COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

La Luz Trail Race



7.0 mile 11.3 kilometer point to point
78% Runnable


Ascent: 3,654' 1,114 m
Descent: -49' -15 m
High: 10,641' 3,243 m
Low: 7,035' 2,144 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Nicholas Shannon

A popular trail that rewards runners with amazing views of Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains.

Nicholas Shannon

Features Views · Wildflowers

The trail is open from sunrise to sunset daily. It is usually impassable after five miles in the winter months due to snow. It can also be closed due to fire danger in summer months. Check trail conditions before heading out here.


Point to point starts on 2 miles of paved road which climbs 1000 feet. The last 7 miles on trail includes some rockslide areas & lots of switchbacks. This race travels through the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area.


To the trailhead: From Interstate 25, take exit 234 - Tramway Road NE (Route 556) to the East for 4 miles. Turn left (North) on Juan Tabo. Look for signs on the right that will take you to the La Luz Trail. There is a $3 parking fee per car, cash only.

The trail is well-worn and marked. The lower trail is crisscrossed by a spider web of secondary trails. Just stay on the most worn path. This is a strenuous climb from the start and should not be tackled without some preparation and the proper equipment. The peak is much cooler than the trailhead, especially in the spring and fall. Warm layers should be carried. There are no points on this trail to collect water and during the summer it can be very hot. Runners should carry at least two quarts of water per person and plan for lunch or snacks along the way.

This can be done as a one-way or an out-and-back. Mileage shown is for a one-way trip. One-way runners can enjoy a tram ride down from the peak for $12. Out-and-back runners should plan for an early start to have light for their descent.

Flora & Fauna

This trail passes through three distinct climate zones. The lower trail is consistent with the Albuquerque highlands characterized by sparse high desert scrub forest with juniper and piñon pines as well as cholla cactus and prickly pear. The middle portion of the trail is shaded by an alpine forest of ponderosa pines and spruces. The upper trail continues to display the evergreens in greater density as well as groves of quaking aspen. Wildflowers are abundant in the later spring and early summer.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Apr 4, 2019
Stephanie Medina
6mi — 1h 18m
Aug 8, 2016
April Reiff
The rock slides got the best of me 8.9mi — 2h 42m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes


in Albuquerque


  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Albuquerque


in New Mexico


10 Views Last Month
1,380 Since May 12, 2015



The radio towers can be seen if you look closely
May 25, 2019 near Sandia…, NM
View from one of the many switchbacks.
May 25, 2019 near Sandia…, NM
More scenic views from the trail
May 25, 2019 near Sandia…, NM
Granite everywhere!!
Jun 7, 2018 near Sandia…, NM
looking northwest from gorge
Jun 7, 2018 near Sandia…, NM
Sage Canaday runs La Luz trail
Jun 13, 2015 near Sandia…, NM


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running