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Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

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#6 of 7 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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  • We drove up to the top of Sandia Mountains and took the hike along the top to the Kiwanis cabin. the views were great. the trail is right along the edge of the mountain peak. We drove up from Benillit...  more »
  • This is must do when in town. The mountains are just breathtaking and there are many trails for hiking. Just beautiful!!!  more »
  • It is worth to drive to the top, view 's are great. You can see over the town and Rio Grande valley. It is much cooler up than town. Lot of hiking trails and picnic places.  more »

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