Trail

Jemez Falls, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico

Jemez Springs, NM
Length: 0.70 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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ACTIVITIES: Hiking, camping, water play

LENGTH OF HIKE: 0.7 mile

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Out and back

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Easy

ELEVATION GAIN: 147 feet

PARKING FEE/PASS: No

TOILETS: Yes

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: Yes

DOGS ALLOWED: Yes, on leash

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: Yes

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Trekking poles—it gets steep and rocky at the end of the trail

Located in the Santa Fe National Forest, this less than a mile out and back hike starts at 7,800 feet and is great for the whole family, including four-legged family members on leash. The reward for the short hike that is perfect for new walkers is a 70-foot waterfall at the end. There is some exposed rock along the trail, but the majority of the hike is completely toddler doable. The end of the trail near the waterfall is where you can expect the little bit of negotiating that needs to happen, so by that point in the hike, you should feel pretty comfortable with the trail.

We love this hike for our community because it’s great terrain for a new walker with a lot of space on the dirt trail to move around and plenty of rocks to climb and play on. Parking is also easy, and the picnic area is nice, a major plus if you are going to make a whole day of it.

If you are feeling up for the extra adventure, there’s also an option to take a longer 4-mile hike to McCauley Spring (also a campground). When you are hiking, pay attention to the trail, as there are a number of spurs that branch off and the signage isn’t great. Also be aware that this is the desert so there are scorpions and centipedes. Rattlesnakes are less likely to be seen because of the traffic on trail, but they are present.

Visit this spot from March to October, and bring water shoes to take a dip in the  shallow pond at the top of the falls. This is a hike that definitely can be done in hiking sandals, and you can expect your feet to get wet. What’s also nice about this trail is that even in the hot middle of summer, tall pine trees offer ongoing shade throughout the hike and there is a scenic overlook at the end.

INSIDER’S TIP
If you have time to check out the hot springs, it’s worth the visit. While reports vary on how “hot” they actually are, it’s always nice to visit a natural hot springs, especially in the summer.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 147 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Viewpoint and Waterfall

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“The highlight of this hike is the amazing view of Jemez Falls. It’s shady and cool in the summer. It’s popular with families and pets. My son loved saying hi to all the dogs we saw on the trail.” — CARRIE KASER

Trail Contributor

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Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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