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Sandia Crest Hike

Sat, 2019-08-10
Rachel Cowan
Are dogs allowed?: 
Not allowed

NOTE: You must sign up for this hike at the PEEC website at

Join PEEC and the Los Alamos Mountaineers to hike Sandia Crest for the Northern New Mexico Peak Challenge! On Saturday, August 10 we will attempt the summit of Sandia Crest via the La Luz Trail. Sandia Crest forms the spectacular backdrop for Albuquerque, and we will end at North Crest Peak, at 10,679-feet. The La Luz Trail is one of the best-known trails in the Sandia Mountains, and is also one of the most challenging. It goes from hotter Upper Sonoran zone to the cool montane forest of the Hudsonian Zone. We will cover up to 11.5 miles, parking at the bottom of the Sandia Tramway, and hiking connecting trails to the La Luz Trailhead. The group may alternatively make a car shuttle and start at the La Luz Trailhead, depending on weather. The elevation gain for this outing is over 3,200-feet. This is an extremely strenuous trip and participants should be prepared and in shape for the challenge. We will take the Sandia Peak Tram down, for a cost of \$15 per hiker. Please bring cash or a credit card to pay for your tram ticket. Rachel Cowan of the Los Alamos Mountaineers will be the trip's leader.

NOTE: in case of inclement weather, the Sandia Peak Tram may not be running, and so we will hike back down La Luz Trail. This will add about 8 mi more to the hike.

The group will meet at the White Rock Y (intersection of highways NM4 and NM502) at 6:00 a.m. to carpool to the trailhead (you can drive there on your own, Rachel will contact participants the week before). Our early morning start will help us avoid afternoon thunderstorms! The drive to the trailhead is about 1.75 hours. This will be an all-day outing and the group will return to Los Alamos in the early evening. There is a parking fee of \$2 per car. Hikers should dress for the weather and wear layers (bring rain gear!). Conditions will probably include a hot slog up the trail to a much cooler and windier summit. Bring plenty of water and snacks; and a hearty lunch (which we will eat after we summit), as well as sun protection including a hat and sunscreen. If you have hiking poles, please bring them.

In registering, participants will be asked about their experience in climbs of this nature. Those with insufficient experience can qualify for the hike by taking part in one of Bill Priedhorsky’s Monday evening Pajarito Mountain hikes. Since this outing takes place in thunderstorm season, it is subject to postponement in the face of an unfavorable weather prediction, or may be terminated by the trip leader if conditions deteriorate during the day.

Registration is required for this outing. Space is limited to 12 people, so reserve your place soon! Registration closes on August 7.

Admission: Free for Challenge registrants, PEEC members, and LAM members; \$10/family or \$5/person for non-members. Bring \$15 per person for the tram ticket down and \$2 per vehicle for parking. 

The Northern New Mexico Peak Challenge is a collaboration between PEEC and the Los Alamos Mountaineers meant to challenge participants to climb seven iconic peaks of Northern New Mexico. You can participate in the Challenge on your own or through organized hikes like this one! Challenge finishers will receive an award coin and will be honored on PEEC's website. It costs \$10 to register for the Challenge. Find out more about how to participate here

Trip Location: 

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