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Here, you will feel dwarfed by high volcanic cliffs that echo the rushing waters of the Jemez River. Along the way, visit Soda Dam – a unique formation of colorful “petrified” water shaped like a domed falls; or Spence Hot Springs, with a choice of hot and warm pools and sweeping views of the canyon below.
Loop through the Santa Fe National Forest to the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a breathtaking expanse of mountain meadow and forest offering premium fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, and snow sports by advance reservation. The loop continues through Los Alamos, Fenton Lake State Park, San Pedro Parks Wilderness, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and a volcanic plug called Cabezon Peak. Short sides trip on lead to the Gilman Tunnels, blasted through rock during the 1920s, and Bandelier National Monument, housing several thousand ancestral Pueblo dwellings within almost 33,000 acres of steep-walled canyons, mesas, and wilderness.