If you are up to the challenge of a hike through four life zones, that climbs from 7,080 feet to 10,280 in just under eight ... More
Luz Trail (La)
If you are up to the challenge of a hike through four life zones, that climbs from 7,080 feet to 10,280 in just under eight miles, La Luz Trail offers you an alpine escape from the concrete jungle. On weekends, the trail is crowded with day hikers, joggers and their pets. The trail switchbacks upward among granite spires, ponderosa pines, and quaking aspens. Near the top, the trail forks. The right fork takes you to Sandia Crest; the left fork terminates at the Sandia Peak Tramway . Take along plenty of water.
Started at the Tram parking lot and hiked up. Excellent views of Albuquerque and surrounding area. Make sure you're upto the task though. I left a little late in the afternoon and had to push to make it to the top and catch the tram before it closed. Recommend 2 quarts of water, I took 1 and had to ration to make it stretch. The last 1.5 miles before the Crest Spur fork is straight up through boulder fields. Pretty tough when already worn out from the previous 6 miles. After the fork though La Luz is pretty easy on around to the Tram. Maybe a better bet to ride up and hike down. Not for the faint of heart, but worth the trip.
Amazing trail, lots of switchbacks and rise. Going all way to top takes some serious effort and time. Got cornered unexpectedly by mother bear and cubs on La Cueva overlook a year back. Expect the unexpected.
This hike is by far the most memorable we have been on. There are so many areas throughout the hike that are picturesque! The views are amazing and the terrain is great! We took our dog all the way up and had a relative pick us up at the Sandia Crest House. Up takes approx. 4 hours with a couple breaks.
Would not recommend the entire 8 mile hike unless you are in good shape and if you are in GREAT shape you should be able to come down as well. Trust me though, once at the top and resting it's harder to go down because your legs are tired and knees a bit sore. Otherwise have someone pick you up or ride the tram down. There are some parts that are walking on boulders and loose rocks and many areas steep.
It's great though to go halfway or even 1/3 just to have the experience and enjoy the views!
All of the advice by the other reviewers is spot on, but they all sound like experienced hikers, and many (including myself) are not in the very best physical condition. This is a very demanding trail (just the 8 miles and 3,000ft. altitude gain should tell you that!) It is not all that well marked in places either, and 911 calls for rescue are unfortunaltely not all that uncommon, especially from tourists who set out without all the information possible from the National Forest Service. Early Spring, and Early Fall (Sept.-Oct) are probably the best times. If you want "lesser" hikes, there are many available from the Albuquerque Open Space Parks spotted along the base of the Sandias. Lastly, never attempt any of these trails without letting "someone" know where you are going. Cell phone, mucho water, and some proper clothing are a must. Know your abilities before you start out!
This is one of my favorite runs in the Albuquerque area. The views are spectacular and the trail is not too rocky. It is steep and challenging, but the various terrain is wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone.
I hiked this trail today. The views to the east and the eco-zone changes are apectacular. The hike is not in anyway easy and at times the terrain is trecherous but it is a great hike. My wife and I parked at the tram. We hiked over to the trail and up the mountain. We rode the tram down for eight dollars each and had a great day. I have to say that I am very sore from the hike but ir was a great experience.
This is an awesome hike that requires moderately good health. It will take quite a while to trek up the 8 mile trail. Advise leaving a car at the top or bottom of the trail and take another car to the opposite end of the trail. A 16 mile round trip hike is beyond most people's comfort level. Take a minimum of 2 quarts of water with you, a cell phone, and layers of clothing. The best time to hike is spring and fall. The summer is too hot for the sustained climb. Maps can be obtained from the Cibola Forrest Ranger's office near Osuna and Chappell. Be careful of hiking at night. The moon is of little use, especially at full moon because of the angles of the land and the position of the moon. Hiking a few days before or after a full moon is the best time to hike at night. However, this is strongly discouraged. No open fires are allowed. No water is available during the hike. Pack everything in, and pack everything out.
This is one of the most memorable hikes you will ever take.
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