Sandia Peak Tramway is a great afternoon or morning adventure full of breathtaking views and delicious food, if you choose to eat at the Tram.
Most people in Albuquerque hop on the tram at the base of the foothills and ride up, never knowing they can get to this remote location with a simple 45 minutes hike from Sandia Peak.
This trail is well traveled, both from the Crest as well as from people who travel up the Tram.
- Total Miles: 3.76 miles (round trip) If you want a faster hike, take the road that’s at the bottom of the Peak’s parking lot.
- Elevation Gain: 562 ft
- Max Elevation: 10,628 ft
- Time to Hike: 1.5+ hrs (for a leisurely hike)
How To Get There
Simply Google “drive to Sandia Mountains” and the location of the Sandia Peak parking lot should populate. Be careful, sometimes it sends you up the tram from the west side of the mountain. It should show you a road going up the mountain on the east side.
The road to the peak is paved and well-maintained. Click here to learn more about Sandia Crest Scenic Byway road conditions.
If you use All Trails to plan out your hikes, click here for their link to this trail.
From the parking lot, walk to wear you can see the views of Albuquerque. As you walk left (or south) you’ll find a well marked trail that takes you along the crest.
For an easier and quicker walk, go down to the bottom parking lot at the peak. At the back of the lot, you’ll find road. Simply walk along that road till you get to the tram. This road is a great option if you’ve hiked to the tram to eat and are so full that you don’t want to hike too far on the way back – ha!
View Points You Can Expect Along the Trail
If you hike along the crest, you’ll see magnificent views of Albuquerque, see towering rock cliffs, and get to explore an old outlook tower.
In the summer and fall, this trail is full of beautiful wildflowers!
Animals You May See Along the Trail
- Coyotes (I’ve seen one on this trail when I was hiking alone)
- Abert Squirrels
- American Crows
Plants You Will See Along the Trail
This trail is over 10,000 ft, so you’ll see lots of spruce and fir along your hike.
In the summer and fall, you’ll get to see beautiful wildflowers as well!
If you want to use this opportunity for your kids to learn about their local ecosystem, then why not do a little flower dissection along the trail? Everyone will learn plant anatomy as they explore wildflowers along the trail! I’m not a fan of kids picking every flower they see – animals need the flowers to survive and the plants need them to produce next year’s blossoms. But picking a couple flowers is okay given that there are a lot there! If you want to learn about flower anatomy and how to dissect a flower, click here!
Other Great Trails to Hike
In the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico:
Other Trails in New Mexico: