La Luz Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sandia Park, New Mexico 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 best used 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.
Very long stretch of rock slide. When I say long, I mean LONG. It's beautiful and very rewarding.
Tough but great hike.
The trail is challenging but the views are well worth it. I have hiked here twice and it was an awesome experience. I am looking forward to my next hike at La Luz Trail!!
If you're from a lower elevation and have good knees, I recommend cheating the tram up and taking the long beautiful walk down to your car; La Luz is way more rugged than it is steep. If you desire to climb, start from the tram parking lot (La Luz parking fills quickly plus the direct tram ride back to your car is nice after a long day). Turn around if you're worn out and hurting by the time you step foot on La Luz after the foothills trek.
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!