Third Longest Tram Ride in the World

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Just like I didn’t fully internalize what Buddha’s birthday would mean for site-seeing in Seoul, I was equally oblivious to the fact I would be standing in a much longer line to go up in the Sandia Peak Tram than usual.

Sandia Tram Peak Albuquerque NM car

90 minutes in fact.

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM 90 minute wait

It’s a 15 minute ride up 10,000 ft and only two trams operating, so with big crowds it easily gets backed up. But I got lucky. Just as I was debating whether I wanted to stand in the hot sun by myself, a waitress from the attached Sandiago Restaurant came down the line.

You could spend the wait eating lunch in the restaurant and they would buy the tickets for you at the roughly the same time. It worked out perfectly as two friends I’d made in Santa Fe the day before were able to join me, and the food was even better than the view.

Sandia Peak Sandiago Restaurant view

I started with an incredibly tasty and not very spicy beef stew with green chile.

Sandia Peak Sandiago Restaurant Beef stew with chile

Then moved on to a gigantic plate of the New Mexico favorite, Carne Adovada.

Sandia Peak Sandiago Restaurant Carne Adovado

I finished up right around the time for my tram and soon I was sailing above a landscape even prettier than I imagined. I’m afraid of heights, but the uncomfortably packed car offset any feeling of being suspended over space.

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM view

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM view 2

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM Fall scenery

And when you could squint past the bright sunshine and stiff breeze at the top, the view was even better.

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM Keri peak

I had originally planned to eat lunch at the High Finance restaurant up there, but (obviously) was no longer hungry. There didn’t seem to be much else to do until we saw the ski lift going down the other side of the mountain.

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM ski lift

$8 roundtrip to slowly sail in the open air enjoying the autumn sunshine and changing aspens. Sold!

The only problem was we didn’t quite believe it when they told us it was roughly an hour each direction.

Sandia Peak Tram Albuquerque NM ski lift ride

But it was! I was a little chilled by the time we made it back up to the top two hours later.

And then all hopes that the crowd would have lessened while we were gone were dashed. There was about a 45 minute wait to get down.

I agree with all the great recommendations from friends and readers, you shouldn’t miss the Sandia Peak Tram on a visit to Albuquerque, but definitely plan to go during a less busy time!


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel


  1. VJ

    October 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    You mean ascend to 10,000 ft, right? Albuquerque is already at an elevation of over 5000 ft and over there in the foothills it’s over 6000 ft.

    • Keri Anderson

      October 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      yep! Although it’s over 2 miles in cable, so I should have said 90 minutes to go 14,000+ feet or ascend to 10,000 🙂

  2. Marc

    October 10, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Dude! You look like a guy with a mullet! Maybe Billy Ray’s Cousin.

  3. Marc

    October 10, 2014 at 3:13 am

    Please change your logo. I believe it’s false advertising. If your trying to motivate yourselves to get to that figure, do it on your own time.

    • Brad

      October 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      I have it on good authority there are no less than 17 holes in Marc’s basement walls where various objects were thrown in rage because he found two travel bloggers attractive….and this forces him to realize that a barely lit basement plus a famously delusional false sense of self worth are actually not a turn-on for ANY member of the opposite sex. So his only viable solution is to continue hating and blaming his overbearing mother for stunting what little social and personal growth he may have otherwise achieved. “Without my 56k modem, how would I have EVER let the world know how awesome and miserable I am?!?!?” – Marc, 2014

  4. Michael

    October 10, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Wonderful photos! I live a few minutes from the Tram base, I proposed to my wife on the top of the mountain after an impromptu trip to have dinner at High Finance.

    Glad you enjoyed ABQ!

    • Keri Anderson

      October 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Oh wow, that’s fantastic! What time of year was it? I loved the contrast of the fall colors mixed in with the evergreens and desert rock.

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