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Sandia Peak
Sandia Peak is a bit more than it's name might lead one to believe. At the top is the Cibola National Forest visitor center, as well as a ski area, and numerous trails, leading to adjoining peaks.  

Up at the top, a sign welcomes the visitor. Park headquarters is here, for the Cibola National Forest. Though the bowl below is quite arid and hot, the elevation of the mountain permits a pretty thick forest to thrive.

Inside is just what you would expect of a park headquarters. This is pretty standard, and has the same feel as most of the other national parks, and national forest headquarters that I have visited. There are rangers, some displays, trail maps, guides, and literature.

The other side of the mountain has been turned into a ski run. Imagine living, or going to school, in a big city, and being able to take a short drive to a mountain ski area.

A look at the ski lift, which is closed for the summer.

In the winter, the skier would simply push off the chair and ski down. In the summer, with no snow, it would be a considerable drop.

A look across, to some of the adjoining peaks.

Another tram arrives at the station.

A view down, from one of many scenic overlooks. The sign would appear to be unnecessary. Who, in their right mind, would sit or stand in this railing?

A trail leads several miles up, to a little stone cabin, on an overlooking peak. Starting off on the trail, views of the city below peek through the forest.

Not exactly a superhighway, the hiker must be observant on this trail, or risk getting lost.

A look ahead, on the trail. There is no paving, and only in a few places, has the passage of many feet left a clear trail. Mostly, the trail is a series of markers.

Left and Below:
A meadow opens up, briefly, inside of the forest. This is certainly not the picture that I conjure up, when I think of New Mexico.

The trail, and split rail fence along the meadow, make this look like something out of the pioneer days.

A look across an open field, with mountains visible over the tops of the trees, and the city invisible down below.

The stone cabin appears above. This was constructed using stones in the immediate vicinity, and was built long before the tram, as a refuge for stranded hikers, and skiers.

A look across to the tram station, on another peak.

A little bit closer look at the tram station, and at the broken peaks surrounding it.

The CIty of Albuquerque.

A look around at the nearby peaks, and at the little stone cabin from which these views were captured.

Another shot of Albuquerque.

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