The Streets of Placitas, NM
The Streets of Placitas
Squint your eyes at the image above & the Placitas streets read like a disjointed map of our circulatory system. See the topographic map below for the visual reason why. The grey veins are natural waterway rivulets carved into the landscape of the NW Sandia Mountains, creating the Foothills; driving up & down them is an event.
The heart of the area--with decades old adobe houses--is the small historic Village of Placitas, which sits a few miles east of I-25. It has a rich history; the Sandia Man Cave outside Placitas, which documents 10,000 years of local habitation, is one example.
The town is bordered by Open Space, BLM land & National Forest lands, & is the gateway to the back side of the Sandia Mountain: Route 165 from I-25 snakes scenically eastward through the Village, & a bit further becomes a rugged dirt road that switchbacks along Las Huertas Canyon up, up & up to the Sandia Crest & ski area. Dozens of hiking/biking trails originate from this route. During non-winter weather, it's a great part of an afternoon roundabout trip up the mountain & back down the other side. The red arrow on the map above points to the Back Road Up to the Crest.