Introduction to Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Rio Rancho, New Mexico, in Sandoval county, is 12 miles N of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's regarded as the economic center for the county. It's the third largest city in the state. The northeast portion of the city is bordered by the Rio Grande. Intel is the largest employer. Services, the government and retail are major factors for the economy. Rio Rancho features a high-desert climate.
Rio Rancho History
The area was included in the Alameda Grant which was established by the Spanish in 1710. By the early 20th century a vast amount of the land was purchased by land investment firms. AMREP Southwest Inc. bought a large acreage and constructed a major housing development during the 1960's. Between 1970 and 1980 the population of Rio Rancho experienced substantial growth. Since the 1990's the city decided to rely less on the city of Albuquerque by establishing its own school and library systems and bringing new businesses to the city.
Rio Rancho Attractions
- The Casa San Ysidfro & San Ysidfro Church site includes a beautiful Spanish Colonial style rancho, which features notable New Mexico artifacts.
- Coronado State Monument includes a visitor center which showcases pre-historic as well as Indian and Spanish colonial relics.
- Jemez State Monument is a pre-historic site which includes the ruins of an old Indian village and the huge, historic Catholic Mission, known as San Jose de Los Jemez Church.
- Casino Sandia.
- Santa Ana Star Center is popular for a variety of events.
- The New Mexico Scorpions play minor league hockey.
- San Felipe's Casino Hollywood.
- Blades Multiplex Arena.
- The nearby Indian Pueblos are popular tourist destinations.
- Santa Ana Star Casino.
- J&R Vintage Automobile Museum.
- National Hispanic Cultural Center features traditional and contemporary art and provides dance and theatrical performances and other events.
- Local shops offer hand-crafted jewelry and Southwestern art and crafts.
Rio Rancho Activities
Residents enjoy the numerous parks, trails, bicycle paths and open space located in the city. Golf enthusiasts enjoy playing golf all year long at the numerous courses. The scenic Jemez Mountains includes water falls, warm springs and attractive meadows. The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument offers trails running through canyons, and features huge cone-shaped formations made from pumice. The top of the Tent Ricks Trail offers spectacular views.
The nearby Sandia Peak Tramway is one of the longest aerial tramways in the world. The top of Sandia Peak provides wonderful views. Astronomy enthusiasts enjoy the views from the nearby desert hills. Hot air balloon rides are available. There are numerous locations for mountain biking. The paved trail situated along the Rio Grand River is popular with residents.
Fishing opportunities are available at the nearby lakes and streams. The scenic Luz Trail traverses through a desert landscape, a forest area, alpine meadows and impressive boulder fields. The nearby Sandia Ski Area is a popular destination. The scenic "Bosque," located near the Rio Grande features ancient cottonwood trees and opportunities to see wildlife, including bald eagles, coyotes and beavers.