La Luz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Luz_Trail) (Cibola National FS trail #137) is one of Alberquerque's most famous & popular urban trails. It's home for the La Luz Trial Run, which many use as training for Colorado's Pike Peak Ascent and Marathon. Instead of running, we'll just be hiking it, hopefully enjoying possibly the best views you'll get of Albuquerque and the upper Rio Grande Valley.
We'll park a car at the Sandia Tram parking lot, shuttle over to the Juan Tabo Campground, and start hiking up from the campground trail head. After reaching the ridgeline, we'll head to the Sandia Tram and take it back down to the cars.
If doing OK on time and energy, we may take a short (1.4 mi) detour to Sandia Peak (10,000 ft), highest point in Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains. A good way to round the weekend out.
DISTANCE is ~7 mi, one-way.
ELEVATION GAIN is ~4000 ft gained, topping 10000 ft.
FEES: $4 at the Juan Tabo Campground trailhead (federal pass accepted), $1 at the Sandia Tram parking lot, and $12 one-way for the Sandia Peak tram. A little expensive but worth it.
DURATION: Finish by early/mid afternoon.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and if you'd like to unleash, ask others before you do so.
SKILL LEVEL is *NOT* beginner friendly. No whiners!
TERRAIN starts off in high desert, walks up through pine-forest, several switchbacks into the aptly-named "the rockslide", and then onto the tree-covered ridge.
WEATHER may include thunderstorms. Please bring a poncho, just in case.
AFTERWARDS we may stop for late lunch/dinner in Albuquerque before heading home to Las Cruces.
MEET for carpool at: N/A. If you're not coming back with the group from Wheeler Peak, please let the event host know.
GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=tqoqzznbbwvoycvc) (this is the full loop, which we are not doing) Trail information at Cibola National FS Website (http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/cibola/recreation/hiking/?recid=64042&actid=50) (not useful)