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part ofCibola National Forest and Grasslands, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Wed Oct 14 2015   Season Dates


Doc Long Picnic Area is one of several picnic areas in the scenic Sandia Range close to Albuquerque, making it a popular area for visitors to enjoy a getaway in nature. The Doc Long picnic site has been in use since the 1920’s, and has been a destination site for both local families and visitors from nearby communities throughout its history. In the 1930s, a rustic log pavilion was constructed at the site by Civilian Conservation Corps work crews and is still available for public use. The surrounding forest and the majestic mountains provide a beautiful location for sightseeing, hiking, and outdoor recreation.

Natural Features:

The picnic area is just 15 miles from Albuquerque at an altitude of 7,500 feet. It is nestled in a dense forest of towering Ponderosa pines and is surrounded by mountainous terrain.

The Sandias are home to mule deer, black bear and many other species of wildlife and birds, including golden eagles often seen soaring at the crest. The playful Abert squirrel is a year-round resident of the Doc Long site.


The nearby Sandia Crest Scenic Highway winds 13.6 miles to the summit of the Sandia Mountains. It is a popular route for motorcycle, bicycle, and auto touring, with its miles of spectacular views along the curvy road to the summit.

The surrounding area contains many hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.

Sandia Peak Ski Area offers an aerial tram to 10,378 foot Sandia Peak, which gives visitors a panoramic view of Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley, and the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys below. Sunsets are spectacular, as are night views of the city lights and starry skies. The tram can be boarded either at the Four Seasons Visitor Center at the Sandia Peak Ski Area or the tram terminal located just east of Tramway Boulevard in Albuquerque. From Sandia Peak, visitors can hike 1.75 miles on Crest Trail 130 to Sandia Crest, the 10,678 foot summit of the mountain.


The picnic area offers two large, accessible group picnic shelters, which are replicas of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps design. Each can accommodate up to 30 people and is equipped with multiple picnic tables and grills. The site features a playfield area adjacent to the group shelters, interpretive displays, and a small visitor center staffed by friendly volunteers. The visitor center is typically open on weekends to welcome visitors and provide information and assistance.

Accessible vault toilets are provided. Water is not available at the site, nor is firewood or charcoal. A small fee is typically charged for day use parking. Additional individual picnic areas which do not require a reservation are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nearby Attractions:

The rock walls and pinnacles on the west side of the Sandia Range provide abundant rock climbing opportunities. The terrain also provides numerous launching spots for hang gliding, which is a popular sport during summer months.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Picnic Area
  • Accessible Picnic Shelters
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Birding
  • Day Use Area
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Parking Area
  • Paved Roads
  • Tables
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Fuel Available
  • Gift Shop
  • Restaurant
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scenic Drive
  • Scenic Overlooks
Know Before You Go
  • Water is not available at the site
  • Bears frequent the area- use appropriate containers for food and trash and do not leave food unattended at any time
  • A $3 fee for day-use recreation applies to each vehicle in your party. Each parked vehicle must display a recreation pass which is available for purchase at the site. The America the Beautiful, Senior Pass, Access Pass, or Military Pass are also accepted for day-use recreation.
  • Six day-use recreation passes are included in the reservation fee. These are available for pick up at the Sandia Ranger District Office located in Tijeras on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Click here for more information on the Cibola National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
35.1775, -106.38
35°10'39"N, 106°22'48"W

From Albuquerque, drive approximately 7 miles east on I-40 to Exit 175. Proceed north on Highway 14 about 7 miles to Highway 536. Go just over a mile west on Highway 536 to the picnic area. Group sites are in the two covered areas adjacent to the road.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

11776 HIGHWAY 337
TIJERAS  NM  87059

Phone Number:

Information:  (505)281-3304
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