New Mexico August 16, 2016
This Magical Waterfall Campground In New Mexico Is Unforgettable
Although New Mexico has quite a few waterfalls, reaching them often involves a lengthy hike. That’s not the case with Jemez Falls, a 70-foot-high waterfall hidden in the Jemez Mountains. The overlook is only a short jaunt away from the road and nearby campground.
The campground makes a perfect base for exploring this spectacular area. This is also one of the few spots in New Mexico where you can camp, admire a waterfall, and then wade in the clear natural pools surrounding it. Talk about a unique place to spend the night!
Jemez Falls Campground is situated just off NM-4, which is part of a scenic byway called the Jemez Mountain Trail. It’s between Los Alamos and Jemez Springs (significantly closer to the latter).
Ponderosa pine trees tower over the Jemez Falls Campground, providing shade to the 52 mixed-use sites (which can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length). Each spot is equipped with a grill, fire ring, and picnic table.
After you’ve set up camp, grab your hiking or wading shoes and take the 0.7-mile, out and back trail to the falls overlook.
Flickr/ Andy Langager
The path meanders through a cool forest and emerges opposite Jemez Falls, providing a great photo op.
The pools at the top of the falls are shallower...
...While those downstream are quite a bit deeper.
If you’re feeling energetic, add on a hike to one of the hot springs in the area, such as McCauley Hot Springs (its temperature is warm rather than toasty, making it pleasant in summer).
While we don’t recommend cliff jumping –
it’s really dangerous – this clip gives you a glimpse of the beauty surrounding Jemez Falls.
small town of Jemez Springs is nearby and it offers a surprising amount of attractions, given its diminutive size. If you continue along the scenic byway in that direction, be sure to pause at Soda Dam and also the Gilman Tunnels.
Have you ever stayed at Jemez Falls Campground or visited this waterfall?