Sandia Crest Scenic Byway

A couple of days after we arrived in Albuquerque, we decided to drive up into the Sandia Mountains in the Cibola National Forest.  We took the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway (also known as NM-536) up to the 10,678 foot summit of Sandia Crest.

The two-lane, 13.6 mile road was in good shape and suitable for all vehicles (well, maybe NOT an RV!).  It was a quite curvy road, of course, as we climbed almost 4,000 feet from the valley on the east side of the mountain where the road began.  As we gained elevation,  the temperatures dropped several degrees.  It was a breathtaking drive with spectacular views as we winded our way through the high desert and dense forests.

At the summit looking west, we stood right at one mile above Albuquerque and the surrounding valleys!  To say the views were fantastic is an understatement.  The panoramic view was close to 180 degrees or more.  Once again, the pictures don’t do it justice; you might just have to come to Albuquerque and see this for yourself!


Of course, the highest point in the area HAS to be home for ALL the cell and satellite towers.



This is the view from the summit looking east/southeast



That is Albuquerque a mile below us.



Again, part of Albuquerque from the summit.. The “dark” area running left to right in the picture is actually the Rio Grande and the lush green vegetation on both sides of the river.



You can see the Rio Grande better in this picture.

The best view is IN PERSON, so if you are in the area, this drive to Sandia Crest is really worth the time.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!


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