Albuquerque Entices Snowbirds

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February 22, 2012

The city of Albuquerque, split by the Rio Grande River, lies within the Chihuahuan Desert. Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the United States, rising 4,900 feet above sea level near the Rio Grande Valley to over 6,700 feet in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. And the weather is gorgeous! The city sees an average of 310 days of sunshine, which makes a perfect destination any time of year.

Many travelers who visit Albuquerque associate the city with hot-air ballooning. While Albuquerque is the “hot-air balloon capital of the world,” visitors may also discover that the city and the surrounding area are chock-full of other exceptional outdoor opportunities. Albuquerque and the neighboring mountainous terrain are a paradise for hikers, and varying levels of trails crisscross the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. Not into heights? Venture out on the interconnected trail system throughout the city. The Paseo del Bosque Bike Trail is an easily accessible 15-mile route enjoyed by walkers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters and even horseback riders. Walkers and hikers can also take a historic hike through Petroglyph National Monument on the west side of the city.

Road cyclists take advantage of bike lanes throughout Albuquerque as well as miles of open road surrounding the city. Challenging elevation changes plus dramatic scenic vistas with flats and hills make New Mexico a haven for cycling. Runners–including several Olympic distance runners–also take advantage of the benefits of altitude training in Albuquerque.

With sunny weather all year, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy their favorite activities during all four seasons in Albuquerque. During winter months, Sandia Peak offers skiing and snowboarding just minutes from the city. And don’t forget year-round golf. Golfers love the variation among Albuquerque’s 14 area golf courses.

The region’s scenic landscape, along with its rich history and amazing attractions, make first-time visitors want to come back for more and returning visitors stay a little longer.

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  1. Marge

    Albuquerque is beautiful especially the sunsets, was there last winter and it was cold but so was everywhere. The sun does shine almost everyday along with the wind so be prepared in the winter. Not sure about the summers as I didn’t stay past May. There are a lot of things to see, just before leaving we went to the Indian Pow Wow and that was a lot different than I expected, the Indians were very happy to educate me on their ways and forgive my ignorance. The outfits for the competitions were very elaborate and the music was wonderful, highly recommend going if you have the opportunity.

  2. Tim House

    Ride into Albuquerque after dark from the east on I-40, and as you come out of the mountains, suddenly you see the lights of the city. Breathtaking! Don’t forget to take the tram to Sandia Peak, and watch the vista from the heights, also breathtaking, day OR night. The food up there was great the last time I was there, Alaskan King Crab, and tender rib roast. That was twenty five years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday, living there. I worked at Central Trailer Supply back then.

  3. Carol

    Art, the article doesn’t say Albuquerque is the highest elevation, it says ONE of the highest….

  4. art borland

    albuquerque is not the highest city in the us. Denver,co is 5280 ft.

  5. Kevin

    No visit to Albuquerque is complete without visiting the following: 1) the zoo, 2) the botanical gardens, 3) Old Town Plaza, and 4) The Museum of Natural History…