North Valley is a lush oasis nestled along the Rio Grande. As Albuquerque’s thriving agricultural hub, it’s known for its outdoor activities, exceptional wineries, and historic charm. Residents who call North Valley home enjoy a combination of country allure without sacrificing big-city amenities.
The North Valley area is home to two incorporated towns: Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and Corrales. Since North Valley is so spacious, most residents need a car to complete their daily errands. Its walkability score hovers around 17 out of 100, depending on which area you’re in. Some area residents ride their bikes to get exercise while running their errands.
While the North Valley is spread out, that also means that residents and visitors get to behold its bountiful greenery with an added sense of privacy.
Things To Do in The North Valley, Albuquerque
Whether you enjoy eating your way through the city or savoring the sunshine outdoors, North Valley has a lot to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Albuquerque’s North Valley:
- Visit the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park – The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located along the banks of the Rio Grande River. This peaceful nature sanctuary is home to hundreds of wildlife and plant species, along with a river-side walking trail, vibrant gardens, and year-round bird-watching opportunities. It’s also a hotspot for Albuquerque hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
- Explore the Albuquerque Bosque bike trail – In Spanish, “bosque” translates to woods or forest. Living up to its name, the North Valley Bosque is a cottonwood forest that runs along the Rio Grande. It’s also home to the premier Paseo del Bosque Trail. Whether you want to ride your bike, take a nature stroll, or catch a glimpse of some wildlife, the bosque is an idyllic spot to do it.
- Go horseback riding – One of the best ways to experience the Rio Grande’s beauty is on horseback. Fortunately, there are many guided horseback riding excursions in the North Valley that can take you through the Bosque Trail’s cottonwood trees.
- Take a hot air balloon ride – In the North Valley, blue skies and sunny days are commonplace — in other words, this region has perfect hot air balloon weather. As you float thousands of feet over Albuquerque, you’ll have a front-row seat to the city’s spectacular views and the nearby Sandia Mountains.
- Go fishing at Sandia Lakes – Sandia Lakes Recreation Area is situated along the Rio Grande Bosque. It’s a serene spot to canoe or kayak. Better yet, it features top-notch fishing in Albuquerque. Two of the lakes in this recreation area allow you to bring home up to five fish per day, while the third is catch-and-release only. If you need to stock up on your fishing gear, there’s a convenient supply shop in the vicinity.
- Enjoy the local cuisine – After exploring the North Valley’s outdoor offerings, you’ll likely work up an appetite. Luckily, Albuquerque’s unique cuisine is readily available at restaurants throughout the North Valley. Many dining establishments serve up a blend of Spanish and Native American dishes, with the Duke City’s iconic red and green chiles taking center stage. Due to the North Valley’s agricultural offerings, some restaurants also specialize in farm-to-table fare.
- Visit cultural attractions – If you want to experience North Valley culture outside of its cuisine, you have plenty of options to choose from. Tranquil spas, picturesque wineries, botanical gardens, museums, and cultural centers are peppered throughout the region.
History of the North Valley
New Mexico history goes back centuries. In the 1600s, Northern New Mexico was ornamented with ancient Pueblo communities. By the 1700s, Spanish settlers were here to stay and founded what is now Albuquerque. Today, North Valley maintains its rich tapestry of historic and modern influences.
One of North Valley’s many historic landmarks is Las Mañanitas. This mid-19th-century adobe has undergone several remodels since its original construction. Over the years, it’s been used as a stagecoach store, pool hall and bar, and blacksmith shop. Despite the changes, it still maintains many of its authentic architectural features, enabling its historic charm to shine through.
What Are the Homes Like in the North Valley of Albuquerque?
As the rural heart of the Duke City, North Valley is home to pastoral farms, livestock ranches, and expansive estates. Even its suburban homes boast large lots, enabling residents to engage in hobby farming on the side.
Older North Valley properties often feature a Southwestern style, which is characterized by adobe and stucco construction. Compared to other Albuquerque neighborhoods, North Valley is slightly more expensive. Its average home price is $377,929, while Albuquerque’s overall average is just $315,766.
Explore Albuquerque’s North Valley and Beyond
If you enjoy the outdoors and crave a country lifestyle, but still want to stay close to city amenities, Albuquerque’s North Valley is a lovely place to live. While you’re there, you’ll also want to check out everything else that the Duke City has to offer. The eastern Sandia Mountains and the south’s upscale Nob Hill neighborhood are just a few more must-see attractions.