La Luz Trail

#1 of 3 trails in elena gallegos picnic area
La Luz Trail is a 8.7 mile point-to-point trail located near Sandia Park, NM that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible from May until November.

8.7 miles 3851 feet Point to Point
hiking trail running forest rocky views wildlife
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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)

Niklas Cole

2 Completed3 Reviews

Niklas Cole

2 Completed3 Reviews

Lan Thompson

2 Completed2 Reviews

I am just now getting into the outdoors and I decided to do this hike back in September 2015. 2 of my friends back out that morning but I pushed forward and it broke me down. I began at 6am and got to tram on top of Sandia roughly around 1pm. But I loved it and want to do it again! Trouble is getting my lazy friends motivated to do it.

Jay Smooth

13 Completed13 Reviews

Jay Swift

15 Completed15 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.