Drive West from Albuquerque to the town of San Ysidro where we will start on the National Scenic Route NM 4 to the Pueblo of Jemez. Visit the Walatowa Visitor Center & Museum. We will walk to the Red Rocks Formations. We will drive through the village of Jemez Springs – bubbling with soothing hot springs, brimming with outdoor adventure, and immersed in history and culture. We can have lunch at historic Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon in Jemez Springs or at one of the other local cafes. We will tour the Jemez State Monument, the Soda Dam formation, Battleship Rock, and Jemez Falls before we drive back to Albuquerque. ** Monument Closed Monday & Tuesdays
Jemez Pueblo, Soda Dam & Falls (6 hours) $ 295 USD
Our archeological journey into the past of New Mexico includes both tours of architectural ruins and stunning landscapes. This is an amazing geology field trip to observe red rocks (sandstones with a thin coating of the mineral hematite an iron oxide), surreal Soda Dam formation (made from calcium deposits) dating back roughly 5,000 years, Battleship Rock (a sheer cliff that rises suddenly above the river like the prow of a ship) and the Jemez Falls. There is also plenty of history to see such as the Walatowa Visitor Center & Museum of History and Culture and Jemez State Monument which 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. Approximately 700 years ago, ancestors of the present day people of Jémez (Walatowa) Pueblo, constructed a large pueblo in the narrow San Diego Canyon. This mission complex was constructed with Pueblo labor. According to contemporary reports, the construction was "sumptuous and curious" in its design and beauty. The church is unusual for its massive size and rare, octagonal bell tower. Colorful frescos that once decorated the interior walls were revealed during archaeological excavations in 1921 and 1922. A 1,400 foot interpretive trail winds through the 7 acre site. The visitor center contains exhibits interpreting historic events from the perspective of the Jémez people. We will also visit the village of Jemez Springs a place bubbling with soothing hot springs and family owned businesses ranging from handmade mineral make-up products to Native American pottery and jewelry. Galleries line the main road with offerings of native made pottery and crafts as well as art items from local residents. The return trip can include an optional tour of the Ponderosa Winery, set in a a small valley lined with wine groves, cottonwood trees, and rock formations.