When was the last time you experienced a serene wintertime adventure atop a desert mountain peak? Our beloved Sandia Mountains are more than a gorgeous backdrop to the city; they’re an incredible playground offering opportunities for outdoor fun year-round. Here’s our guide exploring the Sandias this winter.
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Sandia Peak Ski Area is currently open 9am – 4pm Friday thru Sunday with 100% of runs open. The ski area boasts perhaps the nation’s easiest ski resort access from a major city via the Sandia Peak Tram. Sandia is our state’s oldest ski area and offers beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders some long cruisers. There are 35 trails, three double chairlifts, one surface lift and a vertical drop of 1700 feet. The ski area can be accessed by Sandia Peak Tram on the west side of the mountain, or by driving to base lodge on NM 536 (Sandia Crest Highway).
Adults – $55 full day, $45 half day,
Children – $40 full day & $30 half day
Students & seniors – $45 full day & $35 half day
Ski packages from the Ski Area are $23 for adults and $18 for those 16 and under. Snowboard package rentals are $38. Be sure to arrive early if you’re renting as rentals are available on a first come, first served basis.
Sport Systems offers ski & snowboard rentals and allows rentals the day prior to use and returns the morning after use. Ski packages range from $29 – $45, snowboard packages run from $35 – $45. Also available for rent are jackets, goggles, helmets & gloves. Equipment can be picked up in the afternoon the day before needed and returned the following morning.
For those with Kirtland AFB access, Kirtland Outdoor Recreation offers ski and snowboard sets starting at $20 per day.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Nearly all trails in the Sandias can be utilized for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Top spots are the 10K and Ellis Trails on NM 536, Sandia Crest parking lot and the Upper Tramway Terminal. Several trails marked with blue diamonds are located between Sandia Crest and the Upper Tramway Terminal. Trails also lead north into the wilderness and down the mountain to the base of the downhill ski area.
Cross Country Ski Rentals:
Ski packages (skis, boots & poles) are available from Sport Systems for $20. Equipment can be picked up in the afternoon the day before needed and returned the following day.
For those with Kirtland AFB access, Kirtland Outdoor Recreation offers skis starting at $20 per day.
Snowshoe packages (snowshoes & poles) are available from Sport Systems for $15. Equipment can be picked up in the afternoon the day before needed and returned the following day.
Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals offers snowshoe rentals for $20 / 24 hrs. Rentals include gaiters, trekking poles, a snowshoe bag to carry everything in and a customized trail map. Routes also offers 5.5 mile snowshoe tours beginning at the Tram and venturing along the peak for $85 per person, more info here.
For those with Kirtland AFB access, Kirtland Outdoor Recreation offers snowshoes starting at $10 per day.
The Capulin Snow Play Site is a great spot designated for sledding with three developed slopes. Only inner tubes, plastic discs & sleds can be used, no wood or metal sleds are allowed.
Capulin is located 1.5 miles beyond the Sandia Peak Ski Area on NM 536.
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