The “East Mountains” is a name given to the collective region east of the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, NM. Often called “the greenside” for its abundance of trees and grassy plains, the region is home to several scenic byways and many beautiful backroads popular with mountain bikers and motorcycle riders. Bordered roughly by the Hwy 14 corridor (Turquoise Trail) on the west, Hwy 41 corridor (Salt Missions Trail) on the east, the region is bisected by Historic Route 66 which runs through the heart of the it connecting the incorporated municipalities of Tijeras (pop. 541), Edgewood (pop. 3,805), and Moriarty (pop. 1,910). In total, the region is home to more than 25,000 people.
The local mountains and plains are dotted with evidence of ancient Pueblo peoples, and later, Spaniards and land grants. Today, the area is largely inhabited by families who appreciate living amongst the beauty and wide open spaces, while maintaining proximity to larger cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the East Mountains are a wonderful place to live and play. There are an abundance trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding throughout the region, and hitching posts can still be found at some businesses. Youth activities include soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, martial arts, dance, music, 4H, scouts, and shooting sports. In the winter, downhill skiing is available at Sandia Peak and many community trails readily double as ungroomed cross country ski options.
The East Mountains are proud to be home to a number of “Best of NM” businesses: Pizza Barn (best pizza), Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill (best breakfast burrito), and “World Class” businesses (Sierra Blanca Brewing Company, multiple gold medal-winning brews; Single Action Shooting Society, the world-wide authority in the shooting sports of Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild Bunch Shooting).
Shopping options range from friendly, locally-owned businesses to national chains and brand-name auto dealerships. Medical, dental, physical therapy, and alternative medicine and wellness services are available here. Livestock, equestrian and veterinary services are ample, too. We have a wildlife park and event center, equestrian arenas, and several rodeo grounds including the indoor Cyclone Center, large enough for a wide variety of events. World class shooting facilities are available at Founders Ranch, with additional outdoor and indoor ranges nearby.
There are even two airports: Moriarty Airport can accommodate small jets; and Sandia Airpark in Edgewood (accommodates small private aircraft) offers residential fly-in living where you can taxi to your doorstep.
The range of local services is impressive, and means there is little reasons to go into Albuquerque — most everything you need is available here. There are no official boundaries for the East Mountains, and the term is loosely used to include large portions of the Estancia Valley, but the area within the circle shows the greater region that flows together, and would more accurately be called “East of the Mountains” region.