Valles Caldera National Preserve
Valles Caldera National Preserve became the country’s newest national park in 2016. Just 20 miles north along Hwy 4 Jemez Springs is an easy access point to this spectacular preserve with 89,000 acres located in Sandoval County. One of only six super volcanoes in the entire world, Valles Caldera is comprised of a 13-mile wide depression which came about after a huge volcanic eruption more than 1.25 million years ago. Thousands of visitors explore the preserve each year, drawn in by its history, flora and fauna. Historic cabins dating back to the 1860’s provide a glimpse into the lives of sheep and cattle ranchers.
Fenton Lake State Park
The Jemez Mountains provide the backdrop for this stunning year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. Fenton Lake State Park is a mellow mountain escape. The Rio Cebolla flows through the park and there is a fishing and canoeing lake too. The park also attracts campers, hikers and cross-country skiers. There's even a fun playground for the kids. Stocked with rainbow trout from fall through spring, the lake is home to German brown trout, an ideal spot for flyfishing. Although most anglers prefer the warmth and comfort of summer, there is also winter ice fishing.
Santa Fe National Forest
Some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest is found in the 1.6-million-acre Santa Fe National Forest. Here, you can find the headwaters of Pecos, Jemez, and Gallinas Rivers; mountain streams; lakes; and trout fishing. Travel into Pecos, San Pedro Parks, Chama, and Dome Wildernesses via wilderness pack trips, saddle, or on 1,000 miles of hiking trails. Try whitewater rafting on the Rio Chama or Rio Grande from May to September. Consider turkey, elk, deer, and bear hunting, or visit one of many nearby Indian pueblos, Spanish missions, and Indian ruins. Golden aspen grace the high country from September to October and snow blankets Santa Fe Ski Basin in winter.
San Pedro Parks Wilderness
San Pedro Parks Wilderness is classified as a Wild Area. With over 41132 acres it has high altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. With 9 trails to select from you will enjoy the rolling mountain tops, meadows and dense stands of spruce and conifers, aspen and plenty of wildlife.
Cibola National Forest
Cibola National Forest is a massive 1,633,786 acres. Legend is that Cibola is the original name from the Zuni for their tribal lands. The Sandia district area encompasses land in eastern Bernalillo, Placitas and southeastern Sandoval County.
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is an epic vista of the Pajarito Plateau’s rugged canyons and mesas on the slopes of the Jemez Mountains. The archeological sites are the ancestral lands of the ancient Puebloans dating to 1150 AD and offer a view into times past of age-old dwellings, petroglyphs, and pictograph images. There are over 33,000 acres of land and 70% of the Monument is wilderness. There are over 70 miles of trails within its boundaries and many more that connect out into the Santa Fe National Forest lands waiting to be explored.