Jemez Mountains - Los Alamos

The Jémez Mountain National Scenic Byway connects living ancient cultures, spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation.  A day trip through the Jémez Mountains takes you into a reality where red cliffs, rule the landscape, where mesas with multi-colored layers frame the horizon and sheer cliffs cut into the blue sky. This is land with a legacy where sacred traditions still preserve a tribal way of life.

Puye Cliff Dwellings

Experience one of northern New Mexico’s most awe-inspiring cultural attractions featuring cliff & cave dwellings, early Pueblo architecture, stunning panorama of the valley. 

This is among the largest of the prehistoric Indian settlements on the Pajarito Plateau, showing a variety of architectural forms and building techniques, located on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation.

​Soda Dam

A magnificent natural dam formed in the Jemez river. 

Soda Dam where water from underground hot springs has flowed for centuries. 

The buildup of mineral deposits has formed a unique and spectacular natural dam that blocks the Jemez River. It is one of the most photographed spots on the Trail.

Battleship Rock

Spectacular basalt rock cliff at the confluence of the Jemez River and the East Fork of the Jemez River. 

Rises nearly 200 feet, creating an impressive rock formation,

It resembles Navy warship, therefore its name

Valles Caldera

The Nation's Newest National Preserve

About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as the 

Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. 

The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history.

​Aspen Ridge Alpacas

Experience the Enchantment of Alpacas. 

Pondarosa Winery

The village of Ponderosa dates from a 1760 land grant

deeded to Spanish soldiers as an incentive to relocate

into this area to protect the local Jemez Indians from

marauding Navajos and Utes.

The first grape vines were planted in the Ponderosa Valley

in the early 1880's by villagers who were seasonal employees

of the large vineyards and wineries in the villages of

Corrales and Bernallillo located in the Rio Grande valley north of present day Albuquerque. 

Wine and brandy production soon followed and continued

until the 1920's. Then, due to the physical isolation of this

valley, (and if oral history is correct,) wine making and brandy production assumed a more important stature during prohibition. The old style wine making and brandy

production continued until after WWII. Remnants of these

old vineyards still exist in the valley today.

Jémez Springs, Jémez State Monument

The pueblo was first built in the AD 1500s by ancestors

of the modern residents of Jemez Pueblo. The Jemez

people lived a typical Southwestern lifestyle for that time.

They raised corn, beans and squash in Jemez Canyon

along the Jemez River and also up on the nearby mesas.

They hunted deer, rabbits, elk, and other game from the

forests. They had plenty of water from the Jemez River, and hot springs nearby.

Bradbury Science museum

Approximately 60 interactive exhibits trace the history of the WWII Manhattan Project, highlight the Laboratory's current and historic research 

projects related to defense and technology, and focus on Laboratory research related to national and international economic, environmental, 

political, and social concerns.

Los Alamos History Museum

Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Los Alamos History

Museum presents the stories of Los Alamos from multiple

perspectives via indoor and outdoor 

venues, historic buildings, artifacts, documents, photographs,

audio and video recordings of personal stories, and interactive

visitor experiences. Built as an infirmary in 1918 and later used

as the guest cottage for Los Alamos Ranch School, the

museum is in the oldest continually occupied structure in town.

During the Manhattan Project (1943 to 1947), the cottage

continued to serve as guest quarters, notably for General

Leslie R. Groves, commander 

of the Manhattan Engineer District, whose office and residence

were in Washington, D.C.

​Bandelier National Monument 

Bandelier protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.

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