La Luz Trail

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122

La Luz Trail

La Luz Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A long day hike or an overnight trip from the edge of Albuquerque through the rugged Sandia Wilderness to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. A little less than 1 mile up, Tramway Trail 82 turns off to the right. Stay with the La Luz Trail to Sandia Crest. Switchbacks start in earnest after the junction.

Please do not shortcut the switchbacks, as it erodes the hillside. At close to 3 miles up, the trail crosses a canyon that usually has some running water. Check with the Forest Service ahead of time before depending on it. In a pinch, water can be obtained at the gift shop on Sandia Crest.
However, since they have to truck their water up the mountain, do not expect to get large quantities. Buying a soft drink or other item would be a nice gesture if you must ask for water."

La Luz Trail Reviews

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I’ve been hiking this trail quite abit lately … just about every Sunday. Today the trail was in good condition as in didn’t really hit snow till around the 4.6 mile area … there a some areas with snow/ice pack but as long as your careful you would be all right … but once you get to the 5 mile mark some type of spikes is highly recommended … Today only went to the 5 mile point and turned around.
This is an excellent trail with great maintenance and plenty of switchbacks to maintain a uniform grade. I ran this the last week of Aril and was very surprised by the amount of snow on the last 2.2 miles of the trail befor reaching the crest. I had to kick steps in the snow and be cautious to not lose footing due to the steep North facing slope that the snow was on. It should be dry by the 2nd week of May but still had about 2 feet of hard packed snow in all the tree covered portions. I ran the the tram trail from the tram parking lot over to this trail and was surprised it was not as well maintained as this trail. There are several places that are hard to judge where the tail goes and you have to be carefull of the cactus sticking out onto the trail (if you are a runner).
Just an FYI: The trail re-opened on July 7 (2006).
The trail is presently closed due to extreme fire danger as there has been no rain for several months. It is anticipated this trail will remain closed for the summer 2006l
My first hike in NM! It entails quite a bit of elevation gain, but displays a great cross section of the Sandia Mountains. Unfortunately you will be viewing the scenery with tons of other people early in the hike, as it is a popular place to go for a stroll in the Mtns. You'll also be forced to pay to park your car... (I bet if they didn't hire someone to enforce this ridiculous policy then they wouldn't need to charge... Catch 22!) Anyways, back to the hike. The trail is heavily switchbacked so none of it is too steep. You'll also find a rock slide area with Basketball sized rocks and larger. The trail meanders through this, and makes it interesting if you are running the trail. This is the most popular trail in the Sandias, so don't expect any solitude... also be ready to hear tourists at the top complaining how thin the air is after driving all the way up! I enjoyed the hike, despite the crowds, but would do it again only during the week!

La Luz Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
3,618 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
9–12 hours for day hike
April through November
7,060 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,678 feet
Top Elevation
Sandia Crest 7.5-minute USGS quad
Local Maps