The Jemez State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark is a gorgeous site with 14th century stone ruins of Giusewa Pueblo, and the 17th century San José de los Jemez Mission Church with a unique octagonal-shaped bell tower. The heritage center at the site tells the story of the village and the church in the words and art of the local people, and you can walk a beautiful 1,400-foot interpretive trail through the stunning San Diego Canyon location of the original village. The trail has no steep grades and is relatively short, making it accessible and fun for bother older and younger visitors. There is even a reconstructed Kiva visitors can descend into by ladder to get a small sense of what ancient pueblo life might have been like. Ranger guided tours are available upon request.
The life of the Giusewa people was pretty typical of the time. They grew vegetables and beans by the river and on the mesa tops, and hunted various game in the nearby forests. Unlike may other pueblo people of the area, however, they had the luxury of the naturally occurring Jemez Hot Springs in which to soak their weary bones after a long day of farming or hunting.
The Jemez State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark is only minutes from Albuquerque and is truly situated in a beautiful landscape. Striking photo opportunities abound with the red dirt ruins and the clear, blue New Mexico sky. A site not to be missed!