A few weeks ago I had to fly out to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a video project I was working on. The way my flight worked out I had a whole afternoon and evening to kill before a nine a.m. interview the next morning. I had planned to do a little hiking in the Sandia Mountains, just to the northwest of downtown Albuquerque. On my flight out, the fellow next to me — who was a native Albuquerquean — mentioned that the trails in the mountains were likely closed due to the fire danger. He also told me that central New Mexico hadn’t received any measurable precipitation in eight months, which was crazy to me since the Philadelphia area had already gotten more than five inches of rain in the first three weeks of June. He turned out to be right about the trail closures, which I confirmed with a quick phone call to the Sandia Peak Tramway. I still wanted to get to the top of the mountain, as I’d heard the view of the Rio Grande Valley from up there is quite nice. With the trails closed, my only option was to take the Sandi Peak Tramway. After walking around “Old Town” Albuquerque for a bit, I drove over to the tramway and floated up to a height of 10,378 feet in just under fifteen minutes — with the help of the tramway cars, of course. It was a lot easier than the eight-mile hike would have been, and offered some really nice views on the ascent. I stayed at the summit for a few hours, shooting a little video and a time-lapse of the sun setting over the Rio Grande Valley before taking the tram back down. Check out the video below. To see some still images of Old Town Albuquerque and from the top of Sandia Peak, click here.