Tickets for the tram are purchased at the base station and are generally for a specified departure time. Once on the summit, visitors are free to explore the Peak's attractions, returning down the mountain on the first available tramcar. The tram’s Peak complex houses the High Finance Restaurant and Tavern, a gift shop, and a nature center—all linked by railed platforms and walkways taking full advantage of the panoramic views.
Activities on the Peak include hiking, biking, skiing, and fine or casual dining. Chair and surface lifts on the eastern face of the Peak offer scenic tours year-round and access to 25 miles of slopes during the ski season. Evening diners can reserve their tables, take discounted tram fares to the Peak, and enjoy spectacular desert sunsets as a memorable mealtime entertainment.
Himself and I found the hiking trails well kept, wide, and easy to follow—inviting even for aging lowlanders like ourselves. Nature offers marvelous views of both sides of the Sandias and provides plenty of resting places for catching one's breath—no small requirement at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. At one off-path location, we sat gazing in awe at a succession of ridges and outcrops extending west and south below us. We found it impossible to resist the lure of inching toward a glimpse over the edge of the world. And literally at our feet, we found the fossilized impressions of seashells. The same earth that now occupies a position high atop this geologically young mountain range was once part of a vast seabed.
A ride on the tram is, literally above all, a photographer's dream. On my last trip up, armed with my trusty digital, I took more than a 150 "keepers" within a space of about 4 hours. While on the gondola itself, the key challenges faced by photographers are (1) making sure they position themselves next to one of the large windows and (2) doing their best to compensate for the sun's glare through those windows. Once on the summit, the chief hazard involves curbing the photographer's mad urge to rush to the sharp edge of a long drop in order to capture a magnificent panorama. All these hazards can be managed to the safety and satisfaction of most photographers—even for not-so-surefooted grandmas.
Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
New York, New York
November 20, 2006
From journal Underground Art and Dance in Paris
The Dalles, Oregon
August 12, 2005
From journal Fun in the Southern Mountains of New Mexico
by wanderer 2005
February 10, 2005
The Tramway was the brainchild of Robert Nordhaus, one of the founders and owners of the Sandia Peak Ski Company. On a trip to Europe in the early 1960s, he got the idea from riding similar trams over there. What a great idea, so skiers could avoid the half-hour or longer drive to the top of the mountain on icy roads.
After a long 2 years in the planning stages, the tram took 24 months to build. The first ride was on May 7, 1966. Thirty-nine years later, it’s still a major attraction for New Mexico.
There’s a wonderful restaurant at the top called High Finance, and they’re known for their prime rib and seafood dishes, not to mention the view. You still have to pay full price for the ride up, but dinner is definitely worth it, especially at sunset. Reservations should be made, just in case.
Each spring and fall, the tramway closes for 2- week period for maintenance. You can go to their website for the info. www.sandiapeak.com. Rates are $15 for adults and $9 with a ski lift ticket. Closing hours vary from summer to winter, but it opens at 9am every day. You can ride the ski lift all year-round for another nominal fee. Sandia Peak has great hiking and mountain biking as well.
From journal Great Food in an Unlikely Place
West Virginia, West Virginia
June 29, 2004
From journal Albuquerque - Cultural Crossroads of the Southwest
, New Mexico
July 21, 2000
From journal Albuquerque, Santa Fe's cosmopolitan neighbor