Sandia Peak Ski Area
- Ski Areas: Sandia Peak
- Employment: Sandia Peak Job Listings
- Population: Albuquerque 480,000
- Road and Weather Conditions: (505) 841-9256
- Snow Report: (505) 242-9052 or (505) 856-7325
- Annual Snowfall: 125″
- Ski Season: Mid-December-mid-March
- Chamber of Commerce: (505) 764-3700
- Convention and Visitors Bureau: (800) 284-2282
- Average Cost 1-bedroom Apartment: $450
- Sandia Peak Lift Ticket Prices
- Local Newspapers: Albuquerque Tribune and Albuquerque Journal, (505) 823-7777
The view from the Sandia Peak Tramway, which travels two and three-quarters miles between Albuquerque, New Mexico and the top of Sandia Peak, often overshadows skiing as the main attraction in the area. This is understandable, considering that it is the world’s longest aerial tramway, but once you try the skiing you may just forget about the view. Twenty-five miles of runs, a 1,700-foot vertical drop, and a variety of trails for all levels makes Sandia Peak one of the best ski resorts near a major city. Albuquerque has some of the best scenery in New Mexico with the combination of the Petroglyph National Monument, the Coronado State Monument, and the Sandia Mountains.
Whether you are just learning to ski or are a veteran with an affinity for long cruising slopes, Sandia Peak is for you. With 35 percent of its thirty trails marked as beginner and 55 percent marked as intermediate, you can see that novices and weekend warriors alike will have no problem skiing all day without seeing the same trail twice. Experts definitely will find their niche at Sandia; they just might have to hit the same slopes a few times during the day.
In addition to alpine skiing at Sandia Peak, nearby Cibola National Forest has cross-country skiing, sledding, and tubing. A winter (or summer) visit to one of the many Native American pueblos will expose you to fascinating celebrations, dances, and customs; call the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau to receive a listing of pueblo events.
In the summer, the Cibola National Forest becomes a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain biking on Sandia Peak opens Memorial Day weekend and runs Thursdays through Sundays and holidays through mid-October. Hiking among the wildlife and wildflowers (including fifteen species of wild orchids) of the forest, or hot-air balloon rides high above the Rio Grande Valley also provide excitement and are only minutes away.
Due to its proximity to Albuquerque, there are hundreds of places to go for fun after a hard day of working or skiing. The two most obvious hot spots are the restaurants at either end of the Sandia Peak Tram, High Finance (at the top) and the Firehouse (at the bottom). The Firehouse has live entertainment in the lounge.
For more unusual fun try Beyond Ordinary, (505) 764-8858, an alternative night club on downtown’s Gold Avenue featuring a DJ, live music, and an art gallery.
The nearest airport to Sandia is in Albuquerque, just a few miles south, and it is served by all the major airlines. There is also a tram from Albuquerque to Sandia Peak. Amtrak service reaches Albuquerque by way of Los Angeles and Chicago.
Getting around Albuquerque is a breeze if you use SunTran, (505) 843-9200, the public transit system, and the tramway that connects the top of Sandia Peak to Albuquerque.
Most employees live in nearby Albuquerque and commute to work. Apartments are relatively plentiful due to the size of the city. Check the local papers and call a rental agent for more information.
Albuquerque is a major city with all the employment opportunities that go with it. The University of New Mexico is the largest employer and many of its students are employed in the area. The resort hires many of these students, so competition at Sandia Peak can be a bit fiercer than at other ski destinations.