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When you think of traveling by RV down autumn roads made bright by fall foliage, do you think of Albuquerque? You should, because the region surrounding this ancient New Mexico city comes to life when the leaves begin to turn.
One of the best-known ways to see miles and miles of autumn color in Albuquerque is to take the tram to the top of Sandia Crest. Standing more than ten thousand three hundred feet above Cibola National Forest, this peak offers a panoramic view in autumn that is simply stunning. You can also drive to the top of the mountain on Sandia Crest Road.
If you like to do your leaf peeping a little closer to the ground, hiking in Cibola National Forest will fill the bill. More than sixty trailheads are scattered through the forest’s ranger districts, meaning varied terrain hiking and lots of chances to see the glory of autumn. Affordable RV campgrounds can be found there, as well.
The brilliant fall colors of the Santa Fe National Forest reach their peak in early October and they’re only a couple of hours north of Albuquerque. Majestic stands of aspens, sage and cottonwoods are just what RV travelers hope to find on a Southwestern fall camping trip. The trails in the Pecos Wilderness area are particularly colorful in autumn.
And now for something a bit out of the ordinary; ever considered hovering above brightly-colored forests in a hot air balloon? The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held each year during the first week of October, offers leaf peepers the ultimate in autumn views. Balloon rides are readily available, so don’t miss the chance to soar above the autumn forests surrounding Albuquerque.
For full-fledged fall foliage fans, there’s an awe-inspiring loop drive through the rugged mountains northwest of Albuquerque. Start your trip in Bernalillo, twenty minutes north of town, and then follow the Jemez Mountain National Scenic Byway to find not only autumn leaves but also an abundance of New Mexico historic sites.
Not to be outdone by the splendor of Northern New Mexico in autumn, Gila National Forest, about three hours south of Albuquerque, is prime leaf peeping territory, too. Use this guide to fall color in the Gila National Forest to plan your RV camping trip from Albuquerque to the autumn beauty of Southwest New Mexico.
And there you have it, a quick overview of what to expect when going in search of fall foliage near Albuquerque. Savvy RV travelers will also use the tools available at NewMexico.org to help them find campgrounds, special events and travel tips to make the most of their autumn Albuquerque vacation. Come to New Mexico this autumn and find out why Southwestern leaf peeping is among the best in the nation.