and Event Center
264 S. Camino del Pueblo
Bernalillo, New Mexico
Pueblo of Jemez
Walatowa Visitor Center
7413 Highway 4
Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
Jemez State Monument is a special place to learn about the history of the Jemez Mountain Trail area. This monument has exhibitions and self-guided tours. Ranger-guided tours are also given upon request. Currently, over 500,000 people visit this and Bandelier National Monument every year.
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. In the best of times they may have had a somewhat idyllic life, but the climate could be fickle.
Jemez State Monument consists of the ruins of an ancient pueblo of the Jemez people known as Giusewa and the ruins of a 17th Century Spanish mission known as San Jose de los Jemez. The mission had a unique octagonal-shaped bell tower. There is a museum and signed trail at the Monument, which is part of New Mexico State Monuments. For more information contact 505-829-3530.
Further along Hwy 4 is 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 is a sheer cliff that rises suddenly above the river like the prow of a ship. A few miles past Battleship Rock is the parking lot for Spence Hot Springs, a very accessible and scenic place for a long soak in hot mineral waters.
Hiking – Adventurous hikers can face the challenge of Battleship Rock in the Jemez Mountains. The rock, named for its similarity to the prow of a ship, is peppered with bits of glassy smooth obsidian, a black rock created from volcanic eruptions in the area over 5 million years ago.
Just 3 miles off of National Scenic Route NM 4 is the Jemez Falls. Located at an altitude of 7,880 ft above sea level, the river drops 70 feet through a spectacular series of falls.