Albuquerque’s (ABQ) elevation averages 5,350 feet above sea level, a bit higher than the Mile High City of Denver and one of the highest of any large city in the country! The elevation rises from 4,900 feet above sea level near the Rio Grande to 6,700 feet in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. If you head into the Sandia Mountains to the crest, you can experience an altitude of 10,678 feet above sea level.
What does this high elevation mean for visitors to Albuquerque? If you’re coming from sea level, you may find yourself getting winded while exercising, but after a couple of days, your body should adjust. Another consideration is that there is less protection from the sun, so you will sunburn more easily.
Tips for Adjusting to High Altitude
How can you help your body adjust to ABQ’s high altitude? First, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Try adding some sports drinks for both hydration and electrolytes. For the first couple of days, avoid consuming alcohol, or be moderate in your drinking. You may get a nasty headache if you drink too much when you first arrive.
More ways to help your body adjust to high altitude are to make sure you get plenty of sleep and enough to eat, which won’t be hard considering the Duke City’s many fine restaurants. Apply sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF daily, and if you will be spending time outdoors, consider buying a stylish hat from an area shop.
At this elevation, summer weather is a bit cooler than in lower parts of New Mexico and winter will be chillier. Bring layers because, at night, you’ll see a significant drop in temperature — as much as a 30-degree difference between day and night temperatures! Learn more about Albuquerque’s weather here.