We'll meet at the Tram and then drive to the La Luz Trailhead where the hike begins. This is a circuit where we take the Tram down. However, we will have to walk down if the Tram is not running. Expect a fair amount of rock scrambling (some with exposure), bushwhacking, and route finding along the way. The off-trail route is steep but the views of the Sandias along this ridge are some of the best you will see on the peak. At some point we will head north, off the ridge, and traverse over to the south ridge of Waterfall Canyon and complete the hike to Sandia Crest. If the tram isn't running we can make this a loop by hiking down Chimney Canyon or some variation of the the La Luz. I haven't completed this route yet. The last time we tried we were successful in getting over to Waterfall Canyon but turned around after post-holing in 3 feet of snow. Snow will not be a factor today.
This is a very challenging hike with lots of elevation gain along the way and is best suited for experienced hikers who are comfortable with off-trail hiking and rock scrambling where a slip or fall could have bad consequences. No dogs please.
Recommended gear: Durable clothing, a layer or two to keep you warm, garden gloves, shoes with good soles, and at least 3 liters of water.
Stats and challenges: 7 miles with over 4,000 feet of gain to the tram; 7-10 miles if we hike down to the cars. Expect prickly unfriendly plants along the way, hiking up loose scree, scrambling on exposed rock, and a possible long day.
Disclaimer: Hiking and scrambling has inherent dangers that could result in serious injuries or death. Leader is not a professional leader, guide, outdoor expert, etc... and am not responsible for any accidents that may occur. Make sure you read the hike description and understand that if you join me, you are doing so at your own risk.