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On A Tank of Gas: Albuquerque

Local fun for everyone

By Moriah Carty

Why not stay local?

Sometimes too much time in one place makes it harder to see the hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems. This week, let’s take a look at some local places to visit.


Start: Rail Yards Market


The empty building next to Railyards Market.

The warmer days mean we can catch the tail end of harvest season. Instead of the typical park takeover, head over to Rail Yards Market.

Head south on First Street and follow the signs past Coal Avenue.

Rail Yards Market makes use of one of Albuquerque’s roots, the rail yards.

The city’s development is in part due to the development of the railroad in the late 19th century. Eventually, it shut down – but it was brought back to life in 2014. Three years strong, Rail Yards Market runs every Sunday from May to the end of October.

The market itself showcases loads of local artists, farms and delicious eats. The building has a quaint, rustic aesthetic to it. The windows are mismatched panes of green and blue glass.

Once inside, bypass the stands for a moment and go to the south end. Skip across the way into the adjacent building.

Once your eyes adjust, it’s impressive. This space isn’t just used for the market, but can also be rented out. When you look up, some of rusted, patina-laden heavy lifting machinery still remains; however, it’s no longer in use.

Now quit gawking and finish shopping, the day is still young.

Weave your way through downtown and park near any of the rentable bike racks – not to worry, they take cards. Unfortunately, helmets don’t come with them, so come prepared.


Rail Yards Market to Bike in Coffee at Old Town Farm: 3.5 miles 

Rentable bikes in downtown Albuquerque

Rentable bikes in downtown Albuquerque

We’re on our way over to Bike in Coffee, and we can’t very well drive (actually, there is parking, but it’s called Bike in Coffee, not Drive in Coffee). Mileage may vary.

Ride toward Mountain Road, head east until the four-way stop at Montoya Street. Follow it around, and the signage is on the left.

All of the food is sourced from the farm, and the coffee is from local roasters at Trifecta Coffee Company.

The farm has some livestock, completing the aesthetic. Even as close as it is to I-40, the city sounds seem to fall away.





Downtown to Volcanoes: 14 miles

A View of the Volcanoes

A View of the Volcanoes

Albuquerque sits in the Rio Grande Valley Rift between two beautiful figures, the Sandia mountains and the Three Sisters volcanoes, called JA Volcano, Black Volcano and Vulcan Volcano.

The volcanoes can be accessed from Unser Boulevard or from Atrisco Vista Boulevard. The eastern entrance, from Petroglyph National Monument, offers more resources and information than the west side, The Volcanoes National Monument. Spectacular views no matter what. From the east, there are historical petroglyphs on the volcanic rock.

There are several options for hiking or walking, all of which are entirely exposed, so dress accordingly. Please remember to stay on the trail and pack food, sunscreen and water.

On top of the plateaus, the sunset comes alive. It isn’t hidden behind the volcanoes now, and their shadow falls across the valley below.

Time to head back down.


Volcanoes to Rio Grande Community Farm: 15.8 miles

This time of year, the Rio Grande Community Farm houses a maize maze, which takes up more than eight acres of the space.

The area focuses on wildlife habitation and sustainable farming, and even during the maize maze event, it still manages to bring wildlife and city dwellers together.

This year, the maze’s them is “colors,” and is open every weekend in October. The evenings come alive with live music and events for folks of all ages.


Head Home:

Being a tourist isn’t always so bad, especially when it’s your own backyard. Another good reason to remember the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else.


Stops, 4; Miles, 33.3


Moriah Carty is an Albuquerque local with a heavy sense of wanderlust.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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