Historical Sites & Landmarks
Casa San Ysidro
Casa San Ysidro is a historic house museum that features a renovated Territorial Period Greek Revival house built around 1875 by the Gutiérrez family and a speculative recreation of a 19th century rancho constructed by the Dr. Ward Alan and Shirley Jolly Minge. The Minge collection exhibits salvaged architecture, furniture, religious art, tools, Hispanic and Pueblo weavings and pottery from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Jemez Historic Site
The Jemez National Historic Landmark is one of the most beautiful sites in the Southwest. It includes the stone remnants of a 700-year-old village and the San José de los Jemez church dating to 1621. The village of Giusewa was built in the narrow San Diego Canyon by the ancestors of the present-day people of Jemez Pueblo (Walatowa). The name Giusewa refers to the natural springs in the area.
In the 17th century, the Spanish established a Catholic mission at the village. The mission was short-lived, and, in time, the people left the site and moved to the current location of Jemez Pueblo. The massive stone walls were constructed about the same time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
Cabezon Peak rises 8000 feet above sea level and is one of the most prominent of 50 volcanic necks in the lava fields of Mount Taylor. The legend shared is the peak is believed to have religious significance for the Pueblo and Navajo peoples. The Navajo lore is the peak a lava flows came from a giant who was slain upon Mount Taylor. The giants head became Cabezon Peak and his blood became the volcanic flow to the south.
Sandia Man Cave
If you’re a history buff interested in how our ancestors lived thousands of years ago this is a must do experience. It is a trek to climb up the cliff wall of Las Huertas Canyon and well worth the experience of walking around an ancient cave dwelling and stepping back in time.
The tunnels themselves were part of the former Santa Fe Northwestern Railway through the canyon which was used to haul lumber from the Jemez Mountains. The railway was eventually retired which allowed the tunnels to be converted into one of New Mexico’s most photogenic and interesting stretches of road. Between the beauty of the box canyon and the visual history the tunnels represent, it’s an iconic setting perched above the Guadalupe river.
Driving north through the Jemez Mountain pass the massive basalt rock cliff named Battleship Rock juts up 200 feet through the forested woods and stands guardian to the Jemez steam and is the trail head entry for the Hidden Falls and McCauley Springs.
Coronado State Monument
In the Visitor Center, designed by architect John Gaw Meem, are several of the preserved mural segments, and Indian and Spanish colonial artifacts. From ramada-covered picnic tables, visitors can take in the same magnificent view seen by those traveling through, whether yesterday or four centuries ago.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is famous for its scenic cone shaped formations, composed of pumice, ash, and tuff deposits from volcanic eruptions 6–7 million years ago. Picnic tables, shelters and toilets area available at the Monument. The Monument includes a National Recreational Trail for hiking only.
The Goblin Colony
High in the Jemez Mountains is the panoramic Paliza Canyon which has an unexpected twist of a hike that leads into the goblin colony. There are hundreds of hoodoos; nature’s own art sculpture of whimsical rock formations all immersed within a ponderosa pine forest, desert flora, and ancient alligator junipers. Close by is the Ruins of Boletsakwa dating to 1350 – 1650. These show a large Pueblo site that was well thought out with over 650 rooms, a huge kiva, and several plazas. The ruins lay on a narrow mesa with steep vertical sides. This is a 4-mile hike and you should take hiking poles to help maneuver around the hoodoos as they project up the cliffs.