Sandia Peak Tramway
Located adjacent to Albuquerque, The Sandia Peak Tramway is an aerial tramway that stretches from the northeast part of the city to Sandia Peak on the Sandia Mountain’s ridge line and has the world’s third longest single span. Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest aerial tram in America and was the longest in the world from 1966 until the Armenian Wings of Tatev in 2010 surpassed it.
Robert Nordhouse, the founder of the Sandia Peak Tramway, was inspired to build a tramway after seeing one on a European trip. Bell Engineering of Lucerne was in charge of constructing the tramway. It opened to the public on May 7, 1966, and it makes 10,500 trips on average per year. The tramway has one ‘car’ ascending while the other is descending. Sandia Peak Tramway’s cars can carry 50 passengers each, and you don’t have to worry cause this tramway has numerous safety and backup systems, such as a grounding system and multiple emergency braking systems that ensure the passengers’ safety in the event of a an accident.
The tramway goes up the steep western side of the highest part of the Sandia Mountains. A trip up the mountains takes 15 minutes to ascend, and the average operating speed is 20 feet per second. Around four “flights” leave every hour from the base and the top termini. The view from the tram includes all of the City of Albuquerque and over 10,000 square miles of the New Mexico countryside.
At Sandia Peak’s top, there are many recreational opportunities. TEN 3 (a restaurant) is directly along the top tram terminal and offers a beautiful west view. Many Fores Service trails offer visitors recreational backpacking, hiking, and nature sights. Additionally, there’s the Sandia Peak Ski Area located underneath the tram terminal, which is situtated on the opposite side of the mountain from the tramway. Skiing is available during wintertime, but over 26 miles of mountain biking trails are available throughout the year.