The lyrics “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to…” definitely does not apply to adventurers looking to explore the waterfalls in New Mexico. If you rank the land based on its size, it definitely ranks in the Top 5. For a place that big, you will surely find your haven while exploring mysterious forests, desert parks, and canyons. Come to New Mexico and be one of the admirers of the most beautiful works of Mother Nature.
Here are 10 of the most beautiful waterfalls in New Mexico:
Catwalk Trail Falls
The name of this waterfall is already intriguing. But once you see it in person, you’ll understand why a lot of guests want to visit this natural wonder. The splashing waterfall is a beautiful gem in the high-desert environment. One can simply cool off during the warm months, enjoy the easy hike, and witness the fascinating geologic and historic foundations of southwest New Mexico.
If you are wondering how this gem of a destination got its name, it actually refers to the original plank-board walkway placed atop the steel pipe. The said pipe was once used to bring water to the ore processing plant, ruins of which can still be seen near the parking area. It’s definitely got history in it, huh?
Most of the pipe is already hidden from sight, but visitors will still be able to see the modern all-access trail that follows this original route. It winds right through the middle of the gorgeous canyon perched safely a dozen feet above the creek. Adventurers who will hike the Catwalk Trail Falls will find it relatively easy. You also have the option to hit the more rigorous trails that lead into the Gila Wilderness. Before you do that, you should first consult with the Forest Service.
Location: Glenwood, New Mexico
What is a list of the most beautiful waterfalls in New Mexico if Soda Dam is out of the picture, right? Soda Dam is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places in the state. The large hot spring deposit, made mostly of calcium carbonate and travertine, attracts nature lovers who get astounded by the small waterfall that rises from the underground hot springs.
Soda Dam is actually 50 feet in height and 50 feet wide at the bottom. Sadly, a part of it faced gradual disintegration when its natural plumbing was disrupted and re-routed during the creation of State Route 4. The waters from this famous destination start at the Valles Caldera, heated by the hot rock and magma beneath.
What can you say about this natural wonder?
Location: North of Jemez Springs, New Mexico
If winged creatures had to choose one waterfall as their playground, it would probably be Folsom Falls. Embrace restfulness and calm when you hike to this beautiful and petite waterfall located in the northeastern part of New Mexico. Alive with the greenery that surrounds this natural wonder created from the edge of an ancient lava flow, you will surely have a wonderful time here. The waterfalls form just after the Pinebeta Creek merges with the Cimarron River.
Location: Cimarron River in Union County, New Mexico
El Salto Falls
This 200-ft. natural wonder is one of the must-see waterfalls in New Mexico. Not only is it astounding in height, but the view from the area is also rather stunning, too! The name “El Salto Falls” is actually derived from Spanish, and it means to “jump,” or “leap.” Visitors who come here will find that the falls are composed of 5 separate drops.
What should you expect if you decide to go here? There is a nice but unmarked trail that leads about a hundred yards from where you park to the first falls. While you may have to scramble your way up, you will definitely think it is worth it once you see the gorgeous waters.
Location: Arroyo Seco, New Mexico
The series of two waterfalls known as Nambe Falls has the power to leave anyone speechless. Drawing you in with its majestic beauty, you will certainly just want to sit down and stare at it in admiration. The highest part of the falls is 100 feet tall, while its lower tier is 75 feet tall. Adventurers who want to see this destination can expect gorgeous views downstream near the Pueblo of Nambe. You will also see the picnic surroundings and the mountains of Sangre de Cristo.
If you are looking for a way to offset the insane desert heat, Nambe Falls might be worth checking out! It’s not bad that it is also just a short trip out of Santa Fe – perfect for a day trip, or a fun weekend getaway with your family. You will reach this place after traveling a few windy roads. It is also perfect for those new to hiking because the trail length is only about a half-mile either going above the falls, or through the water to the base.
Location: Nambe Pueblo near the city and county of Santa Fe, New Mexico
White Rock Overlook Park Waterfall
This is a pleasant treat you’ll see when you’re out hiking – the White Rock Overlook Park Waterfall. The Overlook Park is popular with tourists and residents alike because it provides stunning views of the Rio Grande, and also has facilities for outdoor sports and picnicking. It definitely makes for a good family fun destination!
The waterfall here is 130-feet tall. Some say it doesn’t smell good, but the views are rather unique. Why does it have a distinctive smell, you ask? That’s because it is the main source for the Town of White Rocks’ Sewage Treatment Plant. Still, the view provides serenity after tiring yourself while running in the trail run.
Location: White Rock, New Mexico
Sitting Bull Falls
No doubt, Sitting Bull Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New Mexico. It sits inside the Lincoln National Forest in southeastern New Mexico, and you only need to take a short walk to view the falls. Since the recreational area is well-maintained, you will find lots of shaded areas so you can have a nice relaxing picnic. There are also some grills where you can cook your food.
The massive heat brings sweltering temperatures to the state, and it is understandable that many people will want to find the perfect spot to cool off. After all, dipping in the waters just sounds incredibly tempting. The trail that leads to Sitting Bull Falls is relatively easy. It is good for all skill levels, and is frequented by those who want to go hiking, nature tripping, or bird watching.
Just be careful. There are some leaches and snakes in the pool itself so just watch where you swim. This is also a good place to take your furry friend to!
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Resumidero Falls is made up of a series of individual drops. Some waters have heights of 15, and 20, and 30 feet. If you plan to come here, you should stay the night in their primitive camping area. You will be staying in a large alpine meadow, and you will have lots of recreational activities such as camping or picnicking.
Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
Warm summer days and cooler nights are best spent watching one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New Mexico. Jemez Falls, the largest waterfall in the Jemez Mountains, is located in Santa Fe National Forest. Guests who wish to come here may access the falls from the Jemez Falls Campground. Alternatively, one can hit the dirt road off of NF-134. The latter is the less crowded route, so you may want to keep that in mind!
According to accounts, the falls have a cumulative height of 70 feet, its watercourse cascaded for most of the drop before twisting into the final plunge. There is also a neighboring smaller waterfall, which is deemed more “suitable” for cooling off.
The relaxing vibe of being in this Ponderosa Pine and forest meadow environment is definitely a dream come true!
Location: near Valles Caldera Preserve, New Mexico
Bar Canyon-Soledad Canyon Waterfall
Many tourists find themselves wandering the Soledad Canyon Day Use Area, which is overflowing with natural wonders. It is at the juncture of two canyons, namely the Bar Canyon and Soledad Canyon. If you plan to take a scenic hike, then you better ready your cameras because the Soledad Canyon is a sight to behold!
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Please plan your trips to these waterfalls in New Mexico once the pandemic blows over. In addition, you should remember to be respectful of nature as well as the communities that are located near the waters that you are escaping to. Follow the “Leave No Trace” principle.
Before you go, check out the 5 places to visit if you are feeling adventurous in New Mexico.
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