La Luz Trail

HARD 302 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
3471 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.

3 days ago

I love this trail!!

hiking
13 days ago

Great New Years Day hike.

14 days ago

Great New Year’s hike, no snow as of yet.

14 days ago

cool trail

14 days ago

Beautiful scenery... only went halfway up due to a late start but plan on hiking it again!

Hiked it twice in late July of 2015 and again in 2016 from the lower tram to the upper tram. The first time at the age of 73 with my two sons and then with my eldest son and his eldest son aged 12. A great hike both times despite the fact that we got caught in an electrical storm half way up the rock slide that must be traversed 17 Times. I would rate it hard, because of the rock slide crossings, if you don’t have trekking poles, easy enough if you do.

hiking
20 days ago

Make sure the tram is working before you leave if you plan on taking it down! We parked a car at the top beforehand so we could take our dogs (the tram doesn’t allow them). Great hike, bring lots of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of great views, lots of switchbacks, and lots of rocky terrain. Overall not that difficult of a hike. Hiked up, took the tram down and uber’d back to the la luz parking lot.

1 month ago

love this trail

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

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

3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty trail through the woods, very nice and shady. No boulders to climb over on the part we did. Winding rolling with a gradual incline in areas.

hiking
4 months ago

There is some seriously gorgeous country all along this trail. Looking at the mountain from the city you don't really get any idea of just what kind of beauty lies on its slopes. I was glad I brought plenty of water and a pack of dark chocolate covered almonds, This was a beast of a hike! Each time I felt my energy wane I ate a handful of chocolate and pressed on. It was a wonderful hike but I have to admit, by the end I just wanted it to be over!

4 months ago

Scenic views like nowhere else! One of favorite in the Sandias. I like to hike up and take the tram back down. It is very exposed for the first couple miles .... I would not recommend hiking it midsummer unless you are acclimated to the high desert and bring plenty of water. The rock slides at the top were fun and challenging to cross.

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