The Sandia Mountains are a mountain range located in the Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, immediately to the east of the city of Albuquerque New Mexico. Its highest point is Sandia Crest, 10,678' feet and the prominence is 4,098'. Sandia means watermelon in spanish and is popularly believed to be reference to the reddish color of the mountains at sunset. When viewed from the west, the profile of the mountains is a long ridge, with a thin zone of green conifers near the top, suggesting the "rind" of the watermelon. The Sandia Mountains are the most visited range in New Mexico. It has numerous hiking trails, picnic and recreation sites, abundant rock climbing, and launching site for hand gliding. The canyon is traversed by Interstate 40, following the route of historic U.S. Route 66.