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Open Space Rules & Regulations

Information about open space rules and regulation.

The City of Albuquerque Open Space is an ambitious program to preserve and protect unique land and cultural resources that have significant scenic, ecological, recreational and cultural value to Albuquerque residents. These rules and regulations have been adopted to protect our valuable resources and enhance your outdoor recreational experience.

General Information

All visitors are subject to State Statutes and City/County Ordinances governing public conduct. The rules and regulations stated are those generally enforceable or permitted under Bernalillo County Ordinance 88-9 and City of Albuquerque Revised Ordinances, R.O. 1974, 5-6. Violation of many of these rules and regulations are punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Motor Vehicles

  • The operation of motorized vehicles is prohibited off the established roadways. Signs and barriers have been erected to inform you of vehicle closures. Severe erosion has occurred because of unrestricted vehicle use.
  • All State, County, and City traffic laws apply in Open Space. Posted speed limits are enforced.
  • Do not block gates; park only in designated areas. Do not park on access roads. Emergency vehicles may need to access those gates and/or roads; vehicles blocking gates and/or roads will be towed.
  • Visitors to the Sandia Mountain Wilderness may park their vehicles overnight. Please check with a park attendant before leaving your vehicle. Vehicles left overnight are done so at your own risk.
    View Sandia Mountain Wilderness information.

Cultural & Natural Resources

  • All archaeological artifacts, petroglyphs, associated historic and archaeological sites and boulders are protected. The penalties for vandalism are severe.
  • Stay on marked trails. Walking off trails can damage fragile desert habitat and lead to increased erosion.
  • Do not disturb, remove, harass, or hunt any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, insect, or other form of animal life in Open Space. Fishing is permitted in the Rio Grande Valley State Park only. All New Mexico Game and Fish laws apply in Open Space.
  • Do not disturb, cut, chop, and/or remove any tree, shrub, plant, cactus, and/or grass.
  • Due to the fragile desert plants and grasses, activities such as softball, football, frisbee, and other high impact recreational activities are prohibited.

Memorials on Open Space Lands

Learn more about memorials on Open Space lands.

Public Property

  • Do not remove, alter, or damage any sign, barrier, fence, gate, or structure. Individuals responsible will be required to pay for damages.
  • Do not post any notices or signs without permission of Open Space authorities.
  • Do not enter or use any building, parking area, enclosed area, road, or trail that has been expressly closed to the public.
  • Use toilets properly. Unsanitary behavior and litter thrown into toilets vaults or bowls only increase our maintenance costs which are passed on to the visitor through increased fees or taxes.

Fires & Fireworks

  • Obey all fire restrictions. Check with Open Space regarding current restrictions before starting any fires. Do no set off fireworks or other explosives in Open Space. Damaging fires have occurred due to misuse of fireworks.
  • Charcoal fires are permitted only in provided fire rings, grills, or fireplaces. Open wood fires are permitted only in the fire rings provided in the reservation areas.
  • Current restrictions may restrict charcoal and/or wood fires at any given time. Restrictions may also include no smoking in outside areas.
  • Chopping or removal of firewood is strictly prohibited in Open Space.

Fee Areas

All Open Space fees areas are clearly signed. Please pay the appropriate fee before using the facility.

Public Behavior

  • All pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than eight (8) feet.
  • Always be courteous when using trails. Saddle and/or pack animals must stay on established trails and yield to all hikers.
  • Mountain bikes must stay on established trails and yield to saddle and pack animals and hikers.
  • Keep noise at a low level. The use of radios, tape or CD players, televisions, or audio amplifying electronic devices or instruments is strictly prohibited.
  • Please keep in mind that Open Space would like to keep our parks safe and enjoyable for all visitors. Disorderly conduct is not acceptable and Officers will handle this behavior accordingly.

Organized Recreational and Business Activities

  • All organized and/or sponsored recreational events must be approved and a Special Use Permit issued before the event may take place. Insurance is required. Charges for this permit is determined on an individual basis (i.e., type of event, group size, location, etc.). Please call 505-452-5200, for more information.
  • Permits are required for all commercial activities. Insurance is required and charges will be determined at the time of request.


    The discharge of any firearms, bow, pellet gun, BB gun, paint ball gun, sling shot, or similar device is not permitted.

    Winter Hours

    • Elena Gallegos: 7 a.m. to 7 pm. daily. Reservation group hours 8 am to 6 pm.
    • Petroglyph National Monument: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
    • Carolino Canyon: Closed - October through April
    • Sandia Foothills Gates: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

    Summer Hours

    • Elena Gallegos: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Reservation group hours 8 am to 8 pm.
    • Petroglyph National Monument: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
    • Carolino Canyon: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Sandia Foothills Gates: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

    Enjoy your time in Open Space!