Welcome to Pueblo Montaño
Trailhead Picnic Area

The land surrounding you has a rich cultural and natural history. Long before there was a Montaño Road or a bridge, this place was home to early Puebloan people who depended on the Rio Grande for survival. The remains of their pueblo village lies just north of here, underneath Montaño Road.

Later, in the 1700s and 1800s, Spanish families settled here and this land became part of the Atrisco Land Grant. Sheep, cows and goats grazed on grasses and scrub brush that thrived in these sandy soils. Less than a 1/4 mile north of where you are is the remains [of] a historic sheep dip, used to rid sheep of harmful insects.

As the territory changed hands, more people moved here to farm, raise livestock and enjoy the Rio Grande's beauty and bounty. But in doing so, people tamed this river that once flooded and cleansed itself of dead wood and debris most every spring. Later, people planted non-native trees and shrubs in the bosque (river forest) and slowly the area became overgrown and unhealthy.

Fire has not played a leading role in the bosque's history until recently. On June 25th, 2003, a human-caused fire scorched over 250 acres of this bosque, destroying thousands of mature native cottonwood and willow trees, and displacing countless numbers of bosque animal species. In adddition, the fire threatened human life and property, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents.

The City of Albuquerque's Open Space Division and its partners, are dedicated to restoring this and other parts of the bosque. Since 2001, over 2,000 acres have been restored by removing non-native trees and planting native trees and grasses.

— from informational sign at the Pueblo Montaño site

Pueblo Montano Picnic Area and Trailhead offers an accessible trail, 3 picnic tables, and access to the bosque. The trail leading south from here along the bosque is one of my favorite places to watch and photograph birds and other wild critters.

Mark Chavez Chainsaw Sculptures at Pueblo Montaño

Retired City of Albuquerque fire fighter Mark Chavez has been using Pueblo Montño as an artistic "canvas" in homage to those who protect the local bosque and to the wildlife living there.

Chavez remade the scorched Cottonwood trees, giving them a second life as sculptures.  HIs work depicts native flora and fauna as well as folklore character, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman).

Firefighter, surrounded by bosque critters, subdues the fire dragon. Bosque School in the background.

You can see the firefighter has his foot firmly on the dragon's head.

Bald Eagle rising above the flames.

La Llorona

Detail of birds above La Llorona.

Coyotes howling to the sky.

Detail from below one of the coyotes.



Detail below the heron.

Roadrunner and squirrel.


Sculptor Mark Chavez's Sandia Bear Company web site

All photographs © Bosque Bill and may not be used for any purpose without prior written permission.