One of the things we like about Los Alamos is that it offers a delightful variety of attractions and activities, practically something for everyone. Details on organized field trips are being worked out, and we’ll also be suggesting things you will want to do on your own. The 2023 conference is a group effort, with Don Laine and Linda Haehnle as conference co-chairs and Virginia Staat taking the lead on setting up workshops.
Top area attractions include Bandelier National Monument, with its 13th-century ancestral Puebloan ruins, including cliff dwellings, a large pueblo, and an abundance of rock art. The monument also has a variety of trails, including one that leads to two picturesque waterfalls. We’re hoping to arrange a guided tour of the Puye Cliff Dwellings, ancestral home of today’s Santa Clara Pueblo people, who lived along these cliffs from the 900s to about 1580 A.D. There are several levels of cave and cliff dwellings, as well as structures on top of the mesa, plus a Harvey House built by the Fred Harvey Company as a bed and breakfast in the early 20th century.
The mostly undeveloped Valles Caldera National Preserve is the result of a huge volcanic eruption over a million years ago, and boasts herds of elk and mule deer plus black bears and mountain lions. The preserve has miles of old logging roads – mostly closed to motorized vehicles – that provide easy access to the backcountry for hikers.
The Los Alamos Nature Center is the place to go to see area wildlife, over 3,000 species of local plants, and geology, or hike into a beautiful forested canyon. The area also has several scenic overlooks, including White Rock Canyon Overlook, which may be the perfect spot for a sunrise photo shoot.
Of course, Los Alamos is also known as the birthplace of the world’s first atomic bombs, code-named the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project National Historical Park is a work in progress, and includes sites in Tennessee and Washington State in addition to Los Alamos, to tell the story of the development of the bomb.
Los Alamos National Laboratory operates the Bradbury Science Museum, which tells the story of the development of the bomb as well as other projects, including non-military uses for nuclear energy; and the Los Alamos History Museum highlights the human history of the area.
For more area information see www.visitlosalamos.org.