Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico

Encyclopedia Article


The Rio Grande is the largest river flowing through the state of New Mexico, and the valley surrounding it has provided much-needed water and sustenance to the various cultures that have occupied the region over the millennia. The greater Rio Grande Basin stretches over 1,500 miles from southern Colorado in the north to southern Texas and the Gulf of Mexico in the south. The Middle Rio Grande Valley refers specifically to the segment of the river that passes through central New Mexico: from Cochiti Pueblo in the north, through the metropolitan area of Albuquerque, to San Marcial in the south. When looking at the Albuquerque area, the high desert river valley lies 5,000 feet between the Sandia Mountains in the east, and the rising mesas just west of the city.

Photo Credit: 

"View of Albuquerque (NM) and the Sandia Mountains from the Top of Mesa Point at Petroglyph National Monument, August 2013" by Ron Cogswell is licensed under CC BY.