Urban Rivers: Southwest

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Rio Grande
  |  Gorp.com
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Rare natural environment, right downtown

The Rio Grande River as it flows through Albuquerque is a prime example of a desert riparian area, one of the most threatened habitats in North America. In fact, it supports the largest cottonwood forest in North America. Most of the other western rivers have lost their cottonwoods through clearcutting, diversions and channelizations. The 13.5-mile-long Paseo del Bosque National Recreation Trail is active with strollers and bicyclists. It's wonderfully peaceful; than cross any major streets, the trail passes through underpassages. Along the way, you're treated to the life of this rare environment: grand old cottonwoods and their companion plants, songbirds, and, if you're lucky, some smaller mammals such as the lively jumping meadow mouse. The astounding Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is just upstream, making Albuquerque a major flyway for migrating birds to and from Mexico. If you want a sure bet at seeing wildlife, stop in at the Rio Grande Nature Center, the town zoo, and an extraordinary "biopark."

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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