New Mexico March 30, 2016
Why Everyone In New Mexico Should Visit This One Tiny Town
Tiny towns are usually pit stops – places to pause on your way to somewhere bigger and better. But some villages are a destination in their own right. That’s definitely the case with Jemez Springs. It has far more to offer than its population size suggests. Even though a mere 250 people call this teeny town home, it’s the site of a national historic landmark, hot springs, and intriguing restaurants, all set against a backdrop of rocks red enough to rival those found in Sedona. Here are some of the attractions waiting for you in Jemez Springs.
1. A gorgeous setting.
These rocks are not Photoshopped!
2. Jemez Springs National Historic Landmark.
This site packs a lot of history into a small area. You can see the remains of a 500-year-old Indian village. The tribe has since moved to a pueblo about 20 miles to the south.
The San José de los Jemez church is also impressive. It was built in the 1620s, by Fray Alonso de Luga. He
arrived in the U.S. with Juan de Oñate, in 1598.
In case you were wondering how a place is designated a national historic landmark, it has to reflect the heritage of the United States in an exceptional manner. There are 2500 such landmarks throughout the country.
3. Soda Dam.
A carbonate spring bubbling to the Earth's surface caused this unusual natural dam to form. It's 300 feet long and stands 50 feet tall. You can clamber over Soda Dam, into its small caves, or splash around in the water. Soda Dam is located two miles north of town.
4. Highway 4 Coffee.
Head to Highway 4 Coffee if you want to start your day with a good cup of joe, indulge in a cinnamon roll, or pick up a picnic lunch for a hike.
5. Los Ojos Saloon.
Stop in for a drink and to gawp at the decor. Old saddles straddle the beams and glitterballs challenge Tiffany-style pendants for illumination dominance. Plus there's the stuffed goat that seems to be charging right through the wall. Wonder where the back end is!
6. Fry bread!
Just south of Jemez Springs, roadside vendors are usually on hand to serve up steaming hot fry bread, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar or honey.
7. Hot Spring Resorts.
For an old-school experience, soak in the Jemez Springs Bath House. It was constructed in the 1870s and is a state historical site. That being said, the tubs are individual ones and the overall feel is rustic.
For a more scenic experience, soak at Giggling Springs (pictured). This resort offers communal pools in a tranquil setting.
8. Undeveloped hot springs.
If you're in a four-wheel drive vehicle, it's worth rattling up the bumpy road to San Antonio hot springs, which is slightly outside the town of Jemez Springs. Alternatively, hike the five miles in and reward any aching muscles with a good soak.
9. Jemez River.
The Jemez River offers good fishing, with plenty of rainbow trout.
Have you visited Jemez Springs? What was your favorite thing about this town?