From Los Alamos, take NM 501, east or west, and connect with NM 4. Look for signs to Bandelier National Monument.
NM State Road 4 travels through scenic canyons and densely forested hills of conifer, spruce, and ponderosa. Continuing on NM State Road 4 west from Bandelier, the first open vista is the vast expanse of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
Travel in a westerly direction down the spine of the Jemez Mountain range. Mountains bring a sense of peace and timeless beauty; the Jemez seem especially favored by nature. You'll now parallel the Jemez River for several miles. Frequent turnouts offer picnic, camping, and fishing opportunities.
Proceed south to San Ysidro. This small town also offers several fine arts & crafts galleries. You may now head southeast on NM 44 to Bernalillo and Albuquerque, or retrace your route back to Los Alamos.