La Luz Trailhead and La Luz Trail 137
- Aways let a friend or family member know where you are going and when you expect to return. That way, if you do run into trouble, there is someone who is aware of your plans who can check on you to make sure you have returned home safely, AND can call for help if need be.
- You can also try to call 911 for search and rescue. Cell phone coverage in the Sandia Mountain range is not guaranteed, however, there are places along the tral where you can get a signal.
Always carry plenty of water. Take between 2 or 3 liters of water on any hike. You should not consider any water sources in the Sandia Mountains to be drinkable without appropriate chemical treatment or filtration.
Always carry a lunch or supply of snacks to enjoy along the way. If you end up having to spend a night on the mountains, a supply of extra food will help keep your energy up.
The standard advice is to dress in layers. Be sure that you have the clothes you need to keep warm. You can always peel-off layers and stuff them in your day pack as you get warmer.
Temperatures at the top of the mountain when the sun is waning, can be 20+ degrees colder than when you started your hike. This estimate does not include the wind chill factor. So, be prepared for a range of temperatures on any given day. We recommend that you always wear a hat to protect your face from the rays of the sun, as well as to keep your head cooler when its hot, and warmer when its cold.
Be very cautious of hiking into snow. From November through April some portions of the mountain, especially upper La Luz Trail, are impassible due to snow coverage.
Do not try to hike through deep snow (higher than your knee) when dressed in a light jacket, jeans, and tennis shoes. Incredibly, many people do, and run severe risk of hypothermia (or even death).
- If you run into such snow and are unprepared for it, simply turn-around and hike back to your car.
- Winter Hiking requires winter gear and winter hiking experience.
- PLEASE heed the wisdom of the experts.
The weather can change on a dime in the Sandia Mountains, especially as the seasons are changing. Snow and rain can show up on a bright sunny day and surprise you. During a brief rain or snow storm, temperatures can drop dramatically. Staying warm and dry is important.
- Bring a light weight rain poncho, or a large 33 gallon trash bag, in your pack to create a make shift poncho.