Special Places

The Santa Fe National Forest has a number of special places, including wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, a national recreation area and scenic byways.

There are four wilderness areas on the forest. They cover almost 300,000 acres. Wilderness areas provide primitive recreation options. 

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was instituted by Congress in 1968 to protect outstanding free-flowing rivers.  There are three wild and scenic rivers on the Forest: the Rio ChamaPecos and East Fork of the Jemez.  For more information on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, visit http://www.rivers.gov/.

Jemez National Recreation Area (JNRA) was designated by Congress in 1993 to conserve and restore its recreational, natural and cultural resources.  Learn more about the JNRA.

The Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration has designated roads in the United States that should be recognized for their cultural, historic, scenic and recreational attributes.There are two Scenic and Historic Byways that pass through the Santa Fe National Forest. Learn more about the Byways. 

Highlighted Areas

Jemez Ranger District

The Jemez Ranger District is home to the Jemez National Recreation Area, located within the Jemez Mountains. A drive through the district reveals multiple cultural landmarks and impressive geological formations. Red rock canyons, round peaks, colorful mesas and clear blue skies provide an inspiring backdrop. Cottonwood gallery forests dot the lower recreation sites and provide shade for anglers in the summer, turning brilliant hues of gold and yellow in the fall. In the higher elevations, quaking aspen take over and display their foliage of gold and red. Trails lead to hot springs and waterfalls, glimpses of the Valles Caldera, and majestic views of the mountains. A visit to the district will leave you enchanted by the land that the people of the Jemez Pueblo have lived in for generations.