This winter season has brought an unusual amount of snow to Albuquerque and the surrounding area. During the upcoming cold months Burqueños have a variety of places to go for sledding, winter hiking, skiing and other forms of snow play. However, before going out to any of these locations check the weather forecast and make sure to be wearing the appropriate amount of clothing.

La Luz Trail

The La Luz Trail head is located off of Forest Rd. 333 and is open from sunrise to sunset. While most people might only think of hiking the approximately 13 mile trail in the summer, the La Luz Trail provides beautifully scenic views and is an excellent location for snowshoeing and hiking. Additionally, the La Luz Trail is comprised of multiple paths geared towards hikers of all skill levels.

Sledding at this location — or anywhere on the west side of the Sandias — is not recommended because of the copious amounts of cacti. However, during heavy snows this trail is ideal for other forms of snow play and is much easier to access then other points on the east side of the mountains.The La Luz Trail is free to use, however, there is a three dollar parking fee for day use.

Sandia Peak Ski Area

The Sandia Ski Area is located near the Sandia crest on the east side of the mountains. This is Albuquerque’s closest ski run and it is only open during snowy conditions. While this ski run is much smaller than other ski areas across New Mexico it is perfect for those who only have the afternoon off or do not want to travel far from Albuquerque. Skiing or snowboarding costs around $60 dollars a day — plus costs of renting equipment.

Capulin Snow Play Area

Capulin is a designated snow play area on the east side of the Sandia mountains near the ski area and can be accessed from New Mexico Rd. 536. Capulin has multiple designated slopes for sledding and is only a half hour drive out of Albuquerque.

There is a small parking fee much like La Luz but is a cheaper option in comparison to going skiing for those on a budget. However, before driving out to Capulin check the Cibola National Forest website to make sure it is open.

Bear Canyon Trail

Bear Canyon Trail is a series of trails located off of Spain Road near Tramway Blvd. Bear Canyon is a significantly easier hike than La Luz and during heavy snows it is much easier to access. Bear Canyon also has flat areas ideal for snowball fights and snow angel creation, but as always, watch out for cacti. Using Bear Canyon Trail is entirely cost-free and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

Piedra Lisa Park

If there is a significant amount of snow in Albuquerque then Piedra Lisa Park is a good in town location for snow play, including sledding. Piedra Lisa has several hills that when covered in snow make an excellent spot for sledding. Much like the other locations on this list Piedra Lisa Park is located in the heights off of Tramway Blvd. and Menaul Blvd.

Megan Holmen is the assistant news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at, or on Twitter @megan_holmen.