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Sandoval History & Culture

Sandoval County was a thriving area centuries before Don Francisco de Coronado explored the area and camped near present-day Bernalillo in 1540.

Prehistoric artifacts in many areas of the County date back thousands of years, with archaeological finds suggesting that Sandia Man lived and hunted in the area thousands of years ago.

Sandoval County was first established as a separate entity on March 10, 1903, nine years before New Mexico’s statehood. The area that forms Los Alamos County was separated from Sandoval County in 1949.
Rio Rancho is the largest city and economic hub of Sandoval County. A small portion of the city extends into northern Bernalillo County. It is the third-largest and fastest-growing city in New Mexico. Rio Rancho is the site of Intel’s Intel Fab 11X, the largest and most advanced semiconductor fabrication plant in the world. In 2005, Rio Rancho became the first U.S. city to offer citywide voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi) service although many of its residents complained that the service did not live up to their expectations.The town of Bernalillo is the county seat of Sandoval County.

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