Winter Activities

Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding:

Sandia Peak Ski Area is located on the east side of the Sandias. Elevation range is 8,678 ft. to 10,379 ft. There are 35 trails; vertical drop is 1700 feet. There are two double chairlifts and one surface lift. Access is by Sandia Peak Tram on the west side of the mountain or by driving to base lodge (food, rentals) on NM 536 (Sandia Crest Highway). The Ten-3 restaurant is located at the Upper Tramway Terminal near the chair lifts.

Cross-Country Skiing:

Cross-country ski trails begin at the 10K and Ellis Trailheads on NM 536, Sandia Crest parking lot, and the Upper Tramway Terminal. Several trails marked with blue diamonds are located between Sandia Crest and the Upper Tramway Terminal. Trails also lead north into the wilderness and down the mountain to the base of the downhill ski area. Sandia Ranger Station has cross country ski trail maps.

Sandia Nordic Ski Club was founded in 2017 to promote and advance the sport of cross-country skiing in the greater Albuquerque area. Sandia Nordic Ski Club is family oriented and maintains approximately 4 miles of groomed ski trails supporting both classic and skate skiing techniques. They also provide cross country ski instruction both on and off the snow. Groomed trail maps and information about Sandia Nordic Ski Club are available on their website.


You can snowshoe on hiking trails and cross-country ski trails as well as go off-trail (don’t get lost!) If using cross-country ski trails, please walk to the side of the ski tracks.


Many people continue to hike in the Sandias during winter. Depending upon the elevation of the trails, traction devices are either recommended or absolutely necessary. FOSM member Jamey Browning has prepared a handy guide for selecting the appropriate type of traction device.

Click image above for guide to traction devices