My BFF Sophia and I decided to go here together. Yay for travel buddies! The Tram is on the outskirts of Albuquerque, about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe. It was $2 to park in the lot and then $25/person to ride the Tram round trip. Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But I figured it’s a once in a lifetime thing, right? If you’re feeling really adventurous or cheap, you can get a one way ticket for $15, which includes your self-guided 6 hour hike down from the peak at Watermelon (Sandia) Mountain. Ha!
The Tramway took us a distance of 2.7 miles in about 15 minutes, high above the deep canyons of the Cibola National Forest. We were dropped off at a vantage point atop the 10,378 foot Sandia Peak with an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Rift valley. Truly astounding! You can’t get these kind of views on the east coast, that’s for sure.
Once Sophia and I snapped some photos of the never-ending landscape in front of us, we ventured off into the woods, on one of the nearby trails. I would suggest that you go into the Information Center and pick up one of the trail maps before you go into the woods.
We wandered through the woods on the trails, without a map, for what seemed like FOREVER. In the end, it was only about 45 minutes – and less than 10,000 steps according to Sophia’s Fit Bit. But when you’re trying to breathe at over 10,000 feet, I don’t think ‘steps’ really matter!
We didn’t see any of the purported black bears or other wildlife – except for a lone squirrel intently gnawing at a pine cone – but, in the end, we both really enjoyed our adventure here.
If you have some time, be sure to stop off for a drink and a snack at the High Finance Restaurant.
MORE INFO: www.sandiapeak.com