La Luz Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sandia Park, NM that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible from March until November.
This trail at the north end of the Sandias goes from the base of the mountain to the peak at 10,678'. Beautiful views of the Albuquerque valley to the west. Trail starts at around 6500' in elevation and is fairly easy walking. Eventually getting steeper with switchbacks and altitude starts to affect you. It doesn't help to rest. Keep moving even at a slow pace. A steady pace will get you to the top in about 3-4 hours. If you dawdle it will take you longer. My druthers is to park a vehicle at the base of Sandia Tram, drive a second vehicle to the La Luz Trailhead, walk up, have lunch at the top and ride the tram down. You could also ride the tram up first and then walk down, or do a shorter hike from the top or the bottom. If you do the whole hike, make sure to bring plenty of water.
First time hiking the trail, and I would highly recommend it for the spectacular views!
Great trail but not for beginners
La Luz is one of the toughest, but also one of the most rewarding hikes you can do in the Sandia Mountains. The scenery is lovely as you climb up the trail changing from juniper and cacti to ponderosa and aspens. The rockslide is, in my opinion, the toughest part of the hike. Take your time and watch your footing. If you don't want to hike down, have a friend pick you up or arrange to leave a car at the crest house parking lot. Alternately, you can take the tram down and have a friend/car waiting in the base parking lot. A third option is to take the Tramway Trail back to the La Luz trail head (a mile up, you will see signage pointing to the Tramway Trail). Be warned that it's nearly 3 miles form the base of the Tram back to La Luz, and it's a rough trail - rocky and steep in spots -so make sure you have the stamina and water to take this route after hiking to the summit!
it was an amazing hike. Not as hard as we thought it was going to be. we are in our late 50s in good shape and live in Oklahoma. Had no problem with the altitude or grade of the hike. it took us 5 hours to get to the tram from the La
Luz trailhead. after eating lunch at the top of tram, we took it down. The hike from bottom of tram to LA Luz trailhead is about 4 miles. we ordered a Uber ($8.00) and we were back at car parked car in 13 minutes. one of our favorite hikes to date
It was hard but rewarding.
Started off hiking the Tram way trail. I was feeling great when I came across the La Luz trail. I met a really nice couple who informed me that it was a moderate hike up until the rock slide area. They said if you make it to the rock slide you may as well continue to the top. I agree with everyone the rock slide is the toughest part of the hike. I worked my way to the summit and the views from the top where absolutely breathtaking. This was by far one of the toughest hikes I have ever completed but was completely worth the trek. I was too tired to hike back down and like most I took the tram back down. All the hikers I came across were really nice and encouraging as we made our way to the summit. I will certainly be doing this hike again but not until my body has had a chance to recover.
We clocked over 10 miles, so I'm not sure where the 7.2 miles came from. It is a beautiful hike. We started at 8:30 am and got to the top at noon.
it was chilly but due to the strenuous climb it felt great. We took the tramway down. It was $15/person
My car got broken into at this trail head. I had nothing out in my car, but my wallet was in my locked glove box. My car was the only car broken into and my wallet and everything in it was stolen. The officers told me this happens at the trail head at least once a week. I'm working with police to try and catch the man, as he tried using my credit card where there was a surveillance vid camera in town. Do not park here or at the surrounding trail heads if you are a woman, even if you aren't alone.
Took lower tram to la Luz trailhead = 2.6 miles
Parking at tram is $2. Tram ticket down is $15
From la Luz T with tram trail I went to the top of the la Luz. From there go left to get to the very top - another .5 miles @700ft incline
La Luz is challenging, but if you are modestly fit and have 2Q water and plenty of hiking food you will be fine.
More like the La Suicide Trail!! This trail is so scary! one wrong step and you are finished
We were so glad to have done this hike. We started at the base of the tram (this added a couple of miles walking on the tramway trail, until you connect to La luz), and finished at the top (took the tram down). The views are amazing, and the higher you go, the better they get!!
I recommend taking plenty of water and snacks (my 11 year old son needed these).
I cannot wait to do it again!
Very nice trail, so glad we did it while visiting ABQ. We arrived at 7.45am (Saturday) and the parking was already full, the hike up is fairly easy for the first 10km and all in the shade if you start in the morning. We hiked up to Sandia Crest House and from there to the tram (appr. 3 hours 45 min). Originally we planned to take the tram down but spontaneously decided against it. The hike down was nice but a bit long and very hot as all in the sun (3 hours). Moderately trafficked, take water & snacks.
Amazing views of Albuquerque. Favorite trail in ABQ!