The Crest

15 Feb


Judy Wills



Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I always took the mountains for granted. They were just part of the scene.


The Sandia Mountains are part of the Rocky Mountain chain, and are really majestic and beautiful, and I miss them, now that I live in flatland Florida. The mountains are quite wonderful all the time, but especially in the evening, when the sun is setting and they literally turn purple. Remember the line from “America the Beautiful” – you know:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

Well, they really do turn purple! Amazing!

The top of Sandia Crest tops out at 10,678 feet above sea level – the highest point in Albuquerque. And it’s COLD up there – and breezy! We took our daughters there in the summer before we went to Germany – and we forgot to take sweaters with us!. As you can see from the pictures – we were FREEZING!


For a bit of information, I gleaned this from Wikipedia: Sandía means watermelon in Spanish, and is popularly believed to be a reference to the reddish color of the mountains at sunset. Also, when viewed from the west, the profile of the mountains is a long ridge, with a thin zone of green conifers near the top, suggesting the “rind” of the watermelon. However, as Robert Julyan notes, “the most likely explanation is the one believed by the Sandia Indians: the Spaniards, when they encountered the Pueblo in 1540, called it Sandia, because they thought the squash gourds growing there were watermelons, and the name Sandia soon was transferred to the mountains east of the pueblo.” He also notes that the Sandia Pueblo Indians call the mountain Bien Mur, “big mountain”.

There are two ways to get to the crest – driving or by the tram.It is reported to be the longest tramway in the world!


While we’ve driven the roads many times, we’ve only been up the tramway once – and it was quite a thrill! If you’re ever in Albuquerque, give it a try. Something you’ll never experience anywhere else.


But Albuquerque and the crest are known for other things, as well. I know that many people have heard of the winter snow skiing in Taos, New Mexico. But the best-kept secret is that some of the very best skiing is right there in the mountains of Albuquerque!


On a website I checked out recently, it said that there was a 23″ base of snow, and so far this year they’ve had 55″ of new snow! That should delight any ski enthusiast! I never got into skiing – little too expensive for me, and I’m a bit of a chicken. But many people have discovered that pleasure and ski right outside of town.

That’s the Albuquerque I know and love.


2 Responses to “The Crest”

  1. Old Things R New February 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    Sometimes we have to leave a place to see it with fresh eyes.



  1. Memories of New Mexico~Part 1 | Old Things R New - February 19, 2017

    […] The mountains to the East of Albuquerque, part of the Rocky Mountain Range, were always my delight. I loved those mountains, and miss them here in Florida. Please see my post for February 15, 2015 – The Crest. […]


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