100’ high Church Falls overlooks the town of Jemez Springs
name- Church Falls
GPS coordinates- ±35°47.409’N 106°39.770’W
season- anytime but early December is when I was there shooting the photos on this page
accommodations- Jemez Spring has it all hey...
ownership- Santa Fe National Forest
access- 1m trail above the US Forest Service the ridge then a trail-less mile and a half to the falls. It get steep and ruff near the end, but waterfalls are like that.
nearest town- Jemez Springs is about 2 miles southwest of here
fun fact- this place is way beautiful. I will return.
December 13,2013 I parked my wheels at the Jemez Springs Forest Service Ranger station and took an afternoon hike. I was oblivious to the existence of the nice little trail I found walking just west of their large garage building. It is steep but it is a great trail that goes exactly right to get to Church Falls. After a long mile on that trail you peak-out on a prominent ridge that heads toward the deep cut of the Church Creek Box Canyon. See the photo below. Church Canyon shows to your left in this photo. You can faintly see some white ice on the cliff in the shade.
This photo was taken from that ridge. The game trails are fairly good along the ridge so follow them to the beginning of the steep cliffs. As you cut over to the falls you will likely be more comfortable loosing some elevation for easier walking. Then the scramble up Church Canyon is steep with many very large boulders. This is a beautiful place. In fact... awesome...!!! The spring-flow waters trickled, splashed and laughed down the cliff face, half the time covered-with-ice. I feel like a mid-November to mid-December hike is the best because the ice build-up contributes to the size and beauty of this wonderful waterfall. Tiny little Church Creek soaks into the earth a short ways below the falls, leaving a dry creek-bed.
The month of May during a wet year could provide a fabulous, thunderous, exciting, dancing watershow...!!!!
If you ever notice that Church Creek is flow strong under the bridge down in town... then a hike up to the falls may be extra special.
Enhanced USGS 7.5’ topo map
Send questions and comments to dscott@TheMarbleSculptor.com