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The Paseo de la Mesa Trail offers a unique and unforgettable way to experience the West Mesa. The trail is an asphalt with lane striping, cutting a geometric path through the Open Space in northwest Albuquerque. Signs of urban life are most visible at the east end of the trail; the east trailhead, off 81st street, starts near the Vista Vieja neighborhood. The trail was actually built to co-locate with fiber optic lines and electric wires connecting to the Double Eagle II Airport. As you walk or ride further however, the desert opens up providing a sense of isolation and immersion in nature. Trail users have a 360-degree view of distant mountain ranges, including extinct volcanoes. Wispy grasses and other desert vegetation lines the trail's path. You might also spot wildlife including rattlesnakes, lizards, coyotes and hares. About 1.9 miles in the trail makes a 90-degree northward turn, followed by westward turn at the 3.3 mile mark. The trail ends in a lot a short distance from Atrisco Vista Boulevard and is an 8.8 mile roundtrip.
Do remember your water and sun protection as shade is scarce in these parts. The wind can also be a challenge.
East endpoint is on 81st Street, north of the Boca Negra Horseman's Complex and south of the pumping station. Enter the address 8221 Vista Vieja Ave. NW in your GPS device.
The western endpoint is 0.1 mile east of Atriso Vista Boulevard, northeast of the Double Eagle II airport. It is located at 7401 Paseo del Volcan NW.
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