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.
The numerous drainages support a wider variety of shrubs including chamisa, apache plume, three-leaf sumac and oak species. Wildlife in the Foothills includes mule deer, coyote, black bear, cougar, rabbit, rock squirrel, lizard, and rattlesnake - plus a wide variety of birds.
The plant species include a variety of grasses and wildflowers, cane cholla and prickly pear cactus. Single-seed juniper and piñon trees dot the landscape.
Click here for summer hours for Elena Gallegos Open Space
(In effect starting April 1st): 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Trailheads provide access to the Foothills trails as well as the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area, managed by the US Forest Service. Recreational opportunities include hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. A map of the Foothills trail system is available. Picnic shelters are located at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area, Menaul, and Embudo Canyon. See the Open Space Facility Chart and Open Space Facility Map for more detail.
The Sandia Foothills Open Space contains the following areas:
- Elena Gallegos / Albert G. Simms Park
- provides access to to Embudito Trail #192 & Foothills Trail #365.
- Piedra Lisa Trailhead provides access to Trail #365 and Foothills Trail.
- Menaul Trailhead provides 4 shaded picnic areas and access to trails 365 and 401.
- Embudo Canyon Trailhead provides access to Embudo Trail #193 & Foothills Trail #365.
- Copper Trailhead provides access to Foothills Trail.
- Manzano/Four Hills has hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.
- Route 66 Open Space was acquired in 2011 and is currently under development. It is contiguous with the Manzano Open Space/Four Hills.
Hours of Operation
April - October: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
November - March: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
To access the Foothills Open Space parking areas from I-40, exit on to Tramway (north for all sites except for the Route 66.)
Copper: East of Tramway on Copper Ave.
Embudo Canyon: East of Tramway on Indian School Road
Menaul: East of Tramway on Menaul Blvd.
Piedra Lisa Canyon: East of Tramway on Candelaria Road and south on Camino de la Sierra.
Embudito Canyon: East of Tramway on Montgomery Blvd, north on Glenwood Hills Rd. and east on Trailhead St.
Manzano/Four Hills: End of Stagecoach Rd. in the Four Hills Village neighborhood.
Route 66 Open Space: 1/2 mile east of the Tramway exit on the I-40 frontage road.
Please see here for more information about fire prevention and restriction levels, or call the Open Space Forester at 452-5211.