Sandia Crest

Sandia Crest, an all-weather paved road in the Sandia Mountains

Sandia Crest is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.255m (10,678ft) above the sea level, located in Bernalillo County, in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It’s one of the highest roads of New Mexico.

How long is the road to Sandia Crest?

Located just outside Albuquerque, the road to the summit, also known as Sandia Peak, is totally paved. It’s called NM-536 (Sandia Crest Scenic Byway). Starting at San Antonito, it is 21.40km (13.3 miles) long. It’s suitable for all vehicles. The first road to the summit was built in 1927 and was totally paved in 1960. A restaurant, gift shop, handicap accessible viewing, and toilets are found at the summit.

Is the road to Sandia Crest dangerous?

Set high in the Sandia Mountains, a mountain range in the southwestern United States, the road surface is in good shape, newly resurfaced. This two-lane road has many switchbacks (around 20), but is otherwise a well maintained paved road. 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. Summer storms can cause drastic temperature drops.

Is the road to Sandia Crest steep?

The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 9% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at San Antonito, the ascent is 21.40km (13.3 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.147 meters. The average gradient is 5.35%.

How long does it take to drive the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway?

Tucked away in Cibola National Forest, the drive is very scenic as it travels through the high desert and dense forests of the Sandia Mountains. Plan 25 minutes to complete the drive without any stop. 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.



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