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Scenic Overlooks in the Los Alamos Area

Spectacular scenery during all seasons ... and great photo points
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 66.7 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This is a scenic drive that you won't soon forget through canyons, over mesas, up mountains, and traversing canyon rims that will give... more »

Tips:  Caution ... please check in at the Visitor Center for local road and weather conditions, particularly in the winter months. Only stop... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Los Alamos Visitor Center & Chamber of Commerce

A great place to start ... free maps, local road advisory, friendly advice ... open 7 days per week

2. Los Alamos Underlook

Great view East down Los Alamos Canyon to the iconic Omega Bridge high above

3. Los Alamos Townsite Overlook

Panoramic overlook of the Los Alamos townsite and the Los Alamos National Laboratory

4. Eyes on the Road .. Hands on the Wheel!

This view is not for the driver, and there is no safe place to stop, but passengers will have a treat lokking down the cliff to the the East over Burnt Mesa and Bandelier National Monument. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains make a spectacular backdrop to the East. You are now on the Jemez (pronounced "hay-mez") Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway.

5. Valle Grande Overlooks

A series of safe pullovers along the highway provide expansive views of the Valle Grande, a massive, collapsed volcano that formed much of the geology and geography of the area. The Valle Grande is part of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a national treasure trove of geologic, archaeological, and natural resources. It is common to see large... More

This overlook, within Bandelier National Monument on the road to the visitor center offers a safe place to observe the deep cut of Frijoles Canyon to the West.

7. Safety First!

There is no place to stop along this stretch of road, but you can't miss the impressive views in either direction.

8. Bandelier Visitor Center and Turnaround

You can easily spend a day or more here, but if you want to stick with the scenic overlook route this will just be a safe place to loop back. Look for our other guides to activities in Bandelier National Monument.

9. White Rock Tourist Information Center

The community of White Rock is the Eastern terminus of the Jemez Mountain National Scenic Byway and it offers hotel, dining, supplies, and refueling opportunities. The tourist information center is a great stop for area information and advice and a restroom break if needed. Open seven days year round. 800-444-0707

A spectacular overlook of the wilderness of the White Rock Canyon of the Rio Grande River

11. Tsankawi Entrance Viewpoint

Spectacular views in all directions of the Mesa tops soaring above. Also the entry to the Tsankawi unit of Bandelier National Monument. Look for our other guides to hikes in Tsankawi.

12. Anderson Overlook

Classic views of the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the East framed by the mesas of the Pajarito Plateau. This is a safe place to catch your breath on the ascent into Los Alamos.

13. Los Alamos Vistor Center & Chamber of Commerce

Congratulations! You have completed the loop!