Explore while hiking Albuquerque! Visit one of the hundreds of trails ranging from challenging to easy throughout the Cibola National Forest and across many open spaces throughout the area. The Albuquerque trails listed below allow dogs on a leash.
Mountain Hiking Trails
Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area
South Piedras Lisa Trail 135, an out-and-back trail in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness, puts on a show with wildflowers in the spring and fall and birdwatching year-round. This challenging trail is about 5 miles long with a 1,300-foot climb. You may discover a waterfall during the monsoon season and always enchanting views of the Sandia Mountains.
Travertine Falls Trail, near Tijeras, is an easy one-mile out-and-back hike to waterfalls and a cave with fossils. This is an excellent trail for children and is shaded by piñon, oak, and juniper trees.
Placitas Open Space
Las Huertas Canyon Trail, in the Placitas Open Space, features a short hike to the Sandia Man Cave archaeological site, which is located on a steep wall of the canyon. The public trailhead to the cave is on the east side of NM 165. Access to the cave is a steep climb, though the area has steps and a spiral staircase up to the cave. The Las Huertas picnic area, a great place for children to explore, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is a well-developed fee area. At 7,600 feet, paths and bridges cross the stream to picnic tables and grills tucked away among aspen and fir trees. You’ll find excellent birding here.
Bosque Trail #174 is located in the Manzano Wilderness area near Belen. This intermediate 2-mile-long back-and-out trail provides a steady climb to the crest of the Manzano Mountains. Enjoy the vistas to the east and west along the way as you hike through pine, maple, and oak trees, which overgrow the trail in some areas. It’s a good trail for fall color.
Valley Hiking Trails
Visit open space areas throughout the Albuquerque area for the best hiking opportunities for all ages. Many of these areas also connect to mountain trailheads into the Cibola National Forest. Some open spaces also connect to the Paseo del Bosque Trail system, a multi-use trail of more than 16 miles along the Rio Grande River.
Los Poblanos Fields Open Space
Just off of Rio Grande Boulevard, Los Poblanos Fields features three easy Albuquerque trails in connecting loops of one to three miles through wildlife habitat and agricultural fields. Children will enjoy a stop by the Rio Grande Community Farm, and you may take home fresh produce as well. Take your binoculars for excellent bird watching for kestrels, hawks, and hundreds of sandhill cranes and Canada geese in the fall and winter.
Pino Trail (short version)
Pino Trail offers stunning views of the mountains on an easy out-and-back 3-mile trail. Spring through summer, you will find the trail lined with colorful flowers. This trail is excellent for children, and one hiker even suggested you could walk it barefoot! From here, you can connect to the Pino Trail 140, which is a difficult almost 10-mile trek up to Crest Trail 130 along Sandia Crest. The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway runs from the crest to the valley below. These Albuquerque trails begin at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area. There is a cash-only fee to park: $1 during the week and $2 on weekends.
Alameda and Bachechi Open Space Walk
Alameda and Bachechi share a border and trails; both share a border with the Paseo del Bosque Trail. The parking lot to begin this walk is at Alameda Boulevard and Bona Terra Loop NW. Bring a meal to the Alameda picnic area for a family picnic or a relaxing riverside lunch with fantastic views of the Rio Grande. Take the easy 1-mile loop trail for birding or running. The Bachechi Open Space features an easy half-mile loop trail. A scenic wetland provides nature viewing and bird watching.
Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyph National Monument offers many easy to moderate trails. For the most current information on these Albuquerque trails and to pick up maps, stop first at the visitor information center, located near the intersection of Unser Boulevard and Western Trail NW. There is no access to petroglyph trails at the center.
Volcanoes Hiking Trail
Volcanoes Trail is an easy 3-mile loop with wildflowers and birdwatching against a backdrop of the Sandias, along with access to the volcanoes. Enter the trail off Atrisco Boulevard NW.
Rinconada Canyon Hiking Trail
Rinconada Canyon is an easy loop of about 2 miles in open terrain. Take time to study hundreds of petroglyphs. Informational signs explain the history and meaning of the petroglyphs. Trailhead parking is located on Unser Boulevard NW, at the junction with St. Joseph Avenue. Parking and trail use are free, but the gates close at 5 p.m.
La Luz Trail
One of the best-known and most challenging hikes in the area is La Luz Trail, which takes capable hikers 7.5 miles from the desert into the forest with a 3,200-foot elevation gain. Hiking the entire trail will fill at least five hours and it won’t be easy.
Several other trails connect with La Luz Trail. Keep in mind, you don’t have to hike the entire trail: feel free to turn around if someone in your group has had enough. Hikers have had to be rescued from this trail and, unfortunately, some have lost their lives.
Access the trailhead by taking Tramway Boulevard to Forest Road 333. Follow Forest Road 333 east until you see two rock pillars, which you go through and continue until you arrive at the La Luz Trailhead parking lot. Be prepared with water, snacks, sunscreen, and proper footwear before you take off on this difficult hike. As part of the Cibola National Forest, a fee is required.