Learn about New Mexico’s indigenous and colonial past in this Spanish-influenced town with natural hot springs, canyons and unusual tent rocks.
Jemez Springs is a village in the San Diego Canyon with panoramic views of the red rock mountains that flank it. Spectacular valleys and historic sites surround the settlement, which is a popular base for exploring the parks of the region. Relax in the hot spring water of the spas and hike through mountain scenery while staying in Jemez Springs.
Visit the 14th-century ruins that have been traced to the Gisewa peoples at the Jemez Historic Site in the northeastern part of the town. These stone houses stand beside the 17th-century San José de los Jemez Mission Church. Wander along the 1,400-foot (426-meter) trail that runs through the ruins.
Explore the scenic terrain of the Ojito Canyon as you walk along the banks of the Jemez River. Rest your feet at the Jemez Springs Bath House, Giggling Springs or one of the other spa centers making use of the natural hot springs.
A little to the southeast of the town are the remarkable tent rocks of the Kasha-Katuwe National Monument. Hike along the picturesque 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) trail to the canyon’s observation point and relish in the views of these peculiar rocks from above. Weathering and erosion has carved the layered and pointy rocks over millennia.
Travel northwest to the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which is centered around the volcanic Valles Caldera. Gaze up at Redondo Peak, which at a height of 11,253 feet (3,430 meters) is the highest point in the park. Other highlights include the forested dome of Cerro la Jara and Valle Grande, the collapsed floor of a volcano.
Learn the intriguing history of the village, which is believed to have been inhabited for 4,500 years. Spanish colonialists arrived in the 16th century, when they found several Native American villages in the region.
To reach Jemez Springs, fly to the Albuquerque International Airport and rent a car for the 60-mile (100-kilometer) journey north to reach the city. Jemez Springs is located a little to the west of the towns of Santa Fe and Española in Sandoval County in central New Mexico. The region has harsh winters with freezing nights and cold days. Expect scorching afternoons in the summer with significant relief from the heat in the evenings.