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.