We decided to hike the La Luz Trail in the Sandia Mountains. It was closing the following day due to the increased fire danger. We arrived around 7:45 am.
We weren’t able to find parking at the trailhead, so we started out a little ways down the mountain.
Here we are, having no idea what to expect from this trail. We expected a steep ascent (12% grade), starting at around 7000 feet in elevation and going to 10,678 feet by the end. It would be approximately 7 miles up, then 2 miles across the top to the Sandia Tramway. We would take the tram back down the mountain.
Here are a collection of pictures along our ascent. From the top of Sandia Crest, you can view all of the Albuquerque Metro area, and all the way out to Mt. Taylor, a volcano near Grants, NM to the west. This trail crossed back and forth multiple times, so there are several photos along the hike upward.
For the most part, the trail looked like the photo shown below. It consisted of many switchbacks and was narrow. There was room for passing other hikers and runners.
I did find a neat intrusion into one of the rocks along the way.
I took a lot of photos looking out over the city, but the trail we were climbing had its own beauty as well.
After a while, we got to the talus slope. The talus slope was rough going, and we did it for several miles. This was the most brutal part, in my opinion. After that, the remaining ascent to the top was not so bad, but the talus slope had sapped my energy. Still, we pressed on.
Even this had its moments where you could look over the city:
As we approached the top, more limestone was present. The limestone was often full of fossils, such as this piece found along the trail.
We reached a Y in the trail. The Y could take us to Sandia Crest or Sandia Tramway. We chose to go to the Sandia Tramway, knowing that there was a 1.8 mile hike between the Crest and the Tramway that we would take once we arrived at the top.
These are a few photos from the top. What a day!
I didn’t take any photos along the trail between Sandia Crest and the Sandia Tramway. It was a very pleasant trail with several loop trails that one could take to see a little more. We stuck to the main trail at this point. The hiking here was easy- level and mostly soft pine needles to hike over. A far cry from the talus slope, and exactly what I needed at this point in the journey.
I hope you enjoyed this post!