Jemez Falls

Jemez Falls campground was still closed for the season. I walked down this road to the campground, where the trail head is for the hike to Jemez Falls. Note the snow on the side of the road, to the right of the photo.

I visited Jemez Falls on a day of hiking in the Jemez, New Mexico area.  Up at the elevation of the falls, over 8,000 feet, there was still snow on the ground in patches.  On top of that, it was threatening to rain, with a big thunderstorm building up.  So of course the park was closed.  That necessitated a long walk along the access road to the campground, before even reaching the trail head for the hike to the falls itself.

The Jemez River was full of water from snow melt and rain, giving it a brown tinge.  My iPhone camera does not do justice to the scenery.

A thunderstorm was building as I walked from the road to the campground. Sprinkles of rain fell during the whole hike, but the skies did not open up on me.

There were some pretty impressive Ponderosa Pines at Jemez Falls. This speciman is in the campground parking lot.

You can see both the young and the old in nature. Here patriarch Ponderosa Pines are sheltering young saplings.

The Jemez River is carrying a lot of silt due to heavy water flow caused by rains and snow melt. Later in the summer the water will not have the brown tinge that it has at the time this picture was taken.

Below are the track logs for this hike. Once again the elevation seems to have problems, but the horizontal position seems to be accurate. Geocaching using the iPhone app is problematic … without phone service in the Jemez area, the app did not have access to the online database of geocaches. Both the app and the GPS receiver accept a downloaded list of geocaches, but I had not loaded either one before leaving home.

The GPS track log shows the hike from the closed entrance on NM 4, along the access road to the campground, and then along the trail to the falls. On the way to the falls I took a shortcut to the trail, hoping to circumvent the initial switchback.

On the way to the falls, I took a shortcut to get to the trail. This turned out to be not so good, as I had to cross a ravine, first descending and then climbing before reaching the trail. On the way back I stayed on the trail, which was a much smoother journey.

There are more pictures available in my Picasa web album. Click on the slide show below to see all the pictures from my day trip to the Jemez Mountains.

Related Links

Jemez Falls Campground, Santa Fe National Forest – USDA Forest Service

An easy day hike: visit Jemez Falls

LocalHikes – McCauley Hot Springs and Jemez Falls

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