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Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

#7 of 8 in Winter Sports in New Mexico
The Sandia Mountains are a mountain range located in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, immediately to the east of the city of Albuquerque in New Mexico in the southwestern United States. The range is largely within the Cibola National Forest, and part of the range is protected as the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. Its highest point is Sandia Crest, 10678ft.Sandía means watermelon in Spanish, and is popularly believed to be a reference to the reddish color of the mountains at sunset. Also, when viewed from the west, the profile of the mountains is a long ridge, with a thin zone of green conifers near the top, suggesting the "rind" of the watermelon. However, as Robert Julyan notes, "the most likely explanation is the one believed by the Sandia Indians: the Spaniards, when they encountered the Pueblo in 1540, called it Sandia, because they thought the squash gourds growing there were watermelons, and the name Sandia soon was transferred to the mountains east of the pueblo." He also notes that the Sandia Pueblo Indians call the mountain Bien Mur, "big mountain".
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40 reviews
  • I live in Albuquerque, so I go to the mountain a lot! Its definitely the best view of the city you can get at over 10,000 feet. Driving up the back side will take about an hour from the city, or a 20 ...  more »
  • Listen to recommendations and wait a day or two before visiting the 10,80 ft elevation peak. We visited the first day and it took me about 20 min of getting used to the air, the elevation and for my h...  more »
  • Good place to over look the city of Albuquerque, could even see mount Taylor from it
  • Mountains are just 'meh'. Seen better. It's cool that they're here, don't get me wrong, but they're too brown, and not enough green. It's like a giant mound of dirt with a bunch of trees sticking out of it. The animals I saw were kinda lame too. The view up at top is what makes the miserable drive worth it though.

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