Skip to main content

Sandia Peak Tramway

Towering over Albuquerque to the east, the Sandia Mountains rise over 10,000 feet above sea level.   The mountains sit anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 feet above Albuquerque.  The Sandia Mountains offer various recreational opportunities.  Hiking, hang gliding, rock climbing, and in the winter skiing make the mountain range one of the most popular recreation spots in Albuquerque.

Sandía translated from Spanish to English is watermelon and the red, pink and brown reflections of sunlight at sunset led to its naming.  The mountains sit within the grounds of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands.

The Sandia Mountains as you ride the tramway.
There are two ways to get to the top of the Sandia Range.  New Mexico Highway 536 climbs the east side of the mountain and leads to Sandia Crest which at 10,678 feet is the highest point in the range. 


On the west side, the Sandia Peak Tramway is an extremely popular way to get to the top of the mountain.  The 2.7 mile tram gains nearly 4,000 feet in elevation from the base of the mountain to a station that sits 10,378 above sea level.  The Sandia Peak Tramway opened in May 1966 and makes an average of 10,500 trips a year.

The city of Albuquerque from the Sandia Mountains.
The tram ride offers amazing views of Albuquerque and the rugged surroundings.  At the top, there is a gift shop, restaurant, and access to the many trails.  A little over one mile trail leads to the Kiwanis Cabin and to Sandia Crest.  Built in the 1930s by the Civil Conservation Corps, the cabin was planned by a local Kiwanis group.  It is a popular spot for long or short distance hikers to rest and take in the views.

The Kiwanis Cabin as viewed from the tramway mountain station.

Also, the 7.5 mile La Luz trail is one of the most popular and most challenging hikes on the mountain.
A look east from the Sandia mountains and the ski lift in the fall.
If you have the time, the Sandia Peak Tramway is definitely worth the stop while you are in Albuquerque.  The tramway typically operates 9 am to 9 pm in the summer and from 9 am to 8 pm in the Winter.  Trams leave approximately ever 15 minutes Round trip tickets are $25 per adult, $20 for students & seniors, $15 for kids 5-12.  Tickets can be purchased in advance on-line or at the tram ticket office. One way tickets are also available.

All photos taken by post author - October 2007 & April 2010.

Further Reading & Additional Links:

How To Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Breezewood - The Rise and Decline of a Highway Rest Stop

It's the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange most people hate - and with a passion.  The Breezewood Interchange - a junction of two Interstates (70 & 76) that became complicated due to archaic rules, rural politics and power, and an unwillingness to change.  At its romanticized best, this small unincorporated community of under 100 residents is a reminder of travel days of the 1950s-1970s; at its worst, it is a gradually dying relic of old motels and services that drivers are forced to slow down and drive through on their way to bigger and more modern destinations.

The Breezewood Interchange is an exception to the rule in the Interstate Highway System.  Depending on your direction, Interstate 70 joins or leaves the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) here.  However, unlike nearly every Interstate junction in the United States - Interstate 70 must traverse on a roughly 1/4 mile stretch of US 30.  A four lane highway complete with traffic lights, center turn lanes to cross traffi…

Old US Route 99 in Goshen, Traver, and the Warlow Rest Area

This summer I had a look into the alignment history of US Route 99 through the Tulare County communities of Traver and Goshen.  The photo below is take from Camp Drive northbound in Goshen on what was US Route 99 until the early 1930s.



Part 1; the history of US Route 99 in Goshen and Traver

Goshen and Traver were both founded in 1872 as sidings of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The Southern Pacific Railroad laid the groundwork for development of southern San Joaquin Valley.  Previous to the Southern Pacific Railroad travel via wagon or foot in Central California tended to avoid San Joaquin Valley in favor of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road.  The Stockton Los Angeles Road lied to the east of San Joaquin Valley in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and was less subject flooding.  Before the Southern Pacific Railroad most of San Joaquin Valley was a sparsely inhabited wetland which made travel by road difficult.  Goshen and Traver can along the Southern Pacific Railroad on the 1873 Ore…

California State Route 283; former US Route 101 over the Rio Dell Bridge

This week we examine one of California's shortest State Highways; California State Route 283.  California State Route 283 includes the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge and is a former segment of US Route 101.  The photo below is the Rio Dell Bridge after the 1964 Christmas Floods which wiped out the northern approach span. 


California State Route 283 ("CA 283") is a 0.36 Mile State Highway between modern US Route 101/Redwood Highway and the community of Rio Dell in Humboldt County.  The key feature of CA 283 is the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge which was the second alignment of US Route 101.  The Rio Dell Bridge connected Scotia north over the Eel River via Wildwood Avenue to Rio Dell.  The Rio Dell Bridge is a steel truss design which 1,643.1 feet in length.  The Rio Dell Bridge is also known as; North Scotia Bridge, Eel River Bridge, Scotia-Rio Dell Bridge, Albert Stanwood Murphy Memorial Bridge, and the Eagle Prairie Bridge.  CA 283 is unsigned presently ranks as the second shortest State…