experiences

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

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