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Albuquerque Open Space maintains significant natural landscapes and hiking trail

The Elena Gallegos Picnic Area at the Sandia Foothills is one of the many beautiful areas managed by Albuquerque’s Open Space Division. This spot is on the northwest side of the Sandia Mountains; nestled on the northern most part of this area is a trailhead leading to TWA Canyon. Domingo Baca Trail starts rather flat and is hot as there is not much tree coverage, but the surrounding sights are still magnificent.

Desert cactus shaped like a heart
Desert cactus shaped like a heart
Suzanna Chavez

As the trail winds up the mountain the sights become even more picturesque with peaceful streams, colorful birds and tall, green trees. The sound of the water softly flowing down the mountain and the birds singing in the trees leaves a hiker with much serenity as the fresh mountain air is breathed in.

Domingo Baca is a rugged and challenging trail and those wishing to get to TWA Canyon must be prepared for a long and significant hike; bring lots of water and snacks. It takes about 3 hours to get to the steep canyon wall near the site where the small TWA plane crashed in 1955. Parts of the small plane still remain. There is a small memorial bolted to the side of the plane, which is both somber and beautiful.