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The best outdoor activities can be found in every direction from Albuquerque. In the center of the city, along the river, the Rio Grande Nature State Park is a good starting point for any outdoor exploring, and is the perfect way to learn more about the local plants and birds.
Albuquerque’s west edge is dotted with (mostly) defunct volcanoes and eroded lava fields — Petroglyph National Park is an area of protected space where these black stones are covered in designs made by American Indians centuries ago. You can hike among the stones, spotting odd patterns and animal shapes, or clamber up the volcano cones for a view across the city.
For an even more dramatic view, take the Sandia Peak Tramway up to the top of the mountains on Albuquerque’s east edge (or take the scenic drive around). Then hike along the Crest Rim Trail for a few miles, ducking down into shaded aspen groves along the way. For mountain biking and lower-altitude hiking, you can hit the foothills of the Sandias — a network of trails runs north and south from the base of the tram. And a short drive north of the city is Kasha-Ketuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, where level trails wind through eerie windswept rock formations.