La Luz Trailhead
Albuquerque has plenty of hiking trails. There’s La Luz Trailhead, Boca Negra Canyon, Sandia Foothills and more but when I went to visit New Mexico, I had no intention on hiking in Albuquerque. I knew that Albuquerque had the tramway that would carry you all the way to the top of the mountain to see an awesome view. My thought was that I was going to be lazy and just take the easy way up the mountain.
I was wrong. I’m extremely glad I was wrong.
What happened was that I had gone at the busiest time of the year: The Balloon Festival. Since it was so busy, it took forever to get into any “touristy” type place. The tramway is definitely “touristy.” On top of the two hour line (seriously, two hours), everyone had to wait for the wind to die down. If the wind is blowing too hard, they can’t have the tramway running. This was estimated to be another hour. That meant if I wanted to ride the tramway to the top of the mountain, I’d have to wait THREE HOURS.
I thought… Well dang, I could walk to the top of the mountain by then. That’s exactly what I attempted to do.
I had not researched anything having to do with hiking. Therefore, I googled “hiking in Albuquerque” and picked the one that seemed to have decent pictures. I went with “La Luz Trailhead.” It. was. gorgeous.
How long is the hike?
La Luz Trailhead is long, I’m not going to lie. I got to a point where there was a sign and it told me I had 7 miles to go. I’m not used to hiking that much so I was like “nope, probably not going to finish that hike.”
Even though it’s long, you don’t have to hike the whole thing. I went about half way up and had an amazing view. Once I got tired, I turned around back to the parking lot.
Forest Service 333 Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87122
Yes, there is a small fee and parking is self-paid parking.
It’s about $2. The way the parking works is that there is a box with envelopes in it. You get the envelope, put the $2 in the envelope and set it in a locked mailbox. Then, you add something to your dashboard to show that you paid in case a ranger comes to check out the parking lot.
Is it hard to hike?
I didn’t find it as difficult as some other hikes I’ve done in the past. There was a clear path that led the way up to the top. There were many times I stopped for a breather, but there were plenty of rocks to sit on to cool down.
I’d say La Luz Trailhead is a great hike for people who love hiking but aren’t quite professionals at it yet. It’s also perfect for people who love longer hikes (because the longer the walk, the more rewarding the view, am I right?).
Is it worth it?
Absolutely. When I first picked out La Luz Trailhead, I didn’t know if it would be a waste of my time or not. Turns out, it showed me that New Mexico has a lot more beautiful views for me to see than I had originally thought.
So, to sum it all up, take the trail… not the tramway.
What are you waiting for? Buy the Plane Ticket to La Luz Trailhead!