A Seasonal Perspective: 
Exploring The Rio's West Cliffs Neighborhoods
An All-Adobe La Luz del Oeste Sunday Open House
You've seen the West Cliffs as you head west on I-40 across the Rio Grande: the houses atop it sit seemingly on the edge, precipitously inclined toward the river. The cliffs stretch along the river northward from the highway for a few miles, meandering alongside but above the river, until the floodplain widens at a bend in the rio at the La Luz del Oeste community, just before the Montaño Bridge. It's an area of the city that can be seen from across the river, yet I knew little about it. There are interesting things to explore there...

One surprising place is the West Bluff Overlook, a two acre park that brings you to the edge of the cliffs, with the river below & the stunning MetroABQ Skyline as the backdrop, above. On the overlook, there are numerous padlocks on the chainlink fencing. It was explained that marriages regularly take place there, overlooking the Rio Grande Valley, under the shady pergola; the locks are used during a love-lock unity ceremony. Directly below are two scenes seen from the park.
How to get there...Finding my way to the west side of the river was much easier than expected--I walked. On the east side of the Rio Grande, there is parking at the end of Gabaldon Place, in the north-of-Old Town Duranes neighborhood. From there, numerous easy walking/bike paths connect to the Rio Grande Valley State Park; you can walk up or down the river on the east side, or use the red-steel pedestrian bridge that runs alongside Interstate 40, to cross the river, above.

The West Bluff homes on the cliff can be seen as soon as you begin. The walking bridge is wide & distinct from the roadway bridge, so even with the roar of Coronado highway ever-present on one side of you, it's not intimidating. Turn toward the north as you walk & the marvelous Rio Grande stretches in front of you, with all the fiery foliage's fall colors on display. 
Once across the river, you're at the West Cliffs, an area that stretches from the rio, further west to Coors Blvd. There are five major--& very diverse--neighborhoods there: West Bluff, Grande Heights, Vista Grande, Oxbow Bluff & Oxbow North. The housing stock is a diverse mix of apartments, townhomes, small residences, & numerous grande properties that you can see from across the river. Homes with magnificent views along the cliffs come in all shapes, sizes & price-points.

Equal-opportunity housing sits along the river: numerous cul-de-sacs terminate at the bluff, with smaller, more modest homes sitting on some of the best view spots. And in the West Bluff community of Westcliffe, affordable townhomes stand side-by-side, all cited on the east-facing cliffside to take advantage of the spectacular city views. An affordable Westcliffe townhome is currently selling for $182,000, slightly below the Metro's average home price. You can see the townhomes to the left in the image directly below. 
Of course a lot of the pricier real estate does occupy the cliff edges. Grande Heights, Vista Grande, Oxbow Bluff & Oxbow North tend toward higher price-point, living on the bluff. On the map above, those cul-de-sacs seem to meander toward the river, stretching fingers down to the water source. Home sales in the area over the last year include one that sold for over a million dollars & four or five more hovering just under that amount.
Above is a scene during Balloon Fiesta this month, looking from the cliff edge toward a home at 3321 Grande Vista Place. Thousands of migrating birds & hot-air balloons are among the wonders that fly by each fall. 
No self-guided wandering tour is complete without discovering a Little Free Library along the way. This one was on Grande Vista Place, at the very end of a limited-access cul-de-sac. Called the Casa de Wiz Book Box, this Little Free Library faces east, silently taking in the incredible views of the Rio Grande Valley. Below is a neighbor & her dog, after passing the Little Free Library...
I am honored to be listing for sale two West Cliff-area properties.

3321 Grande Vista Place NW is an adobe-built home in the west cliff's Grande Vista neighborhood above, with the balloons. Three images above are from that property. The 3-D Walking Tour can be found here.

2 Tumbleweed NW is an historic adobe townhome in the La Luz del Oeste community, below, along with open house information.

Or, check for weekly Open House updates.
La Luz del Oeste Open House
At 2 Tumbleweed NW
Sunday November 3rd, from 3-5pm.

Welcome to 2 Tumbleweed NW, an all-adobe townhome in Architect Antoine Predock's New Urbanist community-on-the-bosque, La Luz del Oeste. The neighborhood sits on five acres of gardens & greenspaces, surrounded by 40+ acres of untouched Open Space along the Rio Grande Bosque.

The 3-D Walking Tour is a great place to get started.
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