10 Things to Do in Los Alamos That You Shouldn't Miss

January 3, 2018 Jacquiline Darosa

Most famous for the National Laboratory that brought about such discoveries as the atomic bomb, Los Alamos is also a natural wonderland for outdoors enthusiasts who wish to explore the mountainous terrain. Take a tour of Atomic City and learn about America's history and scientific advances, or hike through the Bandelier National Monument to see wildlife and ancient Puebloan ruins. The area boasts year-round activities, including rock climbing, golfing, mountain biking, skiing, skating and more.
Restaurants in Los Alamos

1. Bandelier National Monument

15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544-9508 +1 505-672-3861 ext. 517
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument is 50 square miles of the Pajarito Plateau, on the slopes of the Jemez Volcanic field in the Jemez Mountains. Over 70% of the Monument is Wilderness, with over 1 mile elevation change, from about 5000' along the Rio Grande to over 10,000' at the rim of the Valles Caldera, providing for a wide range of life zones and wildlife habitat. There are only 3 miles of road, but over 70 miles of hiking trails. The Monument, founded in 1916, protects Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites, a beautiful landscape, and the country's largest Civilian Conservation Corps National Landmark District.

Reviewed By Marcia K - Palo Alto, California

Had no idea that this was hear. Home of the ancestral pueblos around 1400. Up to 500 pueblos lived in this canyon. You can walk the route up to the caves....about 1 1/2 miles. A few areas with steep stairs up and down but with handrails. Many other trails to walk if your up to it. Highly recommend it!

2. Tsankawi

State Highway 4, Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, NM
Excellent
72%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 155 reviews

Tsankawi

Reviewed By LorenzoLorenzo - Boulder, Colorado

Tsankawi is part of Bandelier NP, but easier to get to. It was a home to the Anasazi and their history remains here. We first visited 30+ years ago and it still enchants us. The pathways worn into the soft stone, cave homes and many petroglyphs always amaze us.

A moderate hike. It has several ladders to climb up/down. The sad part is some persons have added carvings & pottery shards have been removed. Most of what you see is hundreds of years old.Look inside the cave homes for wall art.

Unfortunately the NP has had to restrict access to some very interesting areas. But the rock structure can be unstable.

Go early to enjoy the cooler temps and smaller crowds. And bring water.

3. White Rock Overlook Park

700 Overlook Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 233 reviews

White Rock Overlook Park

Favorite park of tourists and residents alike provides magnificent views of the Rio Grande and facilities for outdoor sports and picnicking.

Reviewed By packcal

Scenic, easy stop off the highway while driving to Bandelier Nat'l Monument. View of the mountains, colorful hills, river and a thin waterfall. Especially impressive with fall colors along the river bank during early November.

4. Bradbury Science Museum

1350 Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87544-3244 +1 505-667-4444
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 708 reviews

Bradbury Science Museum

Approximately 60 interactive exhibits trace the history of the WWII Manhattan Project, highlight Los Alamos National Laboratory's current and historic research projects related to defense and technology, and focus on Laboratory research related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns. These exhibits together with extensive educational and community programs draw nearly 80,000 visitors a year. Admission is FREE and open to the public. We are open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday & Monday: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Reviewed By Steven P - Pueblo, Colorado

This museum covers the history of the Los Alamos National Laboratories from Atomic Bomb development through today's activities and into the future. 3 large rooms covering defense, research, and history along with a theater that shows today's work and an auditorium that shows a video of the lab's beginnings. A complex place that can be accessible to the uninitiated and overwhelming to those with advanced degrees at the same time. The only thing missing was Dr Sheldon Cooper.

5. Los Alamos Historical Museum

1050 Bathtub Row, Los Alamos, NM 87544 +1 505-662-4493
Excellent
53%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 238 reviews

Los Alamos Historical Museum

Reviewed By binderdundat - Vancouver

This is among the best little museums I've been to. I must admit that prior to my visit I knew very little about Los Alamos. The Historical Museum provides an interesting and easy to digest overview of Los Alamos before, during, and after its famous Manhattan Project period. The museum has great flow and is really well organized (helpful staff give an overview when you arrive). I was surprised to learn so much cool stuff. Visiting the Historical Museum and learning about the fascinating history of Los Alamos helped me get the most out of my later visit to the Bradbury Science Museum. If you have the time, I recommend visiting both museums in this order.

6. Los Alamos Nature Center

2600 Canyon Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544-2773 +1 505-662-0460
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
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5 based on 65 reviews

Los Alamos Nature Center

Perched on a canyon with exceptional views of the Jemez Mountains, the Los Alamos Nature center is the perfect place to start your exploration of the spectacular Pajarito Plateau. The award-winning, $4.3 million building is filled with interactive, hands-on exhibits including live animals, a large-scale 3D topo map of the plateau, a Children's Discovery Area, peaceful wildlife observation room, information about the formation of the Valles Caldera, a planetarium with star shows and full dome feature films, and much more. Browse the demonstration gardens, get dirty in the mud kitchen and nature play area, learn about all the plants and animals that make up the Vertical Mile of Diversity, find your next adventure on the Los Alamos Trails App (for iOS and Android) and share it on the "Share Your Adventure" wall. Explore local nature at the Naturalists' Desk, meet all the critters, including Tad, Poole, and Lily, the Canyon Tree Frogs and Titus the Tiger Salamander, watch the ants tunnel in their special visible ant mound, play on the model Pajarito Plateau for kids, put on a puppet show or cuddle up with a book in the Children's Discovery Area, or just relax on our comfy chairs and admire the breathtaking views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Finish off your day with some time under the stars in the state-of-the-art planetarium!

Reviewed By SeekingVines - San Diego, California

Finding the Nature Center is an adventure in itself. This is due to the street layout of Los Alamos; the streets are not in grid pattern due to the geology of the city. The streets work around 3 buttes, so follow the signs most carefully. Online-generated maps may not be sufficient.
Once we found the place, it was great. Outdoor exhibit on drought-tolerant gardening was helpful to us. Indoors, very nice displays of flora and fauna. I prefer to see things like tarantulas and scorpions and snakes in a safe, glassed-in case!
Helpful staff and volunteers. A few exhibits seemed especially kid-friendly, but there is plenty for the adults among us, too. I recommend it. Free admission

7. Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op

163 Central Park Sq, Los Alamos, NM 87544-4029 +1 505-500-8381
Excellent
56%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 56 reviews

Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op

Reviewed By monemmer - Southwestern USA

The 'Tub' is a great place to gather with friends and enjoy a micro-brewed beer. This place does not serve food, except for tapas boxes that are sometimes on sale from the local food coop. Rigobertos is a New Mexican restaurant right next door where a lot of folks get take out to eat at the 'Tub'. Thursdays and Fridays are quite busy when the after-work crowd shows up.

8. Pajarito Mountain Ski Area

397 Camp May Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544 +1 505-662-5725
Excellent
55%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 48 reviews

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area

With more than 280 acres of ski-able acreage and 37 named trails of varying skill levels, this ski area is ideal whether you're a beginner or expert on the slopes.

Reviewed By ABfromLosAlamos - Santa Fe, New Mexico

Pajarito Ski Mountain is a nice place for local experienced skiers, but if you are a beginner you best look elsewhere.

Courses that are classified as Green Beginner would be Blue Intermediate on any other ski hill. As a beginner, steep narrow ski lanes are intimidating and unnerving and most trails are steep and narrow.

But if you are in for a challenge and you like steep narrow ski lanes, then you might just love Pajarito.

9. Frijoles Canyon

Los Alamos, NM +1 505-672-3861
Excellent
70%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
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4.5 based on 39 reviews

Frijoles Canyon

Canyon in the Bandelier National Monument offering spectacular scenic beauty and ancient ruins.

Reviewed By mwcw - new Mexico

If you only have a short time at Bandelier NM, then this is the trail to take. It's about a mile long from the Visitor's Center to Long House and another mile or so to the amazing Alcove House. The trail continues another 5 miles to Upper Crossing but the trail is very difficult to follow since the two recent floods. Evidence of the devastation is everywhere but mother nature is slowly doing her repair job. The trail goes past the Big Kiva, Tyuonyi Pueblo and the cliff dwellings. The trail is paved for most of the way and there are handrails on the steeper sections. Ladders lead into the dwelllings Make sure you have the informative guide which can be purchased for $1 or used free and returned at the end. This is the heart of Bandelier and should not be missed. Bring water and wear a hat as it's hot and dry.

10. Anderson Scenic Overlook

Highway 502 coming West into town, Five Miles out of Los Alamos, Los Alamos, NM
Excellent
68%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

Anderson Scenic Overlook

Reviewed By gregnx - Los Alamos, New Mexico

Turning left into this would be a disaster for traffic behind you. The view is cool, plenty of opportunity for group photos.

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