The Sandia Mountains are located just east of Albuquerque and provide a picturesque view over the city. The Sandia’s were named for the watermelon color that they display during the evening hours of sunset. When that happens it’s quite stunning to see those vibrant colors but usually it only lasts for a few minutes. There are numerous trails on either side of the mountain but up on top is where Joe and I love to go. You can drive all the way to the top where there are easy to moderate trails that head along the rim either to the north or south. With every mile upward the altitude reduces the temperature making it a very comfortable place to hike and explore in the summer. Joe and I recently celebrated our 40th anniversary and spent the day up on top of Sandia Crest. We enjoyed a gorgeous day with amazing views. The landscape is so green from the recent rains, and the wildflowers are blooming in every color of the rainbow. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a day more! I hope you enjoy some of the highlights!
From the parking lot at the top of Sandia Mountain you can take either the North or South Crest trails which run along the rim. We started along the North Crest trail first. The trail is sometimes hard to follow, we use the All Trails app to keep us on the right path. Even when we get a few feet off track to take pictures it alerts us. We’ve learned to use maps and track our steps so we don’t get lost or off trail. Map your route ahead and don’t take my word for the exact names of the trails. There are so many trails that wind together you may want to find a different path to get you there. Isn’t this a beautiful view of Albuquerque below!
New Mexico struggled early in the summer when it was so dry and then the monsoon season arrived. Look how the landscape has changed, so green and colorful!
Looking out towards Bernalillo.
I love Aspen trees that twist in the most artistic ways.
We stopped to take a picture to memorialize the occasion. 40 years together!
Back at the parking lot, we took the South Crest trail which is along the rim heading towards the Sandia Peak Tramway. It’s an easy walk with stunning views along the way. You can see the city of Albuquerque below. The skies were gorgeous in the morning with big fluffy clouds moving in.
We spotted a pair of hang gliders floating over top. It looked like so much fun!
Every time we walk this trail, I take a picture of these trees. They call to me.
This tree is framing the landscape.
Along the rim trail you will go past the historic Kiwanas Cabin built around 1930. It’s quite the attraction built right on the edge of the mountain with open windows to view the city below.
If you continue on the trail you will eventually come up to the Sandia Peak Tramway, the longest aerial tramway in the United States. Years and years ago before cell phones and digital cameras could easily capture the moment, Joe and I took the Sandia Tram up the mountain for our anniversary. I don’t remember what year that was but we ate dinner at the High Finance restaurant that was open at the time. We watched the sunset from up high on Sandia Mountain. High Finance is long gone but there’s a new restaurant “Ten-3” which represents the elevation at the top at 10,300 feet above sea level.
If I could have any bouquet, I would fill it with wildflowers!
I will leave you with some moody skies that include storm clouds, fog, a smoky haze, and the Sandia colors that we’ve been lucky enough to witness. Some photos were taken on this day while others were on other occasions.
The definition of Sandia is “Watermelon” in Spanish. Every time it lights up in this color I’m in awe!