Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

I took the Sandia Peak Tramway trip on one of the snowiest days of the year.

It’s one of the top tourist attractions in New Mexico.

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I first tried hiking to the top. Planning to ride down on the Cable Car. That would have been GREAT.

The La Luz Trail (Trail 137) … on the west face of the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The trail begins at the La Luz Trailhead and proceeds approximately eight miles to either Sandia Crest or the Sandia Peak Tramway. The hike is strenuous, with 3,775 ft (1,151 m) of elevation gain and a grade of 12%. …

click for larger map

click for larger map

I started at the Tramway parking lot on the Tramway Trail (82). Planning to connect to the La Luz.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

It’s a pretty traverse above lovely residential homes.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

I’d heard a foot of snow had fallen up top. It did not look good for me getting up there.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

I – happily – backtracked to my vehicle.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

At one point I stumbled off trail. Easy to do in the desert. While scrambling an arroyo to regain the trail I kicked a cactus and drove a spine into my foot.

Lesson learned = STAY on the trail in the desert.

The main reason to go to Albuquerque are the 200 miles of Sandia hiking trails many of which are off limits to mountain bikes.

We’ve added the La Luz Trail to our list of best hikes in North America.

 

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