Activities and Amenities
The scenic South 14 highway winds through peaceful Ponderosa forests and past interesting road cuts that highlight the area's geological variety. The route is an extension of the beautiful Turquoise Trail, best known as the link from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.
The Oak Flat Picnic area sits in an open field at an elevation of 7,000 feet, in the Manzano Mountains, just east of Albuquerque.
The open field is surrounded by forests with oak, Piñon, Juniper, Ponderosa pines, and plenty of Yucca plants-- New Mexico's state flower.
Several hiking trails extend from the vicinity to nearby overlooks, but the most popular activity at Oak Flat is barbecuing.
With an average of 310 days of sunshine a year, photography enthusiasts can enjoy shooting the expansive blue skies and characteristic wispy clouds or aim their lenses at local wildlife, including mountain lions, bobcats and bears.
Six picnic areas are available, surrounding four sports fields that are first come, first served. The fields are ideal for a game of softball or kickball, but be sure to bring your own ball and bases.
Picnic sites range in capacity from 60 (the Yucca site) on upward to 800 at the Oak Group site.
Large grilling areas are available to cook for a crowd.
Take a scenic drive or bike ride on the old South 14 highway to Cedar Crest. Stop at the picturesque Gutierrez Canyon Open Space, ideal for hiking, horseback riding, and taking in views of the eastern Manzano Mountains and Estancia Valley.