It's not often that you have the opportunity to scale a mountain with your three kids and 70 year-old mother! However, when I was looking for options for unique experiences on our trip west, I found the Sandia Peak Tramway, and I was intrigued. The tram takes riders 2.7 miles across canyons and beautiful views to the top of Sandia mountain, reaching 10,378 feet. For a fifteen minute ride, you can't get up a mountain much faster!
We arrived in Albuquerque earlier than we expected, so we decided to check it out. Although I was concerned about the price, once we were traveling up the mountain, I knew that it was completely worth it!
Each tram can carry about fifty people up the mountain. Although most people stand, there were a few places to sit for the elderly or disabled. It was such a cool experience for my whole family to be able to enjoy together.
The views as you ascend are breathtaking:
There are walking/hiking trails at the base of the mountain for more adventurous types. Even though we weren't hiking up the mountain, the increase in altitude still requires extra water. It's so easy to become dehydrated and forget to take in enough oxygen at 10,000 feet.
The air was so clear and lovely when we finally made it to the top. There is just something incredible about being that high!
At the top you can walk around on various deck levels to enjoy the views all around. There are water fountains, rest rooms, and benches indoors to rest.
Our departure time was around 5:15pm. I'm sure if you go earlier in the day, you'll want to make sure that you wear sunscreen and possibly a hat! We only stayed up there for a short period of time because we needed to get back on the road, but I can imagine it would be easy to burn at that altitude if you were there in the heat of the day!
On the back side of the mountain, you can see the ski lifts used in the winter. Our friends that live near there told us you can drive up the back side of the mountain to get the same view, but I loved avoiding the switch backs of driving up a mountain!
The tramway is really a fascinating engineering feat. There are two trams that go up and down the mountain. They work as counter-weights for one another as they travel.
If you happen to be traveling west and pass through Albuquerque, the Sandia Peak Tramway is really worth a detour. The views are inspiring, and your family can scale a height together in a unique and memorable way.