Nambe Falls, NM

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by and - last updated on 6/5/2024

Nambe Falls, NM   Map

When you arrive at the Recreation Area, there will be a Park Ranger collecting entrance fees (see our warning below). Once you have paid your fees, the road to the hiking area and river is to your right. If you continue to drive straight ahead, you will wind up at the recreation lake area. There is a large parking area and bathroom near the river and trail head.

To hike to the falls, there are two trails to pick from; the upper trail for a panoramic view or the lower trail for a closer encounter. As you hike closer to the actual falls, things take a wild turn. Suddenly, there's all this lush greenery popping up thanks to the Rio Nambe river that feeds the whole show. Cottonwood trees and willows sprout everywhere, providing a shady escape from the desert heat. It's like stepping into a secret oasis!

The upper trail, a bit steeper, rewards you with a breathtaking vista of the falls plunging into a pool below. The lower trail winds alongside the Rio Nambe, and depending on the season, you might get your feet wet! Water shoes are recommended, especially in the spring when snowmelt swells the river. We decided to hike the upper trail, and it was indeed steep but resulted in really good views of the water fall and the dam.

Nambe Falls is a place where you get the full New Mexico experience: hot desert, epic mountains, and a hidden little green paradise with a cool waterfall. In fact, on a hot day and as both trails do not have much shade, you should dress appropriately, bring your own water and utilize a good sun-screen product.

WARNING: The per-carload entrance fee is $20 in cash only. If you plan to fish, the fee is $18 per person with a 5 fish bag limit. You should visit the Nambe Recreation Area Website for more information.


As you can see above in image # 4, the 56 acre Nambe Recreation Lake sits behind the dam and is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout and seems to be a popular fishing spot as we saw a lot of people there fishing. After we finished our hike up to the dam, we drove up to the lake area and explored for a few minutes. There were quite a few people fishing, but there is a number of good places to park.


More Info for Nambe Falls, NM 

  • Nambe Falls Wikipedia Article
  • Our Nambe Falls Image Gallery
  • Nambe Falls Google Images Set
  • Nambe Falls Google Map
  • Nambe Falls & Recreation Area Website
  • Our Youtube Channel

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