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South Crest via Tramway and La Luz Trail

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Sandia Mountain Wilderness

South Crest via Tramway and La Luz Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Albuquerque, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.8 mi Elevation gain 3,910 ft Route type Point to Point
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Snow
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Reviews (118)
Photos (1568)
Recordings (133)
Completed (404)
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Andy Cook
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Hiking
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Jorge Blanco Cano
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Hiking
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Valerie Harris
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Hiking
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Elizabeth Holloway
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Hiking

10 miles one way.

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nhend9992 .
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Hiking
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Valerie Harris
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Hiking
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brandon lawrence
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Hiking
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Laurie Dulany
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HikingGreat!Rocky

This is a wonderful trail, definitely an all-day experience. We parked at the lower tram parking lot (inside bathrooms available) and hiked to Ten-3 where we had dinner over looking all of Albuquerque at sunset! A few things I wish I had known: this trail meanders a LOT. It really isn't that steep. The first third really does not count as part of your ascent. We had been hiking an hour, and we were still in people's back-yards which was confusing. When you finally get to La Luz, that's where you will start to climb. The Tramway trail section is long. Further up, you will criss-cross a rock spill easily well more than a dozen times. It's tedious, OK. Be prepared. It's endless switch-backs. When you finally get past the rocks, you are almost finished. The views are tremendous almost the entire time. The trail, again, is more long than steep. Nothing was especially challenging. It took us 7.5 hours total. We were 2 hours late to our dinner reservation, and they accommodated, luckily. The tram down was a blast, last carriage of the day at 9 PM. Go for it. This trail is epic.

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Kaeley Weimerskirch
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Hiking
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Valerie Harris
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Hiking
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Bobby Thrash
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HikingGreat!

This is a great trail to train for a Grand Canyon hike. Especially as a bottom to top portion such as the Bright Angel Trail. Approximately 9 miles from the lower tram parking lot to the tram on top. Did it today with my son. Great weather with a start by 9:am. About 5 hours with a short lunch break.

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Valerie Harris
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Hiking
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Valerie Harris
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Hiking

very rough. Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks about 6 mi into hike for about a mile. Great hike.

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Daniel Lee
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HikingOver grownRocky
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Andrew Gray
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Hiking

Lots of trails, including the La Luz, get you to the top of the Sandias. This route gives you options for a one way hike with a pick up and/or drop off by car. That’s because it goes from the large parking lot at the base of the Tram to the large lot at the Crest. If you want to ride the tram one way, you can add a hike across the Crest to connect the loop. Just be sure the Tram is running and you know the hours! Near the bottom of the mountain, you start out in desert fauna with lots of climbing. Beware of the heat in the summer, the sun can be oppressive! Best to start very early if you can. Once you get up into the trees, it tends to be cooler, and there are stunning views of the mountain faces all around you. You will cross a series of rockslides from about 2/3 of the way up. Wear appropriate shoes for the distance and terrain. Plan for cooler/colder temperatures at the top, and be prepared for bad weather and the usual risks in the mountains. Overall, it’s a challenging hike with lots of elevation gain going up. It can be done by a fast hiker in three hours, but most people can count on 4-6 hours at least.

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Dot Wire
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Steep uphill with slippery gravel. A good sized rock garden for a quarter mile or more. Not fun going downhill. Did Tramway trail starting from Juan Tabo picnic area (one of first parking lots) cruised over to part of La Luz trail before turning around.

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Douglas Sears
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Hiking

This is a “must do” when visiting Albuquerque. The Tram ride is quite interesting, by itself. The trail is extremely scenic and much fun

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Logan McCauley
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HikingIcyRockySnow

If you are trying to hike to the tram and restaurant, DO NOT go on a Tuesday. Beautiful hike but my girlfriend and I almost died when we made it to the top and realized everything was closed and the sun was already down. Had to call fire rescue.

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Juan Covarrubias
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Hiking

urban hike

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Bill Ivers
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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Aneesh Mahodaya
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HikingBugsRocky
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Juergen Sattler
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Hiking

There's a reason this trail is very busy. If you have only time for one hike in the Sandias and are in good physical condition then this is the hike for you. When you stand at the bottom and look up there doesn't seem to be a way up the impressive wall, called the shield. You ascend via multiple canyons and you pass some of the most iconic formations in the Sandias. You will be tired when you get to the top but the hike will remain unforgettable.

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Kay Brans
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HikingBugsNo shadeRocky
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