Albuquerque provides the ideal backdrop for hang-gliders with spine-tingling launches off its towering peaks and yawning canyons are ideal launches. Central New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains offer a 4,000 foot vertical drop, and sunny, clear weather and desert thermals create the optimal conditions. Gliders will soar above the spectacular mesas and valleys of the White Sands National Monument and the San Andres Mountains near Albuquerque.Hang-gliding in Albuquerque — Photo courtesy of Albuquerque CVB
Launch from two sites near the Sandia Mountains. One is a ramp in a restricted area at the top of the road to the crest, while the other requires hang-gliders to ride the Sandia Tram to the top, soaring from the one of the U.S.’s premier sites, the Sandia Crest.
Multiple outfitters in Albuquerque, including Albquerque Hang Gliding and High Desert Hang Gliding, can take you through the basic flight controls, safety procedures, soaring techniques and landing approach for introductory tandem hang-gliding lessons. More advanced hang-gliders can explore the wide open skies of Albuquerque (may require a permit).
Purchase gear for your hang-gliding adventure in Albquerque at Mountain Flyers and Rapture Air (paraglidingnewmexico.com). Both also offer hang-gliding instruction from one day to extensive lessons for certification.
Albuquerque is also home to a major hang-gliding competition, the Sandia Classic, held every year in mid-June.