The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands cover more than 1.9 million acres in New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and northwestern Texas. This includes the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, the most visited range in New Mexico. The less-traveled Manzanita Mountains are also located here.
Major attractions within the Cibola National Forest include the Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway and the Sandia Peak Tram, the world's longest passenger aerial tramway. The Four Seasons Visitor Center at the upper Tram Building presents seasonal programs, as well as interpretive exhibits throughout the year, while the observation deck atop 10,378-foot Sandia Peak offers almost limitless panoramic views.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails, single-track paths for mountain biking, and sites for camping. Abundant snow draws winter sports enthusiasts, too, with 30 ski trails accessible by a surface lift, four chairlifts, and a "mitey mite'' for children. Several of the newly remodeled picnic grounds with shelters and group areas along the Scenic Byway are available for reservation. A daily amenity fee of $3 is charged for each vehicle parking in developed recreational sites. Annual passes are issued, too.
The Cibola National Forest is highly valued not only for its recreation opportunities and natural beauty, but also for its timber, water, watersheds, forage, and wilderness resources, including an abundance of wildlife. Although the use of firearms is prohibited within the forest, bow hunting is still allowed.