La Luz Trail

HARD 285 reviews

La Luz Trail is a 14.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bernalillo, New Mexico that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4268 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Going up was tolerable, going back down made it seem like it was the trail that never ended. The weather was beautiful and the views are amazing. Will do again!

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

This is a great hike! I did half the hike and then took the tram down. I hiked during the balloon fiesta so you could a ton of balloons up over Albuquerque. Here is a trip report I wrote that has maps and pictures: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/la-luz-trail/

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

I hiked the full out and back trail (~14 miles) with my husband and dog yesterday, and I have to admit that I was underwhelmed. I found the scenery okay but not great, especially compared to the gorgeous views in the Jemez, Santa Fe National Forest, and surrounding areas. The trail is mostly switchbacks--I felt like I crossed the same boulder field about 100 times. It is easy to follow and no scrambling is required. Most of the distance signs are off by a couple tenths of a mile. Almost everyone we met was hiking one way and taking the tram for the other. That is definitely the way to go unless you're hiking with a dog. It took us 2:51 to get to the top and about 3:10 back down. (We took longer to go to overlooks on the way down.) We started at 8:15 AM on Sunday 10/22. There were 2 parking spots left in the lot when we got there. People were still starting when we got off the trail around 3:00 PM. Bring plenty of warm clothes for the top.

hiking
27 days ago

trail running
28 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I just started to really get into hiking this year, so I consider myself a beginner. This is by far the hardest trail I have completed so far. I felt good the first 5 miles, The last 3 miles were very hard. La Luz Trail is no joke. Throughout the whole trail there is amazing views. La Luz Trail is for sure an accomplishment for a beginning hiker.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Best hike I've ever done. Amazing views throughout. Challenging as hell but worth it

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Definitely strenuous. You will hate switch back by then end of it. But over all, so worth it for the sights and bragging rights! Did the half mile to the Crest house- that killed me. after 6 hours of hard hiking, that last half mile was ugly.