Patrick F. Montrose - REALTOR®, BA, MAT
Certified Relocation Specialist
Coldwell Banker Legacy Realtors
6767 Academy Road NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
(505) 828-1000 Main Office Line
(505) 857-2344 Office Direct Line
(505) 239-4253 Mobile
(505) 212-9357 Fax
Albuquerque is bounded on its east side by the Sandia Mountains. If you cross through them on Interstate 40, at the Tijeras Canyon (Spanish for "scissors"), you have entered the "East Mountains." There are three main areas of the East Mountains: 1) North 14 Area- up the Sandia Mountains, on State Highway 14; 2) South 14- down the Sandia Mountains to the Manzano Mountains, on State Highway 337 (best known as South 14); and 3) The Eastern Plains further east to Edgewood and Moriarty. The East Mountains is called the "Green side of the mountains" because the Sandias act as a weather break and the East Mountains are greener- more vegetation and trees. The Real Estate and Relocation market is increasing in the East Mountains as more and more people discover its country living within an easy drive of Albuquerque. There are homes for sale in every price range and in everything from a small mountain cabin to upscale subdivisions with all the amenities expected: golf course, pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, and more.
Like mountain living? Head up North 14 to Cedar Crest, San Antonito and Sandia Park. If you continue up North 14, also known as the Turquoise Trail, through Golden, Madrid and Cerrillos you will end up in Santa Fe. If you take a left in Sandia Park, onto Crest Road, you'll wind up on the top of the Sandias where you can sightsee, hike, picnic or if it's the right season, ski, in the Cibola National Park.
In the North 14 area you will find homes with backyards measured in acres, not
feet, and breathtaking views. You can live in a development like Paa-ko, San
Piedro Creek, The Overlook, Vallecitos Estates, or Richland Estates or you can live in a
home out by yourself without seeing the home of your nearest neighbor. The real estate market and
types of homes range from the simplest cabin to a luxury mansion, prices range
from $50,000 to over a million. You pick the lifestyle, you pick the price
range, you pick the home. Vacant land is still available; build your own home
if you'd like. Life is easy in the East Mountains. You can live your life as
you want, get involved with your neighbors or live off by yourself, the choice
is yours. The North 14 Area is fast becoming a Relocation favorite among home buyers in the know. The North 14
Area, in Sandia Park, has an entrance to the Cibola National Forest. Outdoor activities include bicycling, hiking,
horseback riding, climbing, and skiing. Snow boarding and tubing are a popular winter activity within the park.
At 10,678 feet, Sandia Crest is the "High Point" on the Turquoise Trail. The view from the observation deck is awe inspiring,
a restaurant and gift shop is also located at the crest. Even during the summer months, a sweater is recommended.
Further along the Turquoise Trail you come upon Golden, which was the site of the first gold rush, west of the Mississippi in 1825. Next stop is Madrid, which may well be one of the most eclectic towns you'll ever visit. Madrid, dating to the early 1800's was originally established as a coal mining town., but today it has evolved into an interesting artists community. When the demand for coal declined, Madrid became a ghost town. In the early 1970's, artists and craftspeople arrived and covertly the old company stores into quaint shops and galleries. Most popular, Madrid has a mining museum, and an original tavern open to the public. In the summer there is melodrama in a theatre created in the engine house, and blues concerts at the old ballpark. The Fourth of July Parade and Christmas Celebrations (first two weekends in December), have been revived by Madrids current residents. Cerrillos turquoise and lead deposits were used by prehistoric Indians in their jewelry and pottery making. Mining began in Cerrillos in 1300 and continues, on a much reduced scale today.Today, Cerrillos is a picturesque reminder of the Old West. There are shops, a Turquoise mining museum, a petting zoo, hiking, and biking trails. Cerrillos has been used as the setting for many motion pictures. Just pass Cerrillos you will enter Santa Fe.
Paa-ko is an upscale development located on the Turquoise Trail on North 14. Paa-ko has its own award winning golf course, clubhouse, tennis courts and more. Lot sizes range from 1+ acre to 10+ acres, and home prices start at approximately $350,000. Paa-ko has underground utilities with community water and septic systems (feeds into a wildlife wetlands), natural gas, high speed cable, DSL, and its own security force. Paa-ko is in the process of building its own sewer system which will complete its utilities (all utilities are underground). Space has been put aside by the developer for open space and nature trails. I can help you purchase a resale home or help you purchase a lot and contract with a builder to build your own custom home.
Also on the Turquoise Trail is San Pedro Creek, with lot sizes starting at 10+ acres and a nature preserve and creek running through the subdivision. Vacant lots are still available to build your own home or a limited number of resales are available to move right in. I can e-mail you Multiple Listing System (MLS) printouts of available homes and lots and help with the purchase of the property or home. As an approved Realtor, I can also help you with the newest subdivision, also from the Campbell Ranch Corporation, The Overlook. The Overlook is a gated community with lots sizes of three to six acres. Community water and underground utilities add to the attraction of this subdivision. A community clubhouse, with pool, is available for residents use. The guardhouse also offers a Concierge service where you can drop off laundry for dry cleaner or your pet for grooming. This subdivision is so new, there are few resales, you have to buy a lot and contract with an approved builder to build your custom mountain home. All subdivisions on the Turquoise Trail are a short drive to Santa Fe. The Turquoise Trail or North 14 leads right into Santa Fe about a 40 mile drive away.
On North 14, you can find any of your basic everyday needs. There you'll find
a country grocery store, hardware store. auto parts store, bank, dentist,
physician, veterinarian, Blockbuster Video, Curves gym. and places to get a meal.
There's two Chinese Restaurants, an authentic Mexican Restaurant, Smoked Ribs, and more. With the opening of a public
golf course in Paa-ko, you can even play a round of golf on their 18 or 9 hole
course. In March of 2005, I was able to complete a goal I've had since I moved here; I was able to ski
at Sandia Crest in the morning, and play a round of golf in the afternoon at Paa-ko all in the
same day! I am very familiar with this area as I live in Sandia Park, yet I am within a 15 minute drive of Albuquerque.
Cedar Crest has an outstanding archeological museum that traces the story of America's earliest inhabitants. There is an archeological
dig currently in operation on the Turquoise Trail, near the Paa-ko Subdivision, and there are archeological ruins in San Pedro Creek.
Head down South 337 from Interstate 40 and you're in the South 14 area. Here you have the room to roam free. The homes tend to be spaced further apart, and their backyards could be the Cibola National Park. A heavily wooded area, it is composed of pinions, junipers, and ponderosa pines. This is a rural area, with a definite country feel. As you drive down the winding road (337-old South 14) thru the Manzano Mountains, you may see people enjoying the access to the National Park. There are many places for cliff climbing, hiking trails through the vast wilderness areas, or horseback riding. East Mountain Real Estate is inexpensive here, and most homes have a minimum of 5 acres. This area extends down 337, loops to 217, and comes back to Interstate 40. All this country living within a 30 minute drive to Albuquerque! If you're looking for a more rural lifestyle South 14 Real Estate may be just right for you. Just south of Route 66 on Route 217 you will find Sandia Mountain Ranch a subdivision on the west side of Route 217. There are still some vacant lots available there, so I can help you with either a resale or new construction.
Head out East on Interstate 40 (or old Route 66, which runs adjacent to I-40) towards the communities of Edgewood and Moriarty. This area tends towards flat plains, with a mixture of developments and rural areas. Homes are situated on anywhere from a city lot in Moriarty to country acreage in Edgewood with an abundance of horse properties. It is not an unusual sight to see people riding their horses along the roadways. Within a 45 minute drive of Albuquerque, most residents do their shopping in the city of Moriarty. The main street of Moriarty has all the amenities necessary. Moriarty also has it's own highly ranked school system. Edgewood residents have their choice of attending Moriarty schools or schools serviced by the Albuquerque school system. Home prices range from $50,000 to $300,000 with the average being in the middle to upper $100,000s. Plenty of land at reasonable prices is available to build your own home. Edgewood recently became an incorporated town and businesses are starting to move in. A Smith's superstore just recently opened there and a McDonald's is located next door to it, with a Walgreens just down the street. The Real Estate Market, especially relocations are growing at a very rapid rate.
Long before man walked on earth, great upheavals occurred through the center of what is now New Mexico. Where the sea was, mountains rose.
Thus the Sandias and Manzano Mountains were lifted to their ultimate heights of approximately 30,000 feet. In the valley east of the mountains a great lake grew, sixty miles from north to south, and about half of that distance from east to west. Although the western slopes of the mountains were steep and rugged, the eastern sides formed gentle angles, feeding water down to the lake.
These mineral bearing rocks wore away over the millennia. Streamlets bore their contents down to the valley and to its lake waters. As the minerals washing down the slopes and other deposits built up, the feeding streams and the lakes began to dry up. Man had found many blessings in the valley, but one stood out from all the rest. Salt!
Near the salt beds, great Pueblos grew with busy trading routes reaching in all directions. Roving, raiding Apache from the south and east increased their forays into the rich Pueblos' lands. Finally, the Pueblo people gave up and fled over the mountains to the safety of the Rio Grande Pueblos .
Years passed, miners came to the area east of the mountains and found gold, silver, lead coal, zinc and, of course, turquoise.
Towns along the trail grew and grew more as time passed, One of these was Cerrillos, "The Little Hill." Little hills of gold, turquoise, copper, zinc and lead.
Down the trail from Cerrillos, about three miles, lies the village of Madrid. Its wealth wasn't in gold or even turquoise, but coal. Madrid boomed from the late 1800's until 1945 when World War II ended and coal was no longer in great demand. Both anthracite and bituminous coal were mined in the town -- the only place in the United States where that was found.
On down the road those who prospected for gold found some and built the town of Golden named in honor of the metal that was panned from the streams after washing down the hillsides to form glaciers of alluvial ore.
South of Golden, in the village of San Antonito, there's a small church that was built in 1921. This town can hardly be distinguished from the next two, Sandia Park and Cedar Crest. Cedar Crest, once named San Antonio de Padua, stretches south along the San Antonio Arroyo to Interstate 40.
This thriving town has been in existence continually since the early 1800's, when a few families from Albuquerque moved in after receiving a governor's grant. They mined some copper and grew a few irrigation crops. The little church they built still stands on the hill near what was once the center of the community. The old cemetery is still used from time to time. The hotsprings that once attracted health seekers in the early days of this century are now closed.
On south, across I-40, the towns have names which reflect their founders' ethnic origins. There's Tijeras, Cedro, Yrissari, Escabosa, Chilili, Tajique, Torreon and then there's Mountainair.
The scenic drive from the junction of Highway 14 and Highway 536 to Sandia Crest on the "Turquoise Trail" has been designated the Sandia National Scenic Byway. Just off the trail on the road to Placitas (Hwy 165) is the first known human habitation in the New Word - Sandia Cave.
Although the East Mountain area has its roots in the long ago past, its feet are firmly planted in the present foot of the mountains. In winter, skiers swoosh down from the heights, and the landscape lies beneath a white blanket. In summer, breezes cool folks a bit more here than in town. Life lazes, bees hum, birds chirp and children play. Living in the communities east of the mountains is very pleasant indeed.Taken from A Brief History of Turquoise Trail by Dawn Williams. Edited by Jerry Loomis.