Public and Summer Programs

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is not open to the public except on advertised public days, 
and by prior arrangement for organized groups.

Read on for more information on how to visit us!

For additional information about our public programs or to schedule a special program for your group, please contact:
 Vanessa Barela at   or   (505) 281-5259.  

Upcoming Events

Trees on Paper, Trees on Clay

Thursday, August 3, 2017

5:30-8:30 PM

Cost: $14 non-members, $12.60 members

Pre-registration required at

Do you know the trees of the Transition Life Zone of the Sandias? Take time to draw them on paper and on clay at this evening workshop.

Each participant will receive a small sketchbook and a 6x10 inch tile on which to record their observations. Blind contour line drawing will be demonstrated. Clay tiles will be fired and available for pick up one week later. 

Bring your own sack supper, hat, sturdy walking shoes, water bottle, and camera. Ages 8 - 108. No previous experience in either medium is required. Supplies included in registration fee.

Cirrelda Snider-Bryan is an environmental educator at the NM Museum of Natural History & Science. In addition to community mural projects, she is a published illustrator, and was a volunteer at the SMNHC from 2007-2010. Cirrelda teaches the popular Clay Science at the Museum classes to adults and children.


Archeology and History Day

Saturday, August 12, 2017

9 am- 1 pm

Event is free of charge, donations appreciated. All ages welcome.

9 AM: Lecture about local archaelogical findings and historical usage of the land by SMNHC volunteer and retired anthropologist David Weaver.

9:30 AM: Lecture on the history of the SMNHC by Michael Cox, SMNHC volunteer, folk historian, and author of the History of the SMNHC. 

10:30 AM: Guided hike to ruins; 50th anniversary display open for viewing.

Dave Weaver received his doctorate in Physical Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1977.  After teaching at Wake Forest University for 25 years he returned to New Mexico.  He has done field and lab work in North and Central America, Europe, and Africa on human skeletal analysis, forensic anthropology, human evolution, and osteoporosis as well as collaborative work with many other specialists.  In retirement he volunteers for the US Forest Service, the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, and Animal Humane New Mexico and still travels as much as his schedule will allow.

**Like us on Facebook for more details on upcoming events.**

Event themes of the past have included: Bioblitzes, Bears, Insects, Birding, Forestry, Nocturnal Animals, and Astronomy.  
You never know what we may do next!  


Summer Programs

Specialized programs are offered for home-school groups, scout groups, summer camps, community centers, and other organized groups of outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, primarily during the summer months. We can design a program for your group's specific interests or lead a general hike with our own mix of topics and activities. Programs typically include a moderate hike (1.5-2 mi.), exploration and activities in the ecosystem, and use of our facilities for a picnic lunch.  

Alternatively, your group can arrange for self-guided use of our trails and facilities.  This option allows use of the visitor center, picnic areas, 7 miles of trails, and bathrooms.

Both the guided and self-guided options require advance scheduling.


Guided: $5 per child/participant, minimum 10 people

Self-Guided: $1 per person, minimum $20

[Note: there is no charge to home-school groups.]

Potential Topics and Activities (tailored to your group):

Animals and tracking


Bug Hunt


Field research

Fire ecology

Fossil Hunt


"Leave No Trace" Hiking



Scavenger Hunt

Scout Badge

Sensory Activity

Tree identification