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Top Ten Outdoor Activities in Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s 300 days of sunshine should not go to waste! Get out there and enjoy the amazing high desert weather! Tour Albuquerque by bike, ride horseback along the Rio Grande trails, even trick out your ride – or watch a drag race. You will find that Albuquerque’s weather and 400+ miles of trails is a perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast in us all. Read more to discover more outdoor activities in Albuquerque:

1. Drag Racing

Albuquerque is the self-proclaimed “low-rider capital of the world.” It should come as no surprise then that drag racing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Albuquerque. Locals spend a lot of time and money to trick their rides out to get ready for adrenalin-pumping racing action. The Albuquerque Dragway is the official site for these competitions and for a fee you can watch and sometimes get close enough to the parked low-riders that you can ask the owner if you can take a peek at the engine. For $5 more, you can race your own car against another turbo-ed ride and get the thrill of your life! Check it all out at http://www.abqdragway.com/.

2. Horseback Riding

If you ever take a stroll along the Rio Grande bike trail or a hike in the foothills you will surely meet up with a horse. Horseback riding is a pleasant outdoor activity in Albuquerque – where the weather is constant and sunny. There are several spots where you can rent horses and utilize well-maintained horseback riding trails. At Cedar Crest Stables for example, you can stay at the cottage and ride the majestic Sandia Mountain trails. (A stay at the cottage is not required – you could instead just make use of the horses and horseback riding facilities.) To find out more about how to begin your horseback journey check out http://www.cedarcreststables.com/.

3. Biking

Albuquerque is a great place to bike! There are over 400 miles of well-maintained, paved bike trails inside the city. Many trails run along the arroyos and drainage ditches, but there is a lovely, picturesque trail that follows beside the Rio Grande River and takes you out into farm country. There is nothing better than powering to the top of a hill and seeing the city stretched out below you, or biking under a canopy of burnished gold cottonwoods in the slight breeze. Want another reason why Albuquerque is a great place to bike? It is the land of 300 days of sunshine! To check out Albuquerque’s biking trails visit: http://www.cabq.gov/bike/.

4. Hiking

It’s only natural that the population of a city at over 5,000 feet above sea level would take to the mountains. The Sandias – named after their “watermelon glow” – are a mountain range that borders the city on the east along with the Manzano Mountains. Popular hiking trails in Albuquerque include the La Luz Trail and Embudito Trail. Try the Armijo Trail or hike the foothills if you want a more leisurely hike. For information about hiking trails in Albuquerque please visit: http://www.sandiahiking.com/.

5. Camping

Some of the best places for Albuquerque camping are located not too far outside of the city limits. For a drive, you can make it to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Santa Fe and camp in Hyde Memorial State Park. Another popular destination is the Jemez Mountains – near Santa Fe. In the Jemez you will find Cochiti Lake Campground, which is home to Cochiti Lake, one of the largest manmade lakes in the country. Travel to Jemez Springs where you can soak in natural hot springs sip some wine and kick back and take in the stars. Tip: Don’t leave food outside at night or you might get surprised by a bear or other curious animal! To see more information about Albuquerque camping please see: http://www.explorenm.com/camping/.

6. Skiing

Winter outdoor activities in Albuquerque are easy to find: Albuquerque’s Sandia Crest – the summit of Sandia Mountain – is a great place to ski – especially when you take the tram to the top! Sandia Crest stands at over 10,000 feet and looms over the valley. You will not only get a challenging skiing adventure – but a beautiful one. Or, go to nearby Santa Fe to Ski Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. The Sangre de Cristo is one of the country’s highest skiing mountains! So hit the powder! For Sandia Crest visit: http://www.sandiapeak.com/index.php?page=winter-sports. To find out about Ski Santa Fe go to: http://www.skisantafe.com/.

7. Golf

Albuquerque has a number of well-maintained golf courses for adults and children alike. Children can participate in the Junior Golf Program at the City of Albuquerque’s golf courses: Ladera, Arroyo del Oso, Los Altos, and Puerto del Sol. The Isleta Casino and Resort maintains a lakeside golf course called the Isleta Eagle Lakes Course. The University of New Mexico has its own 9-hole course located in North Campus. To find out about these and more golf courses visit: http://www.thegolfcourses.net/golfcourses/NM/Albuquerque.htm. For the City of Albuquerque’s Golf website see: http://www.cabq.gov/golf/.

8. Journal Pavilion Concerts

Nothing is better than listening to live-music under a starry desert sky. Hear your favorite bands at New Mexico’s largest outdoor concert venue – holding 12,000 people. Here is a listing of past headliners at Journal Pavilion: Blink 182, Green Day, No Doubt, Lil Wayne, and Pearl Jam. To book your tickets now go to: http://www.livenation.com/venues/14579/hard-rock-casino-albuquerque-presents-the-pavilion.

9. Rock Climbing

Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains make a great destination for rock-climbers! Take advantage of the Sandia Peak Tramway and ride up the mountain. You will benefit from the Sandia’s unique fins, towers, and cliff faces that are like nowhere else! Suntoucher guides are a local company that will help you with all of your rock-climbing needs. Haven’t you always wanted to hang from a belay rope over Albuquerque’s beautiful valley? To view Suntoucher’s services and prices go to: http://www.suntoucher.com/. For other information about rock-climbing outdoor activities in Albuquerque go to: http://suntoucher.com/climbing/rock-climbing-home/.

10. Balloon Ride

You don’t have to wait for Albuquerque’s annual International Balloon Fiesta to take a ride in a hot-air balloon! Several local companies offer balloon rides year round for a fee. If you request the services of Private Balloon Flights, you will get a tour of the Rio Grande River and valley from on-high, including a spectacular birds-eye-view of the Bosque – the forest surrounding the Rio Grande – that will give you a new appreciation for nature. If you go with Above & Beyond Balloon Rides, you will be toasted by a champagne ceremony after landing. Check out Albuquerque from the sky with one of the locals’ favorite outdoor activities in Albuquerque! For Private Balloon Flights see: http://www.privateballoonflights.com/. For Above & Beyond please visit: http://www.aboveandbeyondballoonrides.com/.

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