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Albuquerque's Great Outdoors

Cohousing ABQ kids enjoying a day of skiing,

You’ve probably heard about Albuquerque’s more than 310 days of sunshine annually, especially if you’re somewhere still longing for dry weather. We have four distinct seasons here and a comfortable average relative humidity of just 44 percent.

As a result of this weather, all kinds of sun worshipers and outdoor enthusiasts relocate to Albuquerque. And it’s not surprising that Cohousing ABQ members take full advantage of the area’s many outdoor activities and sports.

Cohousing ABQ family enjoying a dip in local hot springs.

Hiking and Camping

Definitely a favorite option for long walks is the Paseo del Bosque Trail, which will be right outside our door once our community is built. Running along the east side of the Rio Grande beneath the cottonwoods, this paved trail is 16 miles long, depending on how ambitious you are.

In the nearby Sandia Mountain foothills, there are miles of hiking trails—passing through arid landscape on the mountain’s west side, Alpine and forested landscape on the east side. It’s also not uncommon for a group of cohousers to hike around the Petroglyph National Monument on Albuquerque’s west side, where Puebloan and Spanish petroglyphs mark the basalt boulders. Closer in town, Jessie and her young daughter like to walk through Los Poblanos Open Space, where sandhill cranes make their home from October through March.

Cohousing ABQ has at least one community-wide camping excursion each year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some spontaneous occasions for “Who wants to go camping this weekend!” Favorite spots are City of Rocks State Park with its unique volcanic rock formations for the kids to climb on, or the group sites in the Jemez Mountains northwest of Santa Fe. Group camping is a bit like cohousing, with everyone having their own tent, but coming together for games, hikes, basking in the hot springs, and eating together in a large covered picnic shelter.

Cohousing ABQ member Penina enjoys the autumn color that abounds around Albuquerque.

Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding

Only non-motorized water craft can use the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, and one of our members, Mary, takes full advantage of that. “I love the river and can’t wait to live even closer to it,” she says. In addition to being an avid kayaker herself, she also volunteers to provide adaptive kayaking to those with disabilities. “When you are on the water in Albuquerque, you can rarely see any signs of civilization, because the Bosque [surrounding forest] is protected, so it’s a great way to be away from the city while still being very close to it.”


Cindy was amazed when she moved to Albuquerque and found how biking was supported here. “I came from a location where there weren’t any bike paths. Here you’ve got the Paseo del Bosque Trail that literally goes under streets, so no traffic. It runs north and south through town. But there are also older lateral trails going west to east that are interesting because they run through neighborhoods. Overall, the city has more than 400 miles of trails!

Another traadition for cohousers is our traditional Sunday morning meetup at Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm. It’s a beautiful relaxing spot designed especially for pedalers and pedestrians, featuring great food and music. Just our cup of tea.

Bikes lined up outside the bike-in coffee spot at Old Town Farm.

Winter Sports

You may think of Colorado or Utah as the go-to mountains for winter sports, but Albuquerque cohousers know better, and have found lots of ways to get out of town and have fun playing in the snow. Liz and Alexej head for the Capulin Snow Play Area for some sledding with their two young children. It’s just a mile and a half past the base of the Sandia Peak Ski area. Cost is just $3 per car for one day.

Marlies, Setso, and their 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son took up skiing as a family activity this past winter. They wanted to wait until their kids were old enough. “People think of skiing as being an expensive sport,” Marlies says, “but there are actually a chain of resorts in the area that give kids 12 and younger a free season pass. And if you plan ahead, adults can ski for about $9 a day. Several of these resorts are less than 2 hours away.”

Patti started skiing in college, but now enjoys cross country and snowshoeing. East of Albuquerque, the Sandia Nordic Ski Club maintains four miles of cross-country trails. Most of the trails throughout the Santa Fe National Forest and Hyde Park Memorial State Park are open to winter snowshoeing. “Snowshoeing, Patti says, “is just like hiking, except you have these big badmintons on your feet.”

“There’s something magical about it,” she explains. It’s so beautiful and quiet. The cold isn’t a problem with the right gear. And my dog just loves it; it’s joyous to watch him bounding through the snow.”

Snowshoeing is another popular winter sport for Cohousing ABQ members.

Whatever the outdoor activity, it seems there are cohousers eager to go, eager to try. We’d love to have you join us!

- Pat

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