“at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains”
Nambé Pueblo is one of the Tewa Pueblos of the northern Rio Grande region. The name is a Spanish interpretation of the Tewa word “nanbe”, which roughly translates as “earth roundness”. Prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers, Nambé Pueblo served as the primary cultural and religious center for the northern New Mexican pueblo communities. The pueblo is a registered National Historic Landmark and is a major tourist attraction. Nambé Pueblo sits at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains where the Earth still gives sanctuary to the people. Sixteen (16) miles north of the state capitol of Santa Fe, it encompasses nineteen thousand (19,000) acres of land surrounded by national forest. Its terrain is scenic and striking, featuring waterfalls, lakes, and mountainous areas. Nambé Falls and Nambé Lake Recreation Area, located above the Pueblo is a popular summertime location for camping, fishing, picnics, events and organizational gatherings. A fifteen minute hike along the shaded cottonwood trails takes you to the base of Nambé Waterfalls, three of the most spectacular natural falls in the Southwest. A short climb up the side of the canyon brings you to a birds-eye view of the Falls. Sitting above the falls are the Nambé dam and lake, a 56-acre lake for recreational and sport fishing. The scenic Nambé Rock Formations are popular with tourists and filmmakers. Several movies have been filmed in part at Nambé Pueblo. Notably, John Carpenter’s “Vampires” movie, as well as the movie “City Slickers”, starring Billy Crystal were filmed here.
It's about a 15 minute hike up to the falls which are fairly small, but pretty. It cost $10.00 for a day pass and there are picnic areas. There is another trail on the left that goes up to the pool below the larger falls where we saw people swimming. The lake was closed when we were there due to a previous fire, so we didn't get to see that.
There are two trails to get you to the falls. The upper overlook is an easy hike with some steps and incline but takes you to a good vantage point to see the falls. The lower pool will require you to crawl over a big rock to start the trail and it is very narrow in a few places next to the water. You will finally reach a point where you HAVE to get wet and walk up the cold fast moving stream to get to the pool. We were not prepared for that so take note of this. Bathrooms are available along with picnic areas. Cost was $10 to get in.
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