Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains

We are especially proud of the 2005 publication of the Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains. So far over 6,000 of the initial printing of 10,000 copies by the University of New Mexico Press have been sold. All profits and royalties go back to our mountain in one way or another.

Each year over 2 million visitors to New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains enjoy more than 100 miles of trails, hiking, climbing, running, biking, skiing, and birding, as well as viewing the mountains from hang gliders and hot air balloons. This guide will assist visitors in discovering the diverse natural features of the Sandias.

Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains includes sections on ecology, including weather and fire, geology, flora (grasses, flowers, trees) and fauna (arthropods, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals), and recreational opportunities. Plant keys and fauna checklists add to the book’s features.

Rather than a comprehensive field guide, the selections offer the most commonly encountered species in each category, presenting information on just over 100 species of flowers, for example, among almost 500 species that can be found in the mountains.

A labor of love conceived by the Sandia Ranger District and the Friends of the Sandia Mountains, this book is a resource no visitor to the Sandias should be without.

Purchasing information:

The Field Guide can be purchased at a variety of places around town, including REI, Page One Bookstore, Borders, Hastings, the Crest House, and the Tijeras Ranger Station. It can also be obtained on-line through a number of outlets. List price is $21.95.

Acclaim for the Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains:

  • “. . a labor of love by a variety of folks passionate about the Sandia Mountains. It’s not designed as an exhaustive reference but to introduce newcomers to what they might see in the Sandias.”–Albuquerque Journal
  • “Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains [is] a book which includes everything that you want to know about the Sandia Mountains but don’t know who to ask.”–Albuquerque The Magazine
  • “Field Guide allows readers to experience the flora, fauna, geology, and history–in full color and vast detail–in one affordable, transportable package.”–Sandoval Signpost Newsletter, NM
  • “Field Guide will introduce you to the sights and sounds you may have previously noticed around you.”–Voices from the Earth
  • “The Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains has plenty of facts, figures, and technical images. . . Carrying the book with you is like having a knowledgeable, nonintrusive friend along to explain, as you want it, the background of the area’s plants, animals, trails, geology, and amusements.”–Sandia Lab News, NM
  • “For anyone hankering to spend serious time in this wilderness, these books are valuable resources.”–Arizona Republic
  • “If you look up a hiking trail, a skiing route, a tree, a flower, a rock or an animal in the Sandias, there are lots of sources. But now for the first time, there is one source for all this and more, titled: “Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains.”–The East Mountain Independent, NM
  • “This handsome “labor of love” is a great resource, whether you keep it at home to plan expeditions or in the car as a field guide.”–Bird Watcher’s Digest
  • “[An] impressive book. . . The two million visitors to the Sandia Mountains each year will have their experience enhanced with this book.”–New Mexico Magazine

Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway Auto Tour Guide

This helpful guidebook was prepared some years ago by the US Forest Service, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, and the Turquoise Trail Association to accompany the numbered signs alongside the Crest Highway.

FOSM reprinted this handy guide in March 2006. Many of the 2,500 copies were sold at $1.50 each over the next several years; however, demand dwindled after 6 years or so. Remaining printed copies were made available for free at the Sandia Ranger District facility and at the Sandia Crest Visitor Center.

There currently are no plans to reprint the document, but FOSM made the guide available in pdf format on this website in 2020.

FOSM maintains the Auto Tour road signs and the grounds surrounding them as illustrated in the photos below.

Map showing Auto Tour stops on Crest Highway.