The Sandia Foothills Open Space contains approximately 2,650 acres of steep sloped hills intersected by gravelly drainages at the base of the Sandia Mountains.
The numerous drainages support a wider variety of shrubs including chamisa, apache plume, three-leaf sumac and oak species. Wildlife in the Foothills includes mule deer, coyote, black bear, cougar, rabbit, rock squirrel, lizard, and rattlesnake - plus a wide variety of birds. Elevation ranges from 5,720 to 6,800 feet above sea level in the area.
The plant species include a variety of grasses and wildflowers, cane cholla and prickly pear cactus. Single-seed juniper and piñon trees dot the landscape.
Maps and Area Descriptions:
- Elena Gallegos / Albert G. Simms Park
- provides access to to Embudito Trail #192 & Foothills Trail #365.
- Piedra Lisa Trailhead provides access to Trail #365 and Foothills Trail.
- Menaul Trailhead provides 4 shaded picnic areas and access to trails 365 and 401.
- Embudo Canyon Trailhead provides access to Embudo Trail #193 & Foothills Trail #365.
- Copper Trailhead provides access to Foothills Trail.
- Manzano/Four Hills has hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.
- Route 66 Open Space was acquired in 2011 and is currently under development. It is contiguous with the Manzano Open Space/Four Hills.
Hours of Operation:
April - October: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
November - March: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Holidays: Sandia Foothills Open Space areas including the Elena Gallegos/Albert G. Simms Park are open 365 days a year.
Elena Gallegos/Albert G. Simms Park:
Winter Hours (In effect starting November 1st): 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Summer Hours (In effect starting April 1st): 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
To access the Foothills Open Space parking areas from I-40, exit on to Tramway (north for all sites except for the Route 66.)
Copper: East of Tramway on Copper Ave.
Embudo Canyon: East of Tramway on Indian School Road
Menaul: East of Tramway on Menaul Blvd.
Piedra Lisa Canyon: East of Tramway on Candelaria Road and south on Camino de la Sierra.
Embudito Canyon: East of Tramway on Montgomery Blvd, north on Glenwood Hills Rd. and east on Trailhead St.
Manzano/Four Hills: End of Stagecoach Rd. in the Four Hills Village neighborhood.
Route 66 Open Space: 1/2 mile east of the Tramway exit on the I-40 frontage road.
Recreation in the Sandia Foothills:
Trailheads provide access to the Foothills trails as well as the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area, managed by the US Forest Service. Recreational opportunities include hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. A map of the Foothills trail system is available. Picnic shelters are located at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area, Menaul, and Embudo Canyon.