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Recreation

The opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation in New Mexico are as varied as the state's terrain. Few states can boast six of the Earth's seven climatic zones, nor are they blessed with the towering mountains that rise above New Mexico's high desert plains. Our clear, blue skies invite balloonists and glider pilots to soar on the wind. The Rocky Mountain skiing is unmatched.

With public lands amounting to more than a third of the state, including thirteen national monuments and parks, five national forests and thirty-four state parks, New Mexico has an outdoor adventure for everybody from weekend sightseers to avid back country explorers. New Mexico also has over seventy golf courses from executive-style golf to Professional Golf Association tournament-caliber courses. Although many people think of New Mexico as a desert, there are opportunities for boating, wind surfing and even scuba diving across the state.

Harley Rentals - Thunderbird Harley-Davidson/Buell

Harley Davidson authorized rentals

Thunderbird is passionate about the Harley-Davidson® product and culture. Equally important is that they share that same passion in their efforts to deliver an exceptional customer experience every day. They strive to create a welcoming environment where they can sell, rent, and service motorsports products and accessories, and educate their customers about all things Harley-Davidson and Buell. Rider must have a valid motorcycle endorsement and be 21 years of age or older. Riders get 24-hour roadside assistance, a set of locking chains for securing the motorcycle, and rain gear and  helmets for both the rider and passenger. American Bike. Local Life. Ride Proud.

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

The 2.7-mile ascent to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains is a thrilling, can't-miss attraction. The adventure begins as you board the tram, already high above the city in the foothills of the dramatic Sandia Mountains. Immediately you will be amazed as you ride the 2.7-mile Sandia Peak Tramway and are whisked gently over the canyons and lush forests that lie beneath the 10,378- foot Sandia Peak. During the day you might see mule deer, black bears or bobcats roaming the forest beneath you, while hawks, golden eagles and even the occasional hang glider coast through the air. Once atop the peak, you can see a panorama of more than 11,000 square miles of spectacular beauty. At night, the city lights below sparkle like a million jewels. In the summer you'll be free to venture out on a hike or take a leisurely walk through the wildflowers; during winter you can grab your snowboard and hit the slopes on the eastern slope Sandia Peak ski area.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaThe Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than three decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chilies and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air. From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Our signature event remains Balloon Fiesta—which, with 700 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States. Learn more online at www.balloonfiesta.com.

Fly Fishing - San Juan River

San Juan River Fly FishingThe San Juan River in New Mexico is one of the finest tailwater fisheries anywhere! The 4.25 miles of San Juan river quality water below Navajo Dam holds over 80,000 trout. An average San Juan river trout is 17", but fish over 20" are abundant. To fool these selective San Juan trout requires tiny flies, fine tippets, proper presentation and attention to detail.  www.ifly4trout.com is dedicated to sharing helpful information on the San Juan river and related fly fishing and fly tying resources. Within the site you'll find fishing reports, information on hatches, fly patterns, tips & techniques, the latest news, FAQs and answers, an informative discussion forum, fishing photos, and guide service. Browse around and find out why so many fisherman from around the world are attracted to fly fishing the San Juan River.

Jeep Tours - New Mexico Private Jeep Tours

New Mexico Private Jeep ToursNew Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment, and New Mexico Jeep Tours offers an adventurous way to discover why. New Mexico Jeep Tours follows no beaten path, instead carving our own way to ancestral Pueblo ruins, ghost towns, volcanic necks and other unusual geological formations. Travel along primitive roads and see mountains or deserts while learning about the people, history, geology and culture that makes New Mexico special.

Tours are in a private Jeep, either open or covered and climate-controlled year-round for comfort. Tours range from three to eight hours (two person minimum), with free hotel pick up and experienced driver guides. All tours include bottled water, with sandwich lunches from Subway on tours 6.5 hours or longer.

Hot Air Ballooning in Albuquerque


Rainbow Ryders, Inc Rainbow RydersFor hot air ballooning in Albuquerque, Rainbow Ryders rises above the rest with daily, year-round balloon rides for weddings, groups, conventions, company retreats and special occasions. We even have gift certificates for Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon flights! Rainbow Ryders is THE authorized hot air balloon company for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.® Their hot air balloon company has been in business under the same ownership for 28 years, offering safe, fun and memorable hot air ballooning adventures in Albuquerque, NM. Rainbow Ryders offers balloon rides every morning at sunrise year-round, weather permitting. Sunset balloon flights are offered during the winter months.

Llama Trekking - Wild Earth Llama Adventure

Wild Earth Llama AdventureExplore New Mexico’s Pristine Wilderness...without the burden of a heavy pack! Wild Earth Llama Adventures offers “Take a Llama to Lunch!” Day Hikes, Multi-Day Wilderness Adventures, and Custom Designed Wilderness Events, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Rio Grande Gorge, near Taos and Santa Fe. On the trail, their gentle and sure-footed llamas carry the gear, while you are left free to enjoy the beauty and wonder of New Mexico’s diverse wilderness environments. Experienced Naturalist Guides share their knowledge of local ecology, natural history, wilderness skills, ancient Southwest cultures and more! Backcountry Gourmet Meals. All Ages and Fitness Levels.

Rafting/Kayaking - Los Rios River Runners

Los Rios River Runners
Rafting in Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque for Over 30 Years. Raft the white-knuckle whitewater of the world-famous Taos Box. Float through the spectacular Chama river canyon and sleep under the stars. Enjoy a traditional Pueblo Indian feast after floating a calm stretch of the Rio Grande with a native guide. Or take your kids on a Rio Grande white water adventure they'll remember their whole lives. Los Rios River Runners has more access to New Mexico's rivers than any other rafting company. Half-day, full-day and overnight adventures near Taos and Santa Fe - and a unique group tour. Come rafting with Los Rios, and meet  experienced, knowledgeable, and fun-loving river rafting guides.

Rock Climbing- Suntoucher Mountain Guides

Suntoucher Mountain GuidesSuntoucher Guides are some of the most experienced and qualified rock and ice climbing guides in North America. Owner, head guide, and guide trainer John Kear is one of only a handful of American guides to have completed the International Guide Certification, UIAGM. Co-Owner Carolyn Parker is an AMGA Certified Rock guide and Athlete Trainer. They specialize in small ratio guided ascents and professional instruction. This combined with our years of success and experience worldwide, will provide you with the some of the best experience and instruction there is to offer.

Skiing - Sandia Peak Ski Area

Sandia Peak Ski Area

With the Rio Grande Inn as your base, you can make a quick getaway to the Sandia Mountains and the thirty groomed trails at this intimate, 200-acre ski area. Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway to the top right from town, or make the longer drive around the mountains through Cedar Crest to get there by car. Sandia welcomes snowboarders, telemarkers, and alpine skiers alike. Lessons and competitions are offered in each of the downhill disciplines.

Click here to download a pdf of the Sandia Peak Ski Trails.

Wilderness Tours - Native Sons Adventures

Native Sons AdventuresNative Sons Adventure Company is a Taos, New Mexico based outdoor tour company specializing in guided wilderness tours of the Rio Grande, Sangre de Cristo mountains, and other wild and scenic areas of northern New Mexico. Native Sons holds full tour operator permits with the Bureau of Land Management, and has private land partnerships which allows them to design broad-based tours which take you from the depths of the Rio Grande Gorge to the heights of New Mexico's tallest peaks. Their experienced guides can take you on world-class adventures that include Snowmobile Tours, Whitewater River Rafting, Inflatable Kayaking Trips, Mountain Bike Tours, Overnight Adventure Trips and Chama River Raft Rentals. They also offer mountain bike shuttle service for the South Boundary Trail.

Recommended Recreation Sources

  • American Trails - The only national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling.
  • National Caves Association - This site provides a directory of caves open to the public. These unique and historical attractions provide a fun opportunity to experience nature’s beauty, while learning about preserving these natural wonders.
  • New Mexico Professional Big Game Hunting, Inc. - A full-service trophy hunting operation led by highly trained and experienced guides providing proven client success as well as overall satisfaction.
  • Public Lands Information Center - The New Mexico Public Lands Information Center (PLIC) in Santa Fe is a single source of information for all types of outdoor recreation on lands managed by New Mexico State Parks, Game and Fish and Land Offices as well as all the federal National Parks and Monuments, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, Bureau Of Land Management areas, and US Army Corps Of Engineers Lakes. The PLIC is open 8 am - 4:30 pm, M-F, except for federal holidays. Their website covers outdoor recreation for New Mexico and eleven other western states in detail.
  • Rapture Air Paragliding - Rapture Air Paragliding is located in Albuquerque New Mexico and operates year-round so join us for one of our day lessons or go all out and become your own paragliding pilot.
  • Sky Dive New Mexico - Offering classes for beginners and jump opportunities for club members, Sky Dive NM is located at the Belen Alexander Airport 35 minutes south of Albuquerque on I-25.
  • Southwest Safaris - Scenic airventures explore the remote corners of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Traveling in the comfort and safety of special observation aircraft, members of expeditions discover exciting landmarks, national parks, and frontier sites viewed from a four-dimensional perspective few have ever witnessed.
  • Sundance Aviation - Soar above the New Mexico desert in a glider! Flights of 15 and 30 minutes of different intensity are offered. Glider flight training is also taught at this school. By riding columns of rising air called thermals, gliders ascend to altitudes of up to 18,000 feet above sea level. The view from the cockpit is spectacular and one can often see for hundreds of miles. They fly year-round in the beautiful New Mexico high desert.
  • Wolf Horse Outfitters - Native American guide service specializing in horseback riding Adventures into the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness. Wolf Horse Outfitters provides all packing services, drop camps and camp support services; including cooking and meals to your zone location or preferred base camp site. Camping equipment is available on request.

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New Mexico Private Jeep Tours
New Mexico Private Jeep Tours
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Ski Sandia Peak
Ski Sandia Peak
San Juan Fly Fishing
San Juan Fly Fishing
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BEST WESTERN PLUS Rio Grande Inn
1015 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Tel:505-843-9500 | Fax: 505-843-9238
Toll Free Reservations: 800-959-4726
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