"Hangin' in Jemez on a Summer Day" Jemez Springs by kymbanm

Jemez Springs Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 21 photos

The Jemez Mountains ... dirt of fall colors ....

I love taking day trips from Albuquerque to the Jemez (pronounced 'Hay-mez' by locals). This area is known for it's color .... dirt of red, orange, and everyday brown ...... Just north of Albuquerque, at the junction of N.M. 44 and State Highway 4, quietly begins one of New Mexico's most spectacular scenic drives; the Jemez Mountain Trail. This road was declared a National Scenic Byway in recognition of its fantastic natural and cultural resources.

On the way to the village of Jemez Springs, you will pass the Old Pueblo, several galleries and shops .... and if you are REALLY lucky, a fry bread stand to get a taste of true New Mexico :) This wonderful village won the 1995 All American City. Nestled in a tree shaded valley, which has restaurants, lodgings, seasonal arts & craft fair, public bath house, as well as galleries, this quaint little village is certainly worth a visit.

Even if you aren't a walker or wanderer, you can see so much just from your car. I take Hwy 4 from Hwy 528 and decide on my route from there. Every few miles are signs to help guide you. North of the area is Santa Fe, south is Albuquerque - so just follw the signs for the city you are heading towards and you'll be fine.

Soda Dam ....

Aaaah, Soda Dam was raging today! I haven't seen the water this dark from strong flow in ages ... I hope you can see the falls in the shadow in the middle of the picture :)

This natural formation was created over centuries from calcium deposits brought upwards from an underground hot spring ... no, this isn't erosion .... this a a large deposit of calcium carbonate left behind by the spring itself.

And how do you find this natural wonder? Well, just head north out of Jemez Springs .... less than 5 miles up the road, on the right, you'll see the pull off as well as the dam. Yup, it's right alongside the State Route 4 :)

Aftermath of the Cerro Grande Fires .....

In 2000, the Cerro Grande fires near Los Alamos made the national news. On May 4th of that year a prescribed burn which was begun on federal land at the Bandelier National Monument and quickly grew beyond expected containment. Within days, this fire required the evacuation of 18,000 residents of Los Alamos, destroyed over 400 homes and burned 47,650 acres.

The President declared an emergency on May 10 and a major disaster on May 13, 2000. Federal and state disaster teams established temporary housing, disaster recovery centers and crisis counseling programs.

The Cerro Grande Fire remains the most costly federal fire disaster, with more nearly $570 million in disaster expenses and claims paid to individuals, businesses, communities and tribes.

Now, in 2005, the scars of this disaster are still seen. FEMA worked hard to prevend further deforestation due to mudslides, and natural reforestation can be seen in various locations along the drive north of Jemez Springs.

  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2005
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