The city of Albuquerque sits at a mile above sea level (5,000-6,000 ft. elevation) and has a high-desert climate, which means more than 310 sunny days and cool, crisp evenings. Albuquerque's climate and landscape is perfect for outdoor adventure vacations! We have four seasons so plan for potential snow in the winter and sunny days in the 90s during the summer. Albuquerque and the surrounding mountainous terrain is a paradise for hikers and bikers. Runners—including several Olympic distance runners—also take advantage of the benefits of altitude training in Albuquerque. Varying levels of trails crisscross the Sandia and Manzano Mountains adjacent to Albuquerque for some of the best hiking or mountain biking in New Mexico. Not into heights? Venture out on the interconnected Albuquerque trails system throughout the city. The Paseo del Bosque Trail is an easily accessible 16-mile multi-use route enjoyed by walkers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters and even horseback riders. Start planning your fitness vacations.
The Sandia (“Watermelon” in Spanish) Mountains beckon outdoor enthusiasts as the eastern landmark of the city. In the evening, the mountains turn a pinkish hue as the sun sets creating a spectacular backdrop for the city. There is a reason that the International Science Times named Albuquerque one of the Top 10 Skinny Cities in America. The high-desert landscape offers an array of hiking options with challenging trails to the top of the 10,678-foot Sandia Peak, rolling paths through the foothills and even through history at the Petroglyph National Monument. Those options are right in the city, but endless routes will take you away from the city for a day trip in any direction to discover the perfect hike.
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Whether you bring your bike with you or plan to rent one in town, there are an array of options for cycling. The Sandias are perfect for beginner to advanced mountain biking and road cyclists head out from the city in every direction – for flat training rides or challenging mountain inclines. If you are a leisurely biker, check out the local rental companies that offer guided tours of areas like Old Town or the Paseo del Bosque Trail, which was recently named one of the 20 Best Bike Paths in the West by Sunset Magazine.
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Its 2.7-mile ascent to the top of the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains is a thrilling way to see the city and the surrounding landscape. From the top, take in a panorama of more than 11,000 square miles. The tram offers excellent access to a variety of hikes and wildlife experiences, plus, the peak is the perfect location to catch a gorgeous New Mexico sunset. Intrepid hikers may be interested in hiking the La Luz Trail, which takes you to the highest point on Sandia Peak. To save some time (and energy), you can catch the tram for a ride down with a one-way ticket.
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If you are looking for a local to help you experience the magnificent landscapes around Albuquerque, you have a variety of options. From cultural jeep tours to canoe/kayak floats down the Rio Grande and themed bike outings to scenic photography expeditions, local purveyors have got you covered.
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For an interesting day-trip, head northwest to the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains about 1.5 hours from Albuquerque. The 89,000-acre property is situated inside a collapsed crater that offers tremendous outdoor activities. During the winter they offer sleigh rides, cross-country skiing and snowshoe hikes. During the summer, visitors enjoy hikes through the backcountry as well as mountain biking. Artists of all kinds seek the beauty of the preserve to feed their creativity. Guided tours are available year-round.
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Clear blue skies, calm winds and mild temperatures are the norm in Albuquerque, encouraging year-round hot air ballooning. You don't have to be as adventurous as you might think to take a flight. Local hot air balloon companies provide rides for visitors on a daily basis (weather permitting).
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If you haven’t played golf in the Albuquerque area, you have been missing out on one of the sport’s best-kept secrets. The area’s unique scenery combines with affordability to provide unbeatable cost-to-quality value. Golf Digest and Golf Magazine have ranked several of Albuquerque's public courses among the best in the country.
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