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Rio Grande Valley State Park

Information about the Rio Grande Valley State Park (RGVSP), locally referred to as the "bosque," which is Spanish for "forest."

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset
LOCATION: Multiple trails and areas.
CONTACT: Emergencies call 911 ● To report suspicious activity or vehicle lock-ins, please call 242-COPS.

The 4,300-acre park extends from Sandia Pueblo in the north through Albuquerque and south to Isleta Pueblo, and is located on both the east and west sides of the Rio Grande.

Established by the State Legislature in 1983, this Park is managed cooperatively by the Open Space Division and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

The Paseo del Bosque Trail

The Paseo del Bosque trail is approximately 16 miles in length from Alameda Boulevard to Rio Bravo Boulevard and runs along the east side of the river. Low-impact recreation such as hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, in-line skating, and horseback riding are allowed on the Paseo del Bosque trail paved trail or the natural surface trail beneath the cottonwood trees.

The Rio Grande Valley State Park Trail Map provides a guide to access points in the park system.

Paddle Sports & River Access

Bosque Thinning Project 2024

The City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department and Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District are implementing a forest health initiative starting December 2023 until April 2024. The City’s Open Space Division and Albuquerque Fire and Rescue secured a nearly $1,000,000 FEMA grant in 2019 to support a wildfire mitigation project to reduce the severity of catastrophic wildfires and support overall forest health. The City completed the first phase of the project by working with SWCA Environmental Consultants on a comprehensive Environmental Assessment and project plan that FEMA approved in September 2023. The second phase of the grant is to implement the project plan.

The project area is 470 acres on both the west and east sides of the Rio Grande, south of Bridge Boulevard to north of Central Avenue. In recent years, this stretch of forest has seen numerous wildfires varying in size and severity. Crews are primarily focused on removing non-native species of plants as well as thinning understory vegetation that serves as ladder fuels under large Cottonwood trees and removing downed wood. This will improve the area's ecological integrity and reduce the hazardous fuel load that may contribute to catastrophic wildfires. 

Trails and access points will be temporarily closed while crews are working. The project will be overseen and supported by several agencies, including Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, the Open Space Division, Albuquerque Fire and Rescue, and the New Mexico Forestry Division.

You can find weekly updates here:

2/5/24 Weekly Bosque Update:

This week, forestry crews will be in three locations within the project area. Crews will continue on the northeast side of Central Ave (Units 3 and 4). Work in this area is about 75% complete.

A second crew started work on a 12-acre area (Unit 6) on the west side of the Rio Grande, heading south. This Unit is approximately 20% complete and will continue for several weeks. 

A third crew has begun work on a 22-acre area (Unit 14) on the west side of the Rio Grande, and both sides of Av. Dolores Huerta. The crew is expected to move to Unit 25 (3 acres) and then to Unit 22 (31 acres) by the end of the week.

1/22/24 Weekly Bosque Update:

Work on the northeast side of Central Ave. is 65% complete and will continue for the next few weeks. Additional crews will begin working on the southwest side of Central Ave and north of Bridge this week.

Week of 1/15/24:

The Bosque forest health initiative continues this week on the northside of Central, on the east side of the river, between the syphon and the Central Avenue Bridge. Work will be taking place in this area for the next several weeks. Additional crews will begin work on units within the overall project area in about 2 weeks.

a photo of the rio grande bosque with fema treatment units labeled

Week of January 8, 2024

The Bosque forest health initiative will extend this week to the north side of Central, on the east side of the river, between the syphon and the Central Avenue Bridge.

Map of thinning project in bosque for week of 1/8/24

Points of Interest

Alameda & Rio Grande Open Space

Alameda/Rio Grande Open Space

From the Paseo del Bosque trail ducks, geese and other wildlife can be viewed enjoying the Alameda Wetland. This constructed wetland is intended to replicate the natural wetlands that historically occupied the floodplain of the Rio Grande.

Distinguished cottonwoods shade two picnic areas at the northeast corner of the Alameda bridge from the New Mexico sun.

Alameda offers ample parking and easily accommodates horse trailers. Access is on the southeast side of the Alameda Blvd. bridge.

Calabacillas ArroyoCalabacillas Arroyo

A trailhead and parking for the Rio Grande Valley State Park. Calabacillas is located on the westside of the river off of Coors, north of Paseo del Norte. From Coors, turn right (east) on to Westside drive (3/4 of a mile north of Paseo del Norte; one-quarter of a mile north of Irving), then turn east on to the dirt levee road, and follow the road to the dirt parking lot.

Shining River Parking AreaShining River Parking Area

This parking area provides quick access to the Paseo del Bosque multi-use trail and the bosque trail system. It also offers designated parking for horse trailers.

Access from Rio Grande Blvd. on the southwest side of Paseo del Norte.

Rio Grande Nature Center (RGNC)

The Rio Grande Nature Center, managed by New Mexico State Parks, is a wonderful and educational visitor center. The Nature Center overlooks a thriving pond that attracts a variety of wildlife including Canada geese, sandhill cranes, several species of ducks, and coyote.

A two-mile loop trail guides visitors under the cottonwood canopy to sandy point bars along the Rio Grande. To the north of the Nature Center visitors can observe wildlife enjoying the Candelaria Farm Wetland Preserve. The Wetland is part of an ongoing effort to restore lost habitat in the Rio Grande floodplain.

The Nature Center is located at the end of Candelaria Road west of Rio Grande Boulevard.

Pueblo Montano Picnic Area and TrailheadPueblo Montano

This multi-use recreational facility provides West-side access to the bosque trail-system; dedicated ADA and equestrian-parking areas; and an ADA-accessible picnic area with interpretive educational signage for the public to enjoy.

Pueblo Montano is located south of Montano Road; east of Coors Boulevard; and west of the Rio Grande river.

Enjoy a virtual tour of the Pueblo Montaño chainsaw sculptures

Oxbow Overlook Open Space Division

San Antonio Oxbow Overlook

This area has a short trail that allows access to an overlook of the San Antonio Oxbow wetlands from Namaste Road just off of Coors. The Open Space Division manages the San Antonio Oxbow as a wildlife preserve. There is no public access to the wetlands.

Rio Bravo Riverside Picnic Area, Fishing Pier, and Nature Trail

A fully accessible quarter-mile loop trail winds under a canopy of cottonwoods, passing by the quiet flow of the Rio Grande. Visitors can picnic at one of three sites or fish for rainbow trout from the fully accessible fishing pier. The Paseo del Bosque trail may also be accessed from the parking area.

To access the Rio Bravo Riverside Picnic Area take Rio Bravo Blvd. west from Broadway. Before the bridge turn right onto Poco Loco Rd. and follow it directly west into the parking area.

Rio del Norte Picnic AreaRio del Norte Picnic Area

The Rio del Norte Picnic Area on the east side of the Rio Grande can be accessed via the Paseo del Bosque Trail There are several spaces to lock your bike here. Vehicle access is north of Central Avenue and west of Tingley Drive near the Albuquerque Biological Park. Limited parking spaces are available.

A fully accessible loop trail winds under a shady canopy of cottonwoods. There are a number of large picnic tables located along the trail and near the parking area. The trail provides excellent views of the river and migratory wildlife such as ducks, geese, and Sandhill cranes. The fully accessible trail connects to longer walking trails through the bosque.

The Aldo Leopold Interpretive Trail and ForestAldo Leopold Interpretive Trail

The Open Space Division and a host of local and national organizations dedicated the The Aldo Leopold Interpretive Trail and Forest in February of 2009. The trail winds through shady cottonwood groves and a restored forest fire site, and has great views of the river.

Eight interpretive signs about the life of Aldo Leopold, who helped protect the Rio Grande Valley State Park are located along the trail. Bald Eagles frequent the area during their winter migratory season.

Parking is available at the Pueblo Montaño Picnic Area, located at Montaño and Coors. Walk east over the river and look for the sign for the Forest and trail entrance.