Family-Friendly Hikes and Trails In and Around Albuquerque

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Albuquerque and its surrounding areas are a treasure trove of family-friendly outdoor adventures with a myriad of hikes and trails perfect for kids and families. Get ready to lace up those hiking boots, grab the sunscreen, and embark on exciting journeys through breathtaking landscapes. Here’s your ultimate guide to hikes and trails around Albuquerque.

Family-Friendly Hikes and Trails In and Around Albuquerque

Thank you Lovelace Health System for sponsoring this article.

February is American Heart Month, an important time to raise awareness about cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and can affect women at any age. But there’s good news: following a heart-healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk for heart disease. Lovelace wants to help you make heart health part of your daily routine. Below are several ways you and your loved ones can be proactive in maintaining a healthy heart:

  • Incorporate healthy food choices, including limiting alcohol intake
  • Prioritize movement and aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay up-to-date on your health screenings
  • Know your blood pressure and check it regularly

Talk to your health care team about checking your cholesterol, triglycerides, and being tested for diabetes.

It is never too early to start having conversations about your heart health. Visit hearthospitalnm.com or call 505.841.1000 for more information.


Walking and Hiking Trails

Petroglyph National Monument – Rinconada Canyon Trail

  • Unique Feature: Ancient Petroglyphs! Discover centuries-old rock carvings etched by Native Americans.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Stunning views of the Sandia Mountains and the city
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Located on Unser Blvd NW, parking is available at the trailhead

Cibola National Forest – Elena Gallegos Picnic Area

  • Unique Feature: The Ponderosa Pine Forest offers a cool escape on hot days.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 5 and up
  • Scenery: Towering pine trees, and if you’re lucky, wildlife sightings!
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Access from Simms Park Rd NE, parking available at the picnic area
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “Elena Gallegos is one of our favorites when we want to get out in nature but don’t want a long drive. It’s beautiful and has stunning vistas of the city. It’s also very kid-friendly. Parts of it are paved and the other parts are easy dirt paths. My son loves the little pavilions with grills!” – Paige Pacini

Bosque Trail – Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

  • Unique Feature: Wetland and riverside trails provide excellent birdwatching opportunities.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Riverside views, cottonwood trees, and migratory birds
  • Good for Dogs: No pets allowed
  • Travel Info: Located off Candelaria Rd NW, with parking at the Nature Center
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick – Aimee Pilegrene

Piedras Marcadas Canyon – Open Space

  • Unique Feature: A slot canyon with fascinating geological formations.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 8 and up
  • Scenery: Red rocks, narrow canyons, and panoramic vistas
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Access from Jill Patricia St NW, limited parking, so arrive early

Corrales Bosque Preserve

  • Unique Feature: Tranquil riverside trails in a charming village setting.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Bosque (riparian forest), farmlands, and the Rio Grande
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Multiple access points, including Alameda Blvd NW and Corrales Rd

Bear Canyon Open Space

  • Unique Feature: An urban oasis featuring a network of trails surrounded by desert vegetation and stunning rock formations.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Desert landscapes, unique rock formations, and city views
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Accessible from Juan Tabo Blvd NE, with parking available at the trailhead
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “I love taking my kids to hike in the Bear Canyon open space from Juan Tabo up to Tramway. It’s easy to get to, right in town. In late May or early June the cactus there have vibrant, beautiful purple blooms. The kids like the bear statue near Tramway. It feels like the perfect spot to stop and celebrate your accomplishment before you head back down.” – Katelyn Quanz

Volcanoes Day Use Area – Boca Negra Canyon

  • Unique Feature: Hike around ancient volcanic cones with expansive views.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 6 and up
  • Scenery: Volcanic landscapes, city views, and petroglyphs
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Located off Unser Blvd NW, parking is available at the visitor center

Sandia Foothills – Pino Trail

  • Unique Feature: A moderate climb offering panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 8 and up
  • Scenery: Pine forests, rocky outcrops, and expansive vistas
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Access from Trailhead Parking Lot on Elena Gallegos Rd NE
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “Our favorite (trail is) right in the foothills behind our house. Bonus is that it is a great photo spot” – Aimee Pilegrene

Tingley Beach – Bosque Loop Trail

  • Unique Feature: A leisurely stroll along the Rio Grande with fishing ponds and botanical gardens.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Riverside views, fishing ponds, and colorful gardens
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Entrance off Tingley Dr SW, parking available at Tingley Beach

Paseo del Bosque Trail

  • Unique Feature: A scenic, paved trail perfect for strollers and bikes along the Rio Grande.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Riverside views, cottonwood trees, and public art installations
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Access from various points along the Rio Grande, ample parking available

Three Gun Springs Trail – Manzano Mountains State Park

  • Unique Feature: A forested trail leading to a historic homestead site.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 10 and up
  • Scenery: Pine and juniper forests, wildflowers, and historical remnants
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash.
  • Travel Info: Located southeast of Albuquerque, off NM-337, with parking at the trailhead

A Bit Further from Town but Worth the Drive: Hidden Gems Await!

For those adventurous families willing to venture a bit further from Albuquerque, a trio of scenic delights await. Pack up the car, cue the road trip playlist, and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Doc Long Picnic Area – Cibola National Forest

  • Unique Feature: Secluded picnic area nestled in the Cibola National Forest, surrounded by towering ponderosa pines.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Forested landscapes, picnic spots, and a serene escape from the city hustle
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Located off NM-337, approximately 45 minutes from Albuquerque, with ample parking available
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “Our favorite trail is Faulty Trail from the Doc Long Picnic Area in the Cibola National Forest. Our family loves exploring the forest, and the shade and higher elevation make this hike a favorite in the hotter summer months. Since we have little kids, we usually only do about a ½ mile to 1-mile walk along the ravine and then hike back out. As they get older, I look forward to exploring more and more of the trail with them. We love packing lunch for the picnic area after a morning hike before driving back into town.” – Tammira Taylor

Los Conchas Trail – Jemez Mountains

  • Unique Feature: A scenic trail winding through lush forested canyons and alongside a babbling river.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 8 and up
  • Scenery: Dense forests, the Jemez River, and picturesque waterfalls
  • Good for Dogs: Yes, on a leash
  • Travel Info: Access from NM-4, around 1.5 hours from Albuquerque, with parking available at trailheads
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “Las Conchas is one my favorite hiking trails for families. There is a beautiful stream alongside the trail and it’s an easy hike for both beginners and small children. The scenery is gorgeous with large boulders, bridges, and the sound of water. Such a peaceful place and the perfect day trip if you’re looking to get out of Albuquerque.” – Bianca Fiagua

Spence Hot Springs – Jemez Mountains

  • Unique Feature: Natural hot springs nestled in the heart of the Jemez Mountains, offering a relaxing soak with stunning views.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (short hike to the springs)
  • Best for Kids: 10 and up (due to the hot springs)
  • Scenery: Mountain vistas, hot springs pools, and a serene mountain ambiance
  • Good for Dogs: No pets are allowed in the hot springs area
  • Travel Info: Located off NM-4, approximately 1.5 hours from Albuquerque, with a short hike to the hot springs.
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: “This short hike to Spence Hot Springs! It’s fun at all times of the year. It has bridges and steps. It’s only about a mile and then you can relax in the warm springs. I’ve done this hike pregnant and with kiddos. Definitely bring water shoes for the slimy springs just in case you don’t like to touch the bottom of the springs. The views are amazing. Definitely worth the hike!” – Jade Hernandez

Tips for a Successful Family Hike

  • Pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  • Dress in layers, especially during cooler mornings.
  • Check trail conditions and weather before heading out.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife but maintain a safe distance.
  • Encourage “Leave No Trace” principles – leave nature as you found it.

 

Bike Trails

Montessa Park – Mountain Bike Trails

  • Unique Feature: Thrilling mountain bike trails are suitable for beginners.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 10 and up
  • Scenery: High desert landscape with fantastic bike-friendly terrain
  • Good for Dogs: No pets allowed on bike trails
  • Travel Info: Entrance on Blake Rd SW, parking available near the bike trails

Albuquerque’s 50-Mile Activity Loop

  • Unique Feature: A comprehensive loop connecting various bike trails and paths throughout the city.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Best for Kids: 10 and up
  • Scenery: Varied landscapes, including city views, bosque trails, and urban parks
  • Travel Info: Access points at various locations, including Tingley Beach and Alameda Blvd NW

Bosque Bike Trail System

  • Unique Feature: Extensive network of riverside trails along the Rio Grande, perfect for family bike rides.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Riverside views, cottonwood trees, and abundant birdwatching
  • Travel Info: Access from multiple points along the Rio Grande, with parking available at key trailheads
  • ✨ABQ Mom Pick: We love biking the Bosque. We start at Alameda and head south to Paseo. I love that everyone is so considerate and welcoming to the littles on the trail. Especially beautiful in the fall time when the leaves are changing. My kids love being able to navigate this path on their own without having me worry about car traffic.” – Rachel Sherman

Paseo del Norte Trail

  • Unique Feature: A well-maintained trail running parallel to Paseo del Norte, providing a smooth biking experience.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: 8 and up
  • Scenery: Urban landscapes, scenic neighborhoods, and mountain views
  • Travel Info: The trail runs along Paseo del Norte, with multiple access points and parking available.

North Diversion Channel Trail

  • Unique Feature: Urban trail connecting the UNM area to Balloon Fiesta Park with public art installations.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best for Kids: All ages
  • Scenery: Urban landscapes, public art, and views of the Sandia Mountains
  • Travel Info: Access from various points, including Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE, with parking available

Albuquerque’s trails are more than just pathways–they’re gateways to family fun, exploration, exercise, and connection with the great outdoors. So grab your sense of adventure and start exploring with your little ones! Happy hiking and biking, ABQ Moms!