Albuquerque is a metropolis surrounded by outdoor beauty. Whether you are hiking through the Petroglyph National Monument or having a small family picnic at Elena Gallegos Picnic Area, there is no shortage of picturesque moments and photo opportunities. 

While you may have your personal favorites, we have compiled a round-up of some of the city’s most notable spots. Take a day and see them all, or explore a new place once a month. Either way, the experience is yours to create.

West Bluff Park 

Talk about an unobstructed view. Located at 2408 Alamogordo Dr. NW, take a seat on one of the park’s various benches overlooking the entire city. Straight ahead, you will see the Rio Grande River surrounded by lush vegetation. To the left you will see the peaks of the Downtown buildings, and to the right you will see the magnificent Sandia Mountains tower over the city.

Rainbow over Sandia Mountains, Rio Grande, River, Sky

Sandia Crest 

If you'd like to take your gaze to a higher altitude, challenge yourself to a hike up La Luz Trail. While the 9-mile, uphill trail is no easy feat, the view from the crest is truly one of a kind. You will feel as though you are at the top of the world as you look out over the entire city, and see where the sunset meets the horizon. You also can take a leisurely drive to the Crest from NM-536, also known as Sandia Crest Scenic Byway.

The city at sunset from Sandia Crest.

Rio Grande Bosque 

Take a morning, or afternoon, to surround yourself with the sights and sounds of the Rio Grande Bosque. Stroll down the Paseo del Bosque Trail, or sunbathe on the warm sand of a river bank while taking in a view of the mountains. For a relaxed evening out, or for a little romance, try a walk at sunset.

A view of the Sandia Mountains from the Rio Grande Bosque.

UNM Duck Pond

Located at the University of New Mexico, the duck pond is great for an afternoon of reading or a weekend picnic lunch. The campus also is a great place for safe bike riding as the university has paved, guided paths that meander throughout the campus grounds. Visitor parking is available seven days a week; however, when school is in session parking and access may be limited. 

UNM Duck Pond

Image Source: Facebook

San Antonio Oxbow Overlook  

Only a short distance from West Bluff Park and the Petroglyph National Monument, San Antonio Oxbow Overlook is another great city overlook. During the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, it is a prime location for an early morning view of balloons gently floating across the city sky.

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Championship and Arroyo del Oso Golf Courses

Golf with a view? We say yes! Owned by the University of New Mexico, the Championship Golf Course is a 7,248-yard, par 72 course situated with a complete south side view of the Downtown skyline. If you are looking for extra tee time, Arroyo del Oso Golf Course is another great spot with a memorable view of lush, green grass at the foreground of the Sandia Mountains.

View of the city's skyline from the Championship Golf Course.

(Championship Golf Course)

Petroglyph National Monument 

A glimpse into the past, the monument is home to an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. It also is a great place to spot some of the plants you’ll see everywhere in Albuquerque, not to mention an amazing view of the city from the far west side.

Petroglyph National Monument

Corrales Bosque Preserve 

A small town feel in the big city, the Village of Corrales is home to the Corrales Bosque Preserve. Here you will find walking trails, a natural cottonwood forest, and of course a stunning view. Listen to the trickling river sounds and see the geological grooves of the Sandia Mountains in one timeless moment.

Corrales Bosque Preserve

Image Source: Village of Corrales

Elena Gallegos Open Space 

This 640-acre park is a gem in the Open Space system. View Mt. Taylor to the west, the Jemez Mountains to the north and the vast Tijeras Arroyo to the south. Smell the faint aroma of the piñon-juniper habitat, and see an abundance of wildlife. One of Albuquerque's great birding hotspots, you may spot an array of birds native to the area. 

Elena Gallegos Open Space