Battleship Rock To Jemez Falls

Battleship Rock To Jemez Falls Hike
In Jemez Mountains Region

Map File Source: NG Topo

map Hike Key: H10405
Last Updated: 09/05/2023 3:16pm
Last Updated By: Marilyn Warrant
Hike Class: D (Difficult)
Hike Distance: 3.9 mi
Minimum Elevation: 6771 ft
Elevation Change: 1205 ft
Total Uphill: 1578 ft
Total Downhill: 458 ft
Avg. Grade: 12 %
Route Type: Oneway
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: No
Drive Distance Round Trip: 130 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 1:30
Hiking Seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall
New Mexico Game Unit: 6A
Hike Status: Published


Huge obsidian boulders. Great views of the rim of San Diego Canyon far off to the west. Tall pines, ponderosas, oak, even alfalfa.


There are some steep parts. Watch out for poison ivy around the hot springs area.

Trailhead Directions

I-25 north to Bernalillo Exit 242, west on US 550 to San Ysidro, north on SR 4 past Jemez Springs to Battleship Rock Picnic Grounds. There is a small fee to park in this area. If possible drive across the small bridge and PARK-BATTLE (0.0 mi).

Actual Hike

The hike begins on the far side of a picnic shelter at the back of the Battleship Rock day use area. Trail 137 follows the left side of the river for approximately 0.25 mile. At that point there is a sign for McCauley Hot Springs as the trail turns left and up the hill. From this point on you will begin to see amazing and amazingly huge obsidian boulders. These black glass wonders are the result of fast cooling of lava from the volcanic action in this area. After a few minutes of ascent an old trail veers slightly to the left, while the new trail turns sharply to the right. Go to the right. Farther along the trail you will have excellent views of Battleship Rock and the gorge cut by the river. The trail continues its ascent then levels off somewhat as it passes through pine forest. The hot SPRING (1.6 mi) is on the hillside just below the trail. Several pools (UPPERPOOL (1.6 mi) and LOWERPOOL (1.7 mi)) form as the waters bubble to the surface and flow down the hillside. A dip in either the upper or lower pools can be very refreshing. If you did not bring your bathing suit, you’ll have to go in your clothes. There’s a fine for bathing without. Continue hiking uphill and northwest, passing through tall pines, ponderosas, oak, even alfafa. When you reach the OVRLKTRL (2.8 mi), hike southwest for a very short distance to a spectacular overlook of the canyon below. Return to the trail junction, go by the junction with the CMPGRNDTRL (3.0 mi), and continue until you reach the JEMEZFALLS (3.6 mi) overlook. Take a look, then return to the trail and back to the van.


Watch out for poison ivy around the hot springs area. This hike can be done with a shuttle or as a cross-over with the hike Jemez Falls to Battleship Rock. There are some steep parts. You may encounter nudists bathing in the spring. Huge boulders of obsidian — volcanic glass that looks like shiny coal. You’ll follow the East Fork of the Jemez much of the way. Great views of the rim of San Diego Canyon far off to the west. Tall pines, ponderosas, oak, even alfalfa.


PARK: N35 49.764, W106 38.636
SPRING: N35 49.335, W106 37.645
UPPERPOOL: N35 49.313, W106 37.644
LOWERPOOL: N35 49.300, W106 37.636
OVRLKTRL: N35 49.166, W106 36.786
CMPGRNDTRL: N35 49.101, W106 36.707
TRL137: N35 48.984, W106 36.409
JEMEZFALLS: N35 48.762, W106 36.442
Jemez Falls Bathrooms: N35 46.313, W106 41.444
PARK-JEMEZFLS: N35 48.972, W106 36.391

Map Filename: BattleshipRockToJemezFallsImage_MW.JPG
Hike GPS File Name: BattleshipRockToJemezFallsWayTrack_HCHC.gpx

Text Author: Howard Carr
Map Author: Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author: Howard Carr
Track Author: Howard Carr
Maintainer: Howard Carr
Editor: Marilyn Warrant

Photos of This Hike
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