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Sandia Mountains - La Luz Trail

Climb Notes

The La Luz Trail is a Class 1 trail - when clear of ice and snow.

The lower section of the trail is hot during the summer days.

The trail is well maintained by the Albuquerque Road Runners.

Road Runners sign

The trail is well marked.

There are privies at the trailhead and in two locations on the Crest.

No water is available at the trailhead or on the summit. At the Crest House (on the summit) water and other drinks are available for purchase.

We bought two bottles of water each at Crest House and still wished we had a little more before we reached the bottom.

The Crest House also has a restaurant, souvenir shop, and snacks and beverages.

The drainages marked as seasonal creeks on the map are intermittent at best.

The lower slopes are exposed to the sun. The upper slopes are mostly shaded.

Mileages on the trail are carved, etched, and painted into posts. The mileages seem to be true.

10,678 feet elevation is high enough to cause problems for flatlanders. Know the signs of altitude sickness and heed the warning signs.

View into the valley from the trail

We hiked the trail on an early June Saturday. The trail was relatively busy. Runners were on the trail in the morning and hikers later in the day. I would only hike the trail in the mornings during the summer.

Some hikers arrange a shuttle and only hike up or down the mountain.

We met one hiker who started at the top and was only going down a few miles and then return to the summit.

A good summer time ride-the-Tram option would be to park at the lower Tramway. Hike the Tram Trail to the La Luz Trail (early in the morning). Climb to the Crest on the La Luz. Take the Crest Spur to the Summit. Traverse the Crest to the Upper Tram via the Crest Trail or by returning on the Crest Spur Trail to the junction with the La Luz and continuing on the La Luz (not downhill!) until it joins the Crest Trail further south. Continue on the Crest Trail to the Upper Tram. Ride the Tram to return to your vehicle.

On our first hike of the La Luz, we parked at the La Luz trailhead, hiked to the summit, played around a bit, hiked across to the Upper Tram station and rode the Tram down the mountain. The only problem was then we had to traverse the unmercifully hot slopes in the afternoon sun. The final climb up to the La Luz Trail was hard. This route is not recommended in the summer!

Please stay on the trail, never litter, and follow minimum impact practices.

For Mountain Data and Route Guide
go to Page 1

La Luz Trail Mileage

Mile Interval Location
0.00 0.00 La Luz Trailhead
0.90 0.90 Tram Trail - Junction
1.70 0.80 1.7 Mile Marker
2.40 0.70 2.4 Mile Junction
3.00 0.60 3.0 Mile Marker
4.60 1.60 Scenic Overlook
5.00 0.40 5 Mile Sign
6.60 1.60 Gap - Crest Spur Trail Junction
6.80 0.20 Stairs
7.10 0.30 Crest
7.20 0.10 Summit Overlook

Total Round Trip Distance - 14.40 miles

Map Link

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La Luz Trail - pdf


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La Luz Trail in Text Format - laLuzTr.txt

La Luz Trail in GPX Format - laLuzTr.gpx

La Luz Trail in KML Format - laLuzTr.kml


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