Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico

Catholic Church, state road 4, near Highway 550, New Mexico


The last time I was on the Jemez Mountain Trail Byway was in 2008. It was November.

Being in this area in the summer is a vastly different experience. Namely: People. Lots and lots of people.

La Cueva, State Road 4, Jemez Mountain Scenic Byway, New Mexico


Understandable, because the pretty area is so close to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. 

Fenton Lake State Park, on State Road 126 (off of State Road 4), is much-loved. I know this because so many people were there when I visited last Sunday. Fishing on the small lake seems to be the primary aim. No speed bumps needed to manage vehicle speed, as the gravel road within the park is a matrix of gouges designed to punish inattentive and lead-footed drivers.


La Cueva, State Road 4, Jemez Mountain Scenic Byway, New Mexico


I think the state park's campground was full. I know for certain that nearby San Antonio Campground (Santa Fe National Forest, Jemez District) was full.

The lovely little pocket park adjacent to the imposing Battleship Rock, also full.

Overlook and picnic/camping area, State Road 4, Jemez Mountain Scenic Byway, New Mexico


The village of Jemez Springs, congested.

Jemez Pueblo, also alive with visitors at Red Rock and the attendant food kiosks.

For those with limited time in the area, my recommendations are to: 
  • Avoid the weekends
  • Skip Fenton Lake State Park, and
  • Focus on one or two of the Jemez District trails to explore

Red Rock, Jemez Pueblo, State Road 4, New Mexico



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