Though Albuquerque is high desert, our altitude is about a mile high (5200 feet above sea level). Obviouslty, the mountains are higher than that. If you are from sea level, please keep that in mind - most every one feels tired until they adjust, and that feeling is intensified if you go hiking or rock climbing without being careful.
We also tend to have very low humidity, so drink a ton of water. Current recommendations are an ounce of water per pound of body weight a day - so if you are 100 lbs, that would be 100 ounces of water. You can get by with drinking less, but keeping up on your water intake makes activity easier. Since it is so dry here, you don't obviously sweat and tend to forget you are loosing body water.
Albuquerque is 5300 feet (1600m) above sea level and Santa Fe is at 6500 ft (1980m).The surrounding mountains can reach 12,000 feet (3660m).
There are a lot of beautiful hikes in New Mexico.
But, if you are used to lower altitudes, you need to be aware that hiking in the mountains may give you a headache or make you slightly dizzy. If this happens do not climb any higher, as the symptoms could get worse and could become serious.
Albuquerque is 5,000 feet above sea level. The Sandia Mountains are 10,300+ feet above sea level. Some people who aren't acustomed to such high altitudes sometimes suffer from altitude sickness when first visiting the city.
They say for every thousand feet of elevation, you can expect a five or ten degree temperature drop. Well, whatever, just remember the higher you go the colder it gets. It may be ninety-five in the city, but it can still be sixty at Sandia Crest. So bring a few extra layers, especially if you mean to be away from the car for a while.
Also, if you're coming from a lower elevation, remember that you sunburn faster and get drunk easier higher in elevation. It's true. I have the scars to prove it.
EVEN THOUGH, I HAVE DEVELOPED COPD, AND ASTHMA RELATED RESPIRATORY HEALTH PROBLEMS, I STILL LIKE LIVING IN ALBUQUERQUE. THEY SAY THAT ALTITUDE IS A PROBLEM FOR PEOPLE WITH THE ABOVE HEALTH SITUATION BUT ALBUQUERQUE IS IN A SENSE, IS A SMALL CITY COMPARED TO DENVER, PHOENIX, AND OTHER MAJOR CITIES. IT DOES GET SOME VERY COLD DAYS BUT FAR AND FEW, THE WEATHER IS UP AND DOWN, MOSTLY WARMER THAN COLDER, ALBUQUERQUE COULD USE MORE RAIN FALL, AND LIKE ANY OTHER CITY, HAS IT CRIME, UNEMPLOYMENT WOES, GROWING PAINS, ITS ECONOMY UPS AND DOWNS, ETC.. BUT I THINK, THE CITY LEADERS ARE TRYING TO ADDRESS THOSE PROBLEMS TO MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE. OVER ALL, IT IS A NICE PLACE TO LIVE AND PEOPLE HERE ARE FRIENDLY AND COURTEOUS.