Sandia Crest is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.255m (10,678ft) above the sea level, located in the Sandia Mountains, a mountain range in New Mexico in the southwestern United States. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of New Mexico.
The road to the summit is asphalted. It’s called NM-536, also known as Sandia Crest Scenic Byway. The road surface is in good shape, newly resurfaced. Watch for dirt on the tight corners. The drive is also a popular path for motorcycle riders with its miles of winding road to the summit.
The highway is a two-lane paved road suitable for all vehicles; there are some sharp curves. This tour of the scenic byway will take you 13.6 miles from the junction with State Highway 14 to the 10,678-foot crest of Sandia Mountain. You will gain 3,828 feet in elevation and temperatures may drop as much as 20 degrees.
The road is certainly breathtaking. It climbs nearly 4,000 feet as it travels through the high desert and dense forests of the Sandia Mountains. On the drive you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Albuquerque, the Rio Grande, Mount Taylor, and the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains.