The City of Albuquerque acquired what became the POS from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1966 under the federal Recreation and Public Purposes Act which requires that it must be used for recreation. In 1995, after opposition from Placitas community members to a proposal put before the Albuquerque Open Space Advisory Board to put a shooting range on the property, community members decided to take a proactive effort towards the management of the open space.
The Placitas Open Space Master Plan
A master plan for the POS was essential for its permanent protection and management. A sustained and combined community effort led by LPA resulted in The Placitas Open Space Master Plan which was completed in 2002. The plan takes into consideration the community’s wishes for its recreational use, as well as the protection of its cultural, historical, and natural resources.
Hikes and Recreational Uses of the POS
The POS Master Plan calls for low-impact recreation which includes hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Each year, Las Placitas Association sponsors a series of hikes and activities on the Open Space which are free for anyone interested in learning about the natural and cultural heritage of this high desert area. These hikes included Birds of Placitas, Native Plants of the Placitas High Desert, Archeology Hike, and Mountain Bike the Open Space. Check out this year’s calendar of events which will be mailed out in March. Also check out the bird inventory, and the native plants inventory to find out more about the rich natural heritage of this beautiful high desert area.
There is a high density of archeological sites on the Placitas Open Space. A survey of the sites was jointly implemented and financed by LPA and grants from the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and the Albuquerque Community Foundation and was carried out by the Archeology and Historical Research Institute along with volunteer contributions from the Albuquerque Archeological Society. The Cultural Resources Inventory of the Placitas Open Space was completed in 1998 and the POS is now a historic district listed on the State Cultural Properties Register.
Access to Placitas Open Space
To the west entry:
- From I-25, Exit 242, go east on Highway 165
- Left (north) onto Frontage Road for 1.5 miles
- Right (east) onto Camino Manzano for 1.3 miles
- Left onto Santa Ana Loop for 0.9 miles
- Left onto Cloud View Court
- Open gate at end of Cloud View Court (please close gate behind you)
- Drive to turn-around where you may part and walk into the Open Space
To the east entry:
- From I-25, Exit 242, go east on Highway 165 for 6.9 miles
- Left (north) onto Camino de las Huertas for 2.7 miles
- Make a quick left at the top of the hill to Palomino Road
- Follow the paved and winding Palomino Road ~0.7 miles to a dirt road where you’ll turn left
- Follow the dirt road west about 0.3 miles and turn left just before a cattle guard which enters BLM land
- Proceed another ~0.2 miles to the City of Albuquerque Open Space sign where you can park
- Walk through the single gate and make an immediate right turn at the trail sign