La Luz Trail

#1 of 3 trails in elena gallegos picnic area
8.8 mile 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.

16.28 miles Point to Point 3200 feet
hiking forest rocky views
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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. I would rather climb than descend.

I have walked it in 2.5 hours but generally runs closer to 3-3.5 hours. First time I did it I didn't know what to expect and it took about 5 hours but it is more mental than physical. Once you know what to expect and try it you set a benchmark for yourself and try improving from there.

As you get a mile or so from the top you run into tourists who start at the top, wander down the trail for a mile or less then turn back to the top. Same at the bottom. Many start the trail, go up a couple of miles and then turn back. which leaves about 5 miles of trail with not much foot traffic.

Make sure and take plenty of water (I like a full camelback with 1.5 liters of water)

Jay Smooth

11 Completed0 Reviews

Jay Swift

11 Completed11 Reviews

Seth Gabrielse

2 Completed1 Reviews

Excellent hike! We were in the middle of the clouds so it was a little chilly and visibility wasn't the best, but the fall colors around were incredible! Definitely look forward to hiking again on a clear day because I had a blast regardless.

Simone Duran

1 Completed1 Reviews

David B.

Very beautiful hike! Ran into a little rain at the top but other than that great hike.

Cynthia Rangel Carrasco

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful hike!

Keith Warren

30 Completed20 Reviews

Josh, Mom(Lauri) and I hiked this trail together. I recalled when Lance and I and others cleaned this trail for his Eagle Scout project back in 1979.

Amber Harper-Slaboszewicz

3 Completed2 Reviews

This hike is steep and hot at the beginning, but so worth it. The trail enters beautiful and dynamic forest shortly, and there are gorgeous views of the city and the mountains. Take more water than you need, as well as layers and sturdy boots. You wind up hiking across a rockslide for a mile or so in the middle. It may rain on summer afternoons, so be prepared.

If you go on a summer weekend and plan to take the tram down, prepare for a long wait. We wound up hiking back down rather than wait three hours. There is a restaurant at the top ("High Finance") where you can get a good salad or bowl of soup before hiking back down.

Kaley B.

Uphill climb. Beautiful views. We hiked in the spring, so there was snow that we wouldn't have been able to get through without better equipment past a certain point. We turned around at the overlook (5 miles in), because the snow got bad right after that. The overlook was a nice spot to sit and eat our lunch while soaking in the view.

Ginger Hindman

1 Completed1 Reviews

We hiked the Tram Trail to the La Luz, the Tram trail is not well marked and we missed the first junction to the La Luz, so added some time. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get to the top. We took the Tram down for $12. I saw a guy at the bottom with a detailed trail map that I will get for next time.