Great vistas of Albuquerque and the Sandias, as well as some fantastic geological features.
The hiking in, around, and on top of the Volcanoes within Petroglyph National Monument is a fun and quick excursion. What makes this hike unique are the sweeping vistas of Albuquerque, the Rio Grande valley, and the Sandia Mountains across the valley.
There are numerous trails and junctions found throughout the volcanoes making it possible to piece together hikes to one, two, or all three volcanoes. Most of the trails are easy enough for smaller children with an occasional shade area with benches to rest. Also, if you're an avid mountain biker, the trails are open and available to bikes and if you enjoy wide open riding then this would be a great place to try.
The trails that I reported on didn't cover every square inch of where you could possibly hike. Therefore, the distance and elevation profile are only for the trails I hiked that day.
Head west on I-40 from Albuquerque until you reach Paseo Del Volcan. Get off the interstate and take a right. You'll drive 4.8 miles until the turn-off to the Volcanoes. Turn off onto the dirt road toward (right turn) the Volcanoes. You'll pass through a gate and come to the trailhead within a quater mile of when you left the road. There is no permit fee for hiking here. There's also a bathroom at the trailhead as well.
There is ample parking but make sure to park in the lot outside the gate if going close to sunset.
Petroglyph National Monument - www.nps.gov/petr - (505) 899-0205