advertisement

Aside from the sights described in our listings, Los Alamos offers the Pajarito Mountain ski area, Camp May Road (P.O. Box 155), Los Alamos, NM 87544 (tel. 505/662-5725; www.skipajarito.com), with five chairlifts -- it's only open on Friday through Sunday and federal holidays. It's an outstanding ski area that rarely gets crowded; many trails are steep and have moguls. Los Alamos also offers the Los Alamos Golf Course, 4250 Diamond Dr. (tel. 505/662-8139), at the edge of town, where greens fees are around $25, and the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center, 2760 Canyon Rd. (tel. 505/662-8170), the highest-altitude indoor Olympic-size swimming pool in the United States. Not far from downtown is an outdoor ice-skating rink, with a snack bar and skate rentals, open Thanksgiving to late February (tel. 505/662-4500). It's at 4475 West Rd. (take Trinity Dr. to Diamond St., turn left, and watch for the sign on your right). There are no outstanding restaurants in Los Alamos, but if you get hungry, you can stop at the Blue Window Bistro, 813 Central Ave. (tel. 505/662-6305), a country-style restaurant serving pasta, sandwiches, and salads, with a view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Chamber of Commerce has maps for self-guided historical walking tours, and you can find self-guided driving-tour tapes at stores and hotels around town.

Inside a Volcano

While you're in the area, check out the Valles Caldera National Preserve, past Bandelier National Monument on NM 4, beginning about 15 miles from Los Alamos. The reserve is all that remains of a volcanic caldera created by a collapse after eruptions nearly a million years ago. When the mountain spewed ashes and dust as far away as Kansas and Nebraska, its underground magma chambers collapsed, forming this great valley -- one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world. Lava domes that pushed up after the collapse obstruct a full view across the expanse, but the beauty of the place is still within grasp. Visitors have many guided options for exploring the preserve, from sleigh rides in winter to fly-fishing in summer. For more information, contact tel. 866-382-5537; www.vallescaldera.gov.

Events

The Los Alamos events schedule includes a Sports Skiesta in mid-March; arts-and-crafts fairs in May, August, and November; a county fair, rodeo, and arts festival in August; and a triathlon in August/September.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.