Two Sandia Views

Fall aspens in New Mexico's Sandia Mountain Wilderness

I managed a short evening outing a week ago to the crest of Sandia Peak outside of Albuquerque. New Mexico’s biggest city doesn’t get much respect as an outdoor/nature town, but it’s got a very satisfactory backyard wilderness. Sandia Peak rears up a vertical mile above the city center, with much of that gain represented by sheer cliffs of pink granite, some of the steepest and most impressive in the state. Lush conifer forests and aspen groves perch high above the desert flats of the Rio Grande Valley. If Sandia were an isolated massif out in the desert, it would be considered a spectacular and unique sky island range. Right next to Albuquerque, it’s just the local playground, but it’s still a beautiful place.

Unfortunately, the aspen groves up high had been rather wind stripped, but there was still some nice color down in the canyons. And sunset on such a range crest is always glorious. I need to come down here more often!

Autumn evening on North Sandia Peak, Sandia Mountain Wilderness, New Mexico


4 thoughts on “Two Sandia Views

  1. Lovely images, Jackson! I always have liked the Sandias, but strangely have never thought of them as a source for lovely fall color. I really this pair…it inspires me to get up there the next time I’m in NM.

    • I expect their fall color gets pretty overlooked compared to the Manzanos or the Sangres, but the trees are there, it’s a question of finding the good views. I really want to try and get up there next year for the annual early October Balloon Fiesta snowstorm, could make for great conditions. I’ve also seen some snapshots out there with really nice color in the oak brush in the southern part of the range; still need to check out that area.

      Let me know whenever you have a chance to head up there!

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