The Jemez Mountain Trail
Beginning just northwest of Albuquerque, the Jemez (HAY-mez) Mountain Trail is an exceptionally beautiful drive through Jemez Indian Reservation, the Santa Fe National Forest, and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. It’s the most roundabout way of getting to Santa Fe—you actually wind up near Los Alamos and must backtrack a bit south to reach town—but nature lovers will want to set aside a full day for the trip, which is especially beautiful in the fall, when the aspen leaves turn vivid yellow against the rich red stones.
The drive begins on U.S. 550, which goes northwest out of the satellite town of Bernalillo, just west of I-25. At the village of San Ysidro, bear right onto Highway 4, which forms the major part of the route north.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition