Los Alamos (The cottonwoods in Spanish) is a town built upon four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau and the adjoining White Rock Canyon. The townsite or “the hill” is one part of town while White Rock is also part of the town. Home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos was founded to undertake the Manhattan Project. Top-ranked among New Mexico public schools, Los Alamos High School’s academic achievements have been recognized by a number of national publications.
Creativity abounds in Los Alamos and White Rock and plays a major role in community life. The same intellectual curiosity that drives scientific discovery and creativity has also produced a deep appreciation and involvement in cultural pursuits. Art, music, dance, theater, and lecture activities are accessible every day of the year. Art fairs, concerts, lectures, demonstrations, plays, recitals, parades, festivals, etc. are frequent.
Nearby is Bandelier, a 33,677-acre National Monument preserving the homes and territory of the Ancestral Pueblo People. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, in total from 1150 to 1600 CE. The Valles Caldera is also close, a 3.7-mile wide volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains. A number of recreational and/or historical uses take place in Valles Caldera. Many of these uses involve trails. Valles Caldera has many miles of ranch roads, livestock and game trails. These include a network of trails currently designated for horse riding. Historically, Valles Caldera was a location for equestrian endurance races. After establishment of VCNP, the first race in the caldera was held in 2009. The largest grass valley, Valle Grande, is a venue for ski orienteering. Activities are open to the public, though some require reservations.
The Village of Jemez Springs is located a bit south of Los Alamos, the site of Jemez State Monument and the headquarters of the Jemez Ranger District. The village and nearby locations in the Jemez Valley are the site of hot springs and several religious retreats.
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