Falls Trail Stop 1

green tree in foreground and mountains in the distance
Jemez Mountains

Photo by Sally King

Stop 1: The story begins with a large volcano twice blowing its top over a million years ago. Pyroclastic flows (dense, destructive masses of very hot ash, lava fragments, and gases ejected explosively from a volcano that flow downhill at great speed) from the two massive eruptions of the Jemez Volcano buried the landscape in ash up to 1000 feet deep. For the last million years, the action of wind and water have eroded the compressed ash deposits into a series of steep walled canyons (like the one you are in) separated by comparatively flat mesas.

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Last updated: January 16, 2022

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