Tijera's Canyon is a pass between the Sandia and Manzano Mountains has been a natural route for travel between eastern New Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley since pre-historic times. Known as Canon de Carnue in the Spanish colonial period, it takes its present name from the village of Tijeras. It is Spanish for "scissors". Tijeras Canyon is a prominent canyon in the central part of the US state of New Mexico. Tijeras Canyon is often referred to by locals as the I-40 Canyon after the major highway that traverses it, linking Albuquerque and points east. It separates the Sandia Mountains to the north from the Manzano Mountains to the south.