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Open Space Lands

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Information about Open Space lands in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Open Space is mostly comprised of lands acquired by the City of Albuquerque. Open Space also includes properties owned by other entities and co-managed by the Open Space Division.

Each piece of land contains a number of areas that provide the public with a variety of facilities and uses. Additionally, Albuquerque was listed as having the highest percentage of parkland and Open Space for small cities in the United States.


Download maps of all Open Space areas.


Facilities Map




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    Aldo Leopold Forest

    The City of Albuquerque first celebrated Leopold’s love for the Rio Grande’s cottonwood forest in 1998 by dedicating a fully accessible loop trail near the Rio Grande Nature Center in Leopold’s honor. The Aldo Leopold Forest is planned for the area just north of this well known trail.

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    Boca Negra Canyon

    Boca Negra Canyon provides easy access for visitors who want to view petroglyphs and other interesting geologic and cultural features up close.

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    Booklet about 25 Open Space Destinations

    This unique trail and destinations guide was produced by the Open Space Division in 2009 during our 25th Anniversary year.

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    Carolino Canyon

    Information on Carolino Canyon

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    East Mountain Open Space

    Information on the East Mountain Open Space.

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    Elena Gallegos Open Space

    Visitors to Elena Gallegos Picnic Area and Albert G. Simms Park enjoy many activities below the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains, which were named for their pink colors at sunset - "Sandia" is Spanish for "watermelon."

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    Montessa Park

    Located in the South Valley, the 577-acre Montessa Park is the location for Open Space Administration Offices, the Brent Baca Memorial Disc Golf Course an off-leash dog park, and a special use off-road vehicle park.

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    Open Space Farmlands

    Farmland produces the food we eat, recharges our aquifer, provides habitat for wildlife, and presents us with beautiful living landscapes.

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    Paseo de la Mesa Trail

    Information about Paseo de la Mesa Trail.

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    Paseo del Bosque Trail

    Albuquerque's premiere multi-use trail, the Paseo del Bosque Trail, goes from the north to the south edges of the metro area through the Rio Grande's cottonwood bosque (forest).

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    Petroglyph National Monument

    Looking towards Albuquerque's West Mesa, one can't help noticing the area's distinctive geology and topography. A closer look reveals many clues of an active cultural and geologic history.

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    Piedras Marcadas Canyon

    Piedras Marcadas Canyon leads visitors on an undeveloped trail along the base of the basalt escarpment.

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    Reservation Areas

    Enjoy your next family reunion, office picnic, club meeting, or wedding reception in a mountain setting. Three outdoor reservation areas are available for your next function.

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    Rio Grande Valley State Park

    Established by the State Legislature in 1983, this Park is managed cooperatively by the Open Space Division and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD). The 4,300-acre park extends from Sandia Pueblo in the north through Albuquerque and south to Isleta Pueblo.

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    Sandia Foothills Open Space

    The Sandia Foothills Open Space contains approximately 2,650 acres of steep sloped hills intersected by gravelly drainages at the base of the Sandia Mountains. Elevation ranges from 5,720 to 6,800 feet above sea level.

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    Sandoval County Open Space

    City of Albuquerque Major Public Open Space areas located in Sandoval County

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    Special Interest Places

    There are several designated Open Space lands and facilities that cater to non-hiking recreation. The available recreational activities vary greatly, and there is sure to be an activity for everyone in these beautiful lands.

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    On the horizon of the West Mesa stand the remnants of five cinder cone volcanoes.

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    West Mesa Open Space

    Much of the open space acquired around the volcanoes, on the mesa top, and along the volcanic escarpment was included within Petroglyph National Monument in 1990.

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