Albuquerque, NM mountains with blue sky

What is the Best Time of Year to Travel to Albuquerque?

Mild weather and sunshine year-round make travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico a good decision for any season. After all, it’s the weather that sold many of Albuquerque’s locals on moving to this hidden gem.

But if you are planning a trip to Albuquerque and your schedule allows it, it’s ideal to have some knowledge of how the weather patterns and things to do vary throughout the year.

Each season is unique, with its own special draw. We’ll share what to expect from each season below, along with our recommendation for the best time to travel. But ultimately, any time of year is great for travel to Albuquerque!

Travel to Albuquerque in Summer

Albuquerque, NM in summer season

Given that Albuquerque is a desert climate, summer means hot, arid days and some rainy days.

Albuquerque’s high elevation combined with very low humidity makes temperatures comfortable, with daily highs are around 89 degrees and lows are around 64 degrees. It’s worth noting that July and August are typically the rainiest months of the year, with 1.58 inches of rain falling in a typical August.

Summer is a great time to try out Albuquerque’s famous Sandia Peak Tram, which happens to be the longest aerial tram in North America! The tram gives you spectacular views of the city, extinct volcanoes and deep rugged canyons as it descends a little less than 3 miles over about 15 minutes.

With the magnificent Rio Grande nearby, other great activities for summer are kayaking or rafting. The Rio Grande is known for some of the nation’s best rafting and kayaking, and it’s the perfect way to escape the heat!

If you’re looking for milder weather, fall might be the time for you.

Travel to Albuquerque in Fall

Albuquerque, NM trees in fall season

If you’re looking for agreeable weather, some of the region’s best events and the beauty of changing leaves, fall is a perfect time of year to escape to Albuquerque!

October, in particular, is a particularly mild month, with average highs around 70 degrees and lows around 50 degrees. Fall days are sun-filled, with minimal chance of rain.

Fall is what locals refer to as the “magical season,” as a colorful scene unfolds every season here. Cottonwood and Willow trees within the city center and along the Rio Grande turn a deep yellow, contrasting against the bright blue sky.

But perhaps the most captivating part of fall in Albuquerque is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, the world’s largest hot air balloon event. For nine days in October, the Albuquerque skies are colorfully painted as more than 500 balloons lift off from Balloon Fiesta Park.

But if you’d like to see the grandeur of the Sandia Mountains dusted in snow, consider a winter visit.

Travel to Albuquerque in Winter

Albuquerque, NM mountains with snow

Arguably Albuquerque’s most underrated season for travel, winter gives visitors a wide variety of activities and unique views to consider.

The city of Albuquerque usually stays warm enough with constant sunshine throughout the winter months to avoid any snow accumulation within city limits. In fact, January is actually Albuquerque’s sunniest month of the year. Rain is also unlikely this time of year, with less than a half-inch of rain falling each month.

For those seeking postcard-worthy snowy views, the Sandia Mountain range is close by. If you’re in Albuquerque in winter, consider the unusual experience of snow activities, such as snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding at Sandia Peak Ski Area.

But if you’d prefer an adventure that doesn’t require being in the snow, sign up for a hot air balloon ride. With such mild climate shifts, hot air balloon rides operate year-round!

Travel to Albuquerque in Spring

Albuquerque, NM mountains with blue sky

Spring in Albuquerque is very similar to summer if only a little more clement.

Cool breezes from winter can linger into springtime in Albuquerque. Daytime temperatures in March top out at about 61 degrees, with cold nights. By May, the temperatures are closer to fall averages at around 70-degree highs. Throughout spring, rain is rare and sunshine is plentiful.

Spring is a great time to explore the outdoors in Albuquerque. With a wide variety of options for hiking and biking, nature lovers will be in their element. Nearby hiking opportunities include the Petroglyph National Monument, the Rio Grande Nature Center, the Paseo del Bosque Trail and the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area at Simms Park.

Best Time of Year

Albuquerque, NM sky with clouds

Now that you’ve learned about each season in Albuqerque, you can see why each has its own special appeal. With a full year of mild weather, blue skies and sunshine, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

But if we had to, we’d say fall may be the best time of year to travel to Albuqerque. With some of the best temperatures of the year, the fantastic color changes of the Cottonwood trees and the appeal of the dramatic and exciting  Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, it takes the cake.

Whatever time of year you choose to visit, Albuquerque will be ready to welcome you with its one-of-a-kind charm.

Planning a Trip To Albuquerque?

Stay with University Lodge. University Lodge offers guests a prime location from which to explore the wealth of attractions in Albuquerque any time of year.