As the site for the top secret Manhattan Project, birth place of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos and the surrounding area offers amazing scenery, geological history, cultural history, and miles of trails for outdoor recreation such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
Located West of Los Alamos along Hwy 4 (Jemez Mountains Scenic Byway), this park encompasses a dormant supervolcano which illustrates the power behind a massive volcanic eruption. Its topographic mosaic of expansive valley meadows, lush forested volcanic domes, meandering valley streams and old growth Ponderosa Pine groves are a striking contrast to the arid New Mexico landscape at lower elevations. Patient observers can spot elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, black bears, bald and golden eagles, and wild turkeys.
The Manhattan Project National Historical Park tells the story of America's race to create an atomic weapon to end World War II. With sites located in New Mexico (Los Alamos), Tennessee and Washington, this non-contiguous Park also tells of the people, science, technology and industry advances achieved during this brief period in history.
Ashley Pond is a downtown landmark that dates back to ranch-school days. Originally a natural depression, the grassy gentle slopes and pond complete with live water fowl, fish, and assorted metal art sculptures is the center attraction in downtown Los Alamos. The pond is named after the founder of the Los Alamos Ranch School, Ashley Pond, and is a cherished place for walks, picnics, concerts, events and more.
Photos by EMKotyk
15th Street & Central Avenue
Project Y at Los Alamos was the part of the Manhattan Project responsible for designing and building the first atomic bomb. Robert Oppenheimer chose Los Alamos for secrecy and scientific considerations. He also thought the ruggedly scenic country would appeal to his team of scientists. Visitors experience more than 40 interactive exhibits within the Museum's three galleries: History, Defense and Research. Two 16-minute films tell the stories of the race to build the first atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project and the work the Lab does today to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Photos by EMKotyk
2600 Canyon Road
Perched on the edge of the canyon, the Nature Center features exciting, interactive exhibits that get kids and adults thinking and having fun while learning about nature in Northern New Mexico. Browse the demonstration gardens, get dirty in the nature play area, learn about the plants and animals that make up the Vertical Mile of Diversity, meet all the critters including Tad, Poole, and Lily, the Canyon Tree Frogs and Titus the Tiger Salamander, watch the ants tunnel in their special visible ant mound. Finish off your day with some time under the stars in the state-of-the-art planetarium!
Five miles east of Los Alamos on Hwy 502 is the scenic Anderson Overlook (#2 on Area Map). This overlook has beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristos mountains and Rio Grande valley.
White Rock Overlook
Further east and southeast in the community of White Rock is the White Rock Overlook (#4 on Area Map). This overlook has a 270 degree view of the Rio Grande River as it runs through the Jemez Mountains. Stop by the White Rock Visitor Center on Hwy 4 to get specific directions.