Explore the most popular forest trails in Sandia Mountain Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Loved the hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Climbed on April 15. There was minimal snow on the trail and I made it to the top in a pair of running shoed just fine. Coming from around sea level less than 24 hours before, the last portion of the hike got pretty difficult due to the altitude. I started at the bottom of the tram and took the tramway trail to get to La Luz. Then, I diverted off to the crest spur trail to Sandia Crest, which has a restaurant and bathrooms. From Sandia Crest, I took the South Crest Trail to the tram and rode it down. With breaks, it took me 7 hours to get to the top.

I was curious how technically difficult it would be and how scary the trail would be but 99% of the trail is a nice dirt/rock path. At the tight zigzag in the middle of the trail, there are rocks/boulders that you have to walk over. This is where people with dogs turned around. None of the trail required any scrambling, just walking uphill. At no point did I find myself in a place where I felt that one slip could send me off a cliff. There were lots of trees and bushes bordering the trail and where there wasn't, the slope wasn't that steep and the trail was plenty wide enough for comfort.

I had cell phone reception the whole way up, though just barely. Google maps has the trail outlined on it and even if you don't have service, the GPS will still show you where you are via the blue dot. I used it to make sure I stayed on the path.

Be sure you're up for the challenge, as it's a long way down if you get near the top and realize you can't make it. The altitude and length are what makes this a tough climb.

Hope this info helps. Be safe and have a great climb!

This was a great beginners trail. I took a 2 year old, 8 year old and my pregnant sister. It was a breeze.

Stellar hike on Watermelon Mountain. Do it.

4 days ago

First trail in New Mexico. April 10th still had lots of snow on Albuquerque facing side. Took to much time before I turned back. Finished the last mile or so in the dark. Wasn't bad toward the bottom but could have been tricky on the snow and ice. Great first test for the abilities of a flatlander to handle New Mexico hiking. Enjoy.

hiking
12 days ago

See recording from today. The only parts recorded are an easier way to access Oso Ridge from Embudito (it’s just the second left after the Embudito trail marker), a direct way to South Peak from the top/end of the Oso Ridge trail, and the path back through Embudito Canyon off of Embudito trail (which cuts at least half a mile off the trip and of course is another great way up).

hiking
16 days ago

Second time on this trail, only did 2 miles previously so wanted to challenge myself. Me and my dog went up on Easter took the round trip of going up and down. Theres still a good amount of snow last couple miles up so a good pair of hiking shoes is recommended. It's a tough hike but the scenery and the views from a top are worth every minute of it. Go conquer the mountain!

hiking
18 days ago

This is one of my favorites now. It’s a pretty good elevation gain but feels less strenuous than La Luz because it’s a longer trail so the climb is spread out. It’s a good blend of covered forest and open scrub. Probably a good idea to wear pants as that scrub takes a few layers off. There is still snow on the trail on the top 2 or 3 miles (March 30) but micro spikes weren’t a necessity. There are a few spots with spectacular views but most of the crest trail is set back a bit from the edge - unlike the top of La Luz. I hiked from the bottom to the tram (a little over 12 miles) in about 6.5 hours. Don’t plan on catching an Uber if your want to hop off around mile 10. Better to have someone pick you up or just walk the extra few cushy miles to the tram. It’s a pretty good workout so bring plenty of water and some poles. Oh and I saw a bobcat which was awesome! Even better - saw no bears : )

The falls are usually a trickle, but there's also the tiny cave and a whole lot of fossils in the rocks above and to the right of the falls. Fun for kids to climb around and explore. Some seasons there's wild irsises and grapes here. If you follow the trail up past the falls just a short ways, there's a rock stacking area.

Even in the rain it was a beautiful trail! Can't wait to come back on a sunnier day !

24 days ago

Second time on this trail. Yesterday , I beat my personal time reaching Sandia Tram in 4 hours. The trail has ice and snow at the trail maker with 2.2 miles remaining for the remainder of the trek. The trail is treacherous in parts as the path is right on the ridge line with no margin for a misstep. I did not have microspikes but those would have been beneficial. The snow and ice increased the time of the hike, but I wanted to be deliberate in my steps. Once past the last switchback, only a little snow, mostly mud until the end.

I will have to go again in the summer when conditions are less treacherous and to improve my time. Be safe and go prepared. Regardless of your reason for the hike, whether to take your time and enjoy the views, or to improve your personal time, this hike is one of the best.

hiking
25 days ago

The views are amazing, the microclimates startling, the rocky switchbacks hard on the feet, but the reward at the top is well worth it. Whatever amount of water you think you should bring, bring more. Have fun!!

we went mid March and it was beautiful weather. the trail ascended almost the whole way but it was very gradual so doable with dogs and kids. we took our 3 dogs and our 2 year old and it was a ton of fun. there was a small trickle of water out of the rocks but the hike was easy and very beautiful. on the way down we ended up going northbound up 130 for another few miles and came back down. I highly recommend if you're beginning to get into hiking.

hiking
28 days ago

This was a fun trail! I’m from Colorado, but I’ve been living in Florida for the past year...so I made sure to bring a ton of water. I finished the la luz trail in about 3 hours and I was going at a steady pace. I should have stopped more to take photos, but I get in a zone! There was still some snow at the top, but I was just in tennis shoes and I felt perfectly safe going up. Although if I would have gone down it I would have liked something with a bit more grip. None of the drops bothered me much because you had plenty of trail and most the time there were trees, not like a shear drop on both sides like some trails. I will definitely spend some more time hiking around this area.

Note-if going down the tram, park your car there for a couple bucks and hike the tramway trail to the start of la luz. It adds a couple of miles at the beginning of the hike, but they aren’t hard miles and it makes it nice to not have to walk those after taking the tram down!

Anyone on here know if the ice has melted yet. I want to go on sat but crampons are a bit to expensive for us.

29 days ago

nice! big rocks , challenging

hiking
1 month ago

This trail rocks! Did the full 13.5 miles in 5.25 hours. We hit the trailhead at 1:30 pm, got to the top by 4:15, stopped long enough for a quick snack, then jogged to the bottom. I was at my car by 6:45! Great ass kicker!

Be safe and have fun.

hiking
1 month ago

I did La Luz today, March 17, 2018. I am from Indiana, a Flatlander they call us Hoosiers. I am glad I took advice to get poles and microspikes while visiting Albuquerque last year. They were invaluable today. I traveled from Tram connection trail to La Luz and up to the tram. The views are inspiring and I learned much from a local who hiked with me. The different biomes that one travels though on this hike are a welcome feeling as I felt as though I enter different forests all on one hike. Take time to look back at where you came from to see many formations. Always be careful and bring spikes when attempting while snow and ice are still on the trails, as they were today. I saw one person at the tram fall and cut their hand open and suggest that they wished they had had my poles and spikes. If one were to fall on the LaLuz, it could result in death. Be careful and be rewarded.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail kicked my ass and scared me stiff on that last two miles to the tram. I started at 1 pm and didn’t get to the tram until 6:30. I had to do the scariest part in the dark. Make sure you leave enough time to get to the tram before dark and bring poles and micro spikes if there is snow and ice. Seriously. People die on this trail from falls.

backpacking
1 month ago

A truly challenging hike, not for the faint of heart! Great path to the 1955 Plane Wreckage memorial. Be aware that it can be a bit difficult to distinguish the trail at times.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike yesterday. It was my first time ever doing a hike. I was born and raised in FL and have been here for a week so the altitude certainly made breathing a little difficult. In the canyon there is still a good bit of snow and I had no poles or spikes but I made it to the top. Beautiful views throughout. Took the tram down and Uber to car.

Done 2/4/18. Great weather for the hike. The last 2.75 miles we’re snowpack that had melted and frozen. Pretty slippery in spots, yak tracks would’ve been the bees knees.

1 month ago

Great hike! The high altitude makes the last bit of it difficult but it’s worth it.

Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! It's a steady incline the whole way but easier than we expected. There's currently snow on the second half, but it's still passable with poles.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views throughout most the hike! Quit a workout.

Definitely a challenging but rewarding hike! A lot of climbing and steep elevation near the crash site, but worth it!

Fun and easy hike!

Wonderful/ beautiful hike, very steep towards the end of the hike. Continuing past the crash site will take you to the top of the La Luz. Would highly recommend.

This was hands down one of my favorite hikes that I have done in the Albuquerque area. The hike is challenging, but you feel so rewarded when completed. Looking up above and seeing the Tram was really surreal! The TWA plane crash stretches up the mountain at the end of the hike for quite a ways...It is very sad, but also very interesting. Take lots of snacks and water!

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