My Scary Journey to Sandia Crest

Gravel road 2I’ve been in New Mexico on vacation this week. One of the sites my husband and I wanted to see was Sandia Crest. There’s a tram that goes to the top of the mountain, but we decided to drive. So we typed Sandia Crest into our GPS. What we didn’t know is that there are two roads to the top of Sandia Mountain. One road is the paved one. The other road is an unmaintained state highway that you travel at your own risk. Our GPS took us up the second path.gravel road

We should have guessed how scary the road would be when the sign said “Unmaintained Roads Ahead. Travel at your own risk.” But we decided it wouldn’t be that bad. After all, we had a four wheel drive SUV, and it wasn’t winter. So when it became a gravel road we weren’t that worried.


We did get a little nervous when the road started having ruts and stones the size of the Grand Canyon.

gravel road with ruts


Then the road narrowed until most of the time, it was one lane.

Gravel road colored leaves


The trees cut off so we could only drive on part of the road were interesting.

tree across road


Then there were the steep drop-offs with no guardrails.

no guardrails

Of course, the “Beware of Bears” signs didn’t make us feel any better. We had to go slow, very slow, so the journey to the top took much longer than we expected. But the view made it all worth it. It was spectacular.

Spectacular view    Spectacular view2

Spectacular view 4

Junction 536Finally we made it to the paved road.



Soon after that, we reached Sandia Crest, elevation 10,689 feet. The view was like nothing I’d ever seen.

Phone towertop Sandia 2 Albequeque







top Sandia 1

 Panaramic view top

We went back down over the paved road. It was a nice drive, but not nearly as fun or as beautiful as the scary road.

Sometimes God takes us on scary paths. We travel those roads alone, because nobody else wants to be on those roads. And they take us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes these paths are dangerous. But God never promised us safety. He did promise to travel these roads with us. And the view is spectacular. When we reach the crest where the air is thin, so thin few travel there, we realize it was worth it all.

This entry was posted in Devotions, Sharpened By the Word, Travel Sharpeners by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

12 thoughts on “My Scary Journey to Sandia Crest

  1. Now you’ve gone and made us homesick. Pat & I lived out there 25 years. Unless we had guests, we always went up the back road, had a picnic, and played in the creek. In fact, Pat’s first wedding was held in a park on the back road. We had to have it patrolled by the sheriff, because the boy’s messianic father threatened to shoot her if she married his son to a gentile.

    • Wow, that sounds scary. This is the first time I’ve been to this area of the country. With a view like this, I can understand why you’re homesick, David.

  2. This was an amazing way for me to begin my day –at 3AM– thanks for the awesome reminder of God going on life’s journey with me. And what a view you had–I’ve only seen that height from a plane!

  3. I’ve just gotten back from a writers’ conference in Seattle. While going through and deleting a backlog of emails, your “Sandia Crest” caught my eye since I live in New Mexico. So glad I didn’t delete your post until I’d read it……Yes! God is on this journey with us……even along the scary roads! Thank you for the reminder! So glad you are enjoying our “enchanting” state! Blessings!

  4. Isn’t it just spectacular up there? My husband was born and raised in Albuquerque and took me to Sandia Crest on one of our visits there. In college, he and some friends actually hiked up to the top together.

    • Brittany, I agree. But I can’t imagine hiking up there. I’m used to Ohio’s altitude and walking a short distance at that height has we wheezing to try to breath.

  5. I once wound up on a similar road in Oregon, so I could really live this with you! My road had a young tree growing right in the middle of it in one place. I’m glad you survived your adventure. 🙂

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