over, though the trail ends here. It should be a relatively simple busnwhack.fsr the adventurous. " Butthe views from the ~ma:1f~r, unnamed peak

are plenty· satisfYing.' "

.. ' \ -

Enjoy yourohiking!

" .



Drinks, Live Music:

.Check out Central AYe: Starting at Nob HHI on theeastend"theri west to the University, area, Downtown, and then Old Town.. This is where the majority of ABQ's nightlife is concentrated (Sure, there are bars! music v~J.1~es ·in. :o,d,te, pailu)ftown aildi,fRlo ~cho, 'butthis,guid~ doesn't mefitioo' th~). SOmPi::~6ndatiOns, ~tO, weSt: '

The Martini Grille Club Rhythm and Blues O'Niell's Pub

Kelley's Brew Pub" , Zinc

Stella Blue

The Outpost Performance Space (is actually located off of Central, but close)

The Copper Lounge'

Burt's Tiki Lounge


Pearl's Dive



Cinema Guild Cinema High Ridge

'Century Rio/Downtown (24/l4 screens, respectively)

United Artist Theatres *' Movies 8 ($1.00 movies) Rentals

Hollywood Video" Hastings *


Frank Lee

Alphaville (alternative/rare/toreign)

Fitness, Leisure and Recreation Gyms:

Defined Fitness" Focus Fitness Gold's Gyrn "

New Mexico Sports and Wellness" Yoga:

Bikram's Yoga, Dalm "YOGA

High Desert Yoga;"

Wellspring Center for Yoga

YopN,owl ,

(Mantgytl\salso offer'yoga, C~ll for

. I: ! . . "~ .•

schedul'eS and classes)

Recreation shops:

REI:, , '"

MoUntai~and Rivers.

~~l~s" ,fJ,R ,','~,'e'" 's'~',o:, p', " ,

~1'l'u' BiK Ii :r6eBike ~p,

"'otke'\Vtiria* ,", ' ,

pitt Tiiicytresirtc

Albuqucirquc Bicycle Center" Leisure/Recreation opportunities:

Rio Grande Zoo ' , '

Albuquerque'Botanica! Park, ' ,

The Sandia Mountains offer p,icruckiq,g" cycling, hiking, backpacking, alpine ~d Nordic skiing, snowboarding, inter-tuJ>lng, rock climbing, hang-gliding, and paragliding,

The Rio Grande Bosque offers '

cycle/running/walking trails '

In addition, you can find rafting; fishing,' hunting, swimming, etc., as well as breathtaking and diverse landscapes (nom bad-lands to alpine meadowslall bvet NM,

Treat yourself

Betty's Bath and Day Spa Indulgences Salon and Day Spa Gambei Wellness Spa

New Mexico School ofNll.tura'l Therapeutics,

Crystal Mountain Massage School '

The Aryu vedic Institute

Universal Therapeutic Massage Institute

Books Bookstores:

Borders, Barnes & Noble, Hastings, etc , ' Bookworks

The Book Stop (used)

Noble Path Metaphysical Books Page One Bookstore"

Page One Too (used) Libraries:

Cherry Hills Branch" (690 I Barstow NE is, closest to SWAt:)

Sweet Deals In CyberSpace-.' www.fetchbook.info www.alibiris.com v{ww,abebooks com

Albuquerque (known to locals as 'Burque) may not be New York Or Sanfranciscq, but. it's,got the necessities, and more. Here's a list of names to get y~ started; ;the phone book provideS the

rest: , .

.. indicates Multiple Loeanons

" indicates Wireless internet IWCeSS .."

Firstand foremost, pick up the 'N eek1y Alibi, or Crosswinds W eekly - tWo free weekly f88Sthat feature articles, culture and food reviews. as well as classified li~ngs for jobs, housing, etc. The Albuquerque.Journal and The tri~\l"eare the local dailypapers, which areavailable'41t over the city. The University of New M~.co also publishes a daily paper, called The Lobo, which is a"

little ticket into the University s6en~. . .

FoodJ Herbs:

Grocery stores featuring organic produce, bulk,' etc.

La Montanita Co-Op"

Slmflowei Marleet

Wild Oats *

Whole Foods

Grocery Stores featuring Oriental/Middle Eastern Goods. Cafe Istanbul


Ta Lin Market Fruit/Vegetable Markets:

The Farmer's Basket"

Herbs, Formulas, Patents, etc.: 99B


Golden Flower Chinese Herbs The Herb Store

Wild Oats

French: Le French Comer, Le Cafe. Miche Greek: Gyros


Indian: India Kitchen IndiaPalace

Taj Mahal Annapurna *

Jamaican: Jamaica Jamaica

Korean: Korean BBQ.Hotise Mexican! New Mexican:

EJ Pinto E1 Patio

Padilla's Los Cuates"

Richard's Dos Amigos

Garcia's Frontier

Duran's Central Pharmacy Sadie's (famous for her salsa)

Middle Eastern: Care Istanbul, MiddleEast Bakery Spanish: La Bodega

Sushi: Samuri


Thai: Bangkok Cafe May Cafe

Thai Orchid Crystal Thai

Vietnamese: Vietnam 2000

Que Huong

Meat: Rudy's BBQ

Mr. Powdrell's BBQ~ Geezamboni' ~A Paisanos

Pizza: Dion's Giovanni's

[I Vicino" Venezzia's

Mario's Pizza and Ristorante NY Pizza Department

Restaur-an ts:


Satellite *A

Java Joe's;

Cafe Riviera

Blue Dragon? Winning's Coffee?

Vege tartan/Vegan Friendly:

Annapurna (Aryuvedic Cuisine)" Fei's Cafe

Blue Dragon"

20 Carrots Caf6A

Flying Star Caf6"'/\ Ethnic/Specialty:

American: 66 Diner Brazilian: Tucanos Cajun: Raj in" Shrimp * The Cajun Kitchen·

Nicer, a bit more upscale:

Ambrozia Artichoke Cafe Graze

The Melting Po( Scale


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