Spring Break should be just that – a break from work and school. The trend this year? Micro-vacations, where smaller trips equate to a bigger impact for families and college students. Jemez Springs is less than an hour from Albuquerque and only a few hours drive from most cities in the region. For skiers who want crowd-free runs, Pajarito Ski Resort is 39 miles northeast along NM-4, and offers $35 lift tickets for college students on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and other discounts for kids and military. On the return, check out Valles Caldera National Preserve where cross country skiing and snowshoeing are available.

There’s nothing better than a warm soak in the mineral waters of Jemez Springs after skiing or hiking, especially in early spring.  Soak in the outdoor pools of Jemez Hot Springs or the newly renovated indoor tubs (and get a massage while you’re at it) at Jemez Springs Bath House. Spa services are also available at Canon del Rio retreat.

But the Jemez Valley is more than just the hot springs. Here are other suggestions to let you fully soak in the fun during spring break:

  • Near mile marker 6, head east along Hwy 290 to Ponderosa Winery. Bring a picnic lunch, sample wines and take a bottle with you to Jemez Springs to share later.
  • Stop at the Jemez Pueblo Welcome Center (Walatowa VC) and learn about the pueblo and area history. Sign up for a Red Rocks Canyon guided tour or learn how to make pottery or Indian bread at the facility.
  • Look around at the art and handmade crafts from local artisans at Jemez Fine Art Gallery or Jemez Artisans Gallery, directly across from each other in Jemez Springs.
  • Visit Jemez Historic Site and explore the 500 year old Indian village and remnants of San Jose de Jemez Mission church. Guided tours are available.
  • Bring something fun back from the local shops.
  • Check out the unique history of the area at the Jemez Springs Public Library which is the keeper of historical information about the area told by area residents
  • Walk along Soda Dam then head up NM-4 near Battleship Rock for a hike in the Santa Fe National Forest and try your skill at stream fishing

For a list of activity ideas in the area, click here.