Number of people served so far this school year:

Number of people served since 1994

Public Programs

Public Events

Tree-Rings: record of the past, insights into the future

April 26


Dr. Ellis Margolis from the University of Arizona Tree-Ring Lab will lead a hands-on workshop for all ages to discover the story recorded by tree rings.

10:00 am Tree-Ring Hike  Dr. Margolis will lead hikers into the field to collect samples and discuss the what can be learned from tree-rings.  Space is limited so please RSVP to reserve a spot on the hike.

11:30 am  Dendrochronology Lecture  Dr. Margolis will discuss what he and his colleagues have discovered about the past, from tree rings and how that knowledge can give insight into future trends.

1:00 pm Tree-Ring Labs  Participant will have the opportunity to use microscopes and other equipment to count rings in tree cookies and core samples to learn for themselves how tree-rings tell a story.  

To register for the 10:00 am hike please RSVP at   

Fire Ecology, Tree Thinning and Forest Health

June 13


The SMNHC staff will lead hikes through areas of the forest that have been thinned, burned, or untouched for different ecological purposes.  The staff will discuss the many land management techniques used to promote a healthy, well balanced ecosystem.

Space is limited so please register for the hikes at


Public Open House

June 28


The 128 acre environmental education center will open its gates from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm to give outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore this hidden New Mexico gem.  Visitors will be able to hike over 5 miles of trails, search for numerous geocaches, learn from three interpretive trails, and spend some time in the exhibit rooms and birding areas.  Guided hikes will begin at 10:00.



An Evening at the SMNHC

Sunset Strolls, Birding, and Nights Sky Viewing

July 9 


Normally open to the public in the mornings and afternoons, the SMNHC will be open for a special evening event. 

7:00-7:30 Solar telescope viewing  

7:30- Sundown Short dusk hikes  

7-Sundown Sunset birding at 2 bird blinds  

Sundown-10:00 Night sky Viewing  


For more information on our Public Programs program please contact Chris Modelski at 505-281-5259 or 

Summer Programs

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is not open to the public, however, during the summer months specialized programs are offered for scout groups, summer camps, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The SMNHC can design a program for your groups specific needs. Most of these programs include a hike, hands-on activities, and time for a picnic lunch.  Your group can also use the facilities at the SMNHC and do a self-guided hike on the property.  This option allows use of the visitors center, picnic areas, trails, and bathrooms.  Both the guided and self-guided options require advance scheduling.


Guided: $5 per student, minimum 10 students

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

To schedule a program please contact Chris Modelski at (505) 281-5259 or

Topics and activities that could take place on the hike include but are not limited to:

Leave No Trace Hiking
Wildflower identification
Bug hunts
Fire Ecology
Tree identification