Jemez Central Important News

Last Updated: July 24th, 2014

Latest Post  July 4th Weekend

La Cueva, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico 

 Elevation 7890 ft

“Winter Snow….Summer Perfect”


San Gregorio Reservoir Jemez Mountains New Mexico

San Gregorio Reservoir Has The Best Fishing In The Jemez Right Now

Rain Yesterday…  0

Year To Date…    6.85″


Yesterday’s High…. 82

This Morning’s Low…. 47

Today…. Shower Chance


July 10, 2014 Fire restrictions have been lifted in the Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District effective Thursday, July 10, 2014, 8:00AM. Numerous and soaking rains have reduced the fire danger considerably over the last seven days. Right now is my favorite time in the Jemez Mountains…bright sunny mornings, brief cooling afternoon showers and pleasant evenings around a warming campfire. Come and enjoy. Amanda’s Jemez Mountain Country Store is open 363 1/2 days a year….closing on Christmas Day and a half day on Thanksgiving. Our summer hours are 8:30 am to 8:00pm every day. Come on up and say hi. We’d love to see you.  

———————————- CURRENT FIRE DANGER MODERATE————————–002

As of Monday July 14, 2014  8:00 am  the fire danger within the Santa fe National Forest, Jemez Ranger District, has been lowered to MODERATE.  There are currently no fire restrictions.


Photo by Damien Spencer

Fenton Lake

****CAMPGROUND ALERT****  Vista Linda Campground (Hwy 4 below the Village of Jemez Springs) and Fenton Lake State Park (fully open)  Jemez Falls Campground (fully open) are now open. San Antonio Campground is now open by reservation only. Redondo and Paliza Campgrounds remain closed.

*****WATER ALERT*****  If you are planning to camp the Jemez any time of the year, please fill up your water tanks in your campers and RVs prior to coming to the Jemez. There are no options to do so once you arrive.

The new license year began on April 1, 2014. A new fishing license is required to fish in the State of New Mexico. License fees remain the same. $35 for an adult resident and $11 for a junior (age 12-17)  resident. Kids (11 and under) fish free as do adults over the age of 70. There is a senior license for those age 65-69 for $18. All fees above include the required habitat stamps. Licenses are available at Amanda’s Jemez Mountain Country Store or you can purchase your license online at the NMDGF website. Amanda’s also stocks a full line of bait and tackle.

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July 4th Weekend - July 3, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 4:36 pm
San Antonio Campground Pathway

San Antonio Campground Pathway

First of all…the forest is open…completely.

We finally had some widespread rain last night (Wednesday July 2nd) that settled the dust, lessened the fire danger, freshened the air and put a damper on the Diego Fire about fifteen miles to the northwest. The Jemez Mountains are beautiful right now and will continue to blossom as the July rains continue. In spite of the recent moisture, Level I Fire Restrictions remain in place. Campfires and charcoal are allowed in designated campgrounds only. Propane grills and stoves are OK in dispersed camping areas.

It seems to me that there are far fewer folks camping this three day weekend…certainly less than normal. All forest roads are open, including FR376 north to the San Antonio Hot Springs. Camping, hiking, hot springs, fishing and relaxing with family and friends in the cool mountain air are all here for your enjoyment.

Fishing has slowed considerably the last few weeks. NMDGF has curtailed most stocking activity until water quality improves. Anglers are still catching fish however.

I am willing to share my favorite time of year in the Jemez, so come on up and enjoy all that the Jemez Mountains have to offer.

Jemez Mountain Wildfires - June 29, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:17 pm
Smoke From The Diego Fire As Seen From San Antonio Canyon To The North

Smoke From The Diego Fire As Seen From San Antonio Canyon To The North

June 29, 2014

For the latest fire information, go to

The Diego Fire is located in the SFNF Coyote Ranger District. I normally do not comment on incidents outside the Jemez Ranger District, but because of the high visibility of the smoke from this fire in the La Cueva, Fenton Lake area, I feel the need to inform. This fire is located approximately twenty miles north of La Cueva and threatens none of the recreational areas within the Jemez Ranger District. Other than smoke in the far distance and the occasional air tanker overhead, there is no evidence of this fire. It is business as usual here.

As of 3:00 pm Sunday, June 14th, the Diego Fire had grown to 200 acres. The fire was lightning caused and was first detected earlier last week. No structures are threatened and the fire remains on Federal lands. The closest private lands are approximately one mile from the fire. It is burning primarily dead fuels.

Closer to home, another fire broke out Sunday afternoon above the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery  just off Forest Road 314. This fire was caused by a tree coming in contact with a power line and was quickly suppressed and contained at approximately one acre.

Soaking rains are hoped for… and forecast for the middle of this week.

Level 1 Fire Restrictions Effective June 12th - June 10, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 3:31 pm
No Campfires Except In Established Campgrounds

No Campfires Except In Established Campgrounds

From the USDA Forest Service, Santa Fe National Forest.

“Santa Fe national Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve remain in very high fire danger, despite recent rains. Grasses and other small fuels have dried out enough to carry fire; larger fuels, such as logs, are exceptionally dry and able to burn. The extended weather forecast calls for continued dry and windy conditions. All of these factors raise the potential for both human and lightning-caused fires.

To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to forest resources, Level 1  Fire Restrictions will be implemented on all National Forest System lands within Santa Fe National Forest on the Jemez Ranger District and Cuba Ranger District south of NM Highway 126, and the Valles Caldera National Preserve, in Sandoval County. This order will begin at 8:00 AM on June 12, and remain in effect until…rescinded.

Please observe the following prohibitions:

  • Campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires are prohibited except in established fire pits, in developed campsites and picnic areas.
  • Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters are allowed.
  • Smoking is only allowed in enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed recreation sites, or in areas at least three feet in diameter that are clear of flammable material.
  • Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of fire work or other pyrotechnic devise.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Free Fishing Day June 7, 2014 - June 3, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 6:16 pm
Local Anglers, Sterling And Jeremiah, Show Off Their Fenton Lake Catch

Local Anglers, Sterling And Jeremiah, Show Off Their Fenton Lake Catch

Saturday, June 7, 2014 is Free Fishing Day in the Jemez and throughout the State of New Mexico.

No License required.

All anglers, residents and non-residents, may fish free on public waters  statewide. No one needs a license or stamp, although bag limits and all other rules and regulations apply.


Memorial Day 2014 – Jemez Mountains - May 21, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:18 pm

411Thank-you to all that have served this great country and have made the ultimate sacrifice. We honor you this Memorial Day, 2014. No matter our political views or the politics of war, I hope we can all agree that we owe a debt of gratitude to our fallen heroes.

Normally I would not look forward to a rainy Memorial Day Weekend, but this will be a welcome event….if the weather forecasters are on target. Imagine the rain cooled air, the roads no longer choked with dust and the warmth of your campfire as you sit among family and friends and enjoy the beauty of the Jemez Mountains. This is going to be a special three day weekend.

Most waters in the Jemez have been stocked heavily over the last five or six weeks  with rainbow trout that fit nicely in any frying pan. Campgrounds are open, forest roads offer dispersed camping opportunities and there are no fire restrictions. Hot springs beckon. Hiking trails call your name. All sorts of recreation may lure you to a very special part of New Mexico….the Jemez Mountains. We invite you to the Jemez to make family memories and enjoy the enchantment of the New Mexico outdoors.

I realize that I am ‘preaching to the choir here, but please be very careful with your campfires this weekend and please ‘pack it in…pack it out’…trash that is.

April Is The Month - April 3, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 12:50 pm
April Fishing In The Jemez Can Be Very Good

April Fishing In The Jemez Can Be Very Good

This appears to be unique year for recreation in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. With unprecedented low winter snowpack, no runoff and an early thaw to Fenton Lake, we are already experiencing late spring conditions here in the Jemez. The streams are running clear and quite low for early April, but are fishing very well. The lake is also fishing quite well and has been, ever since the ice came off about a month ago.

But for how long?

My advice is get on up to the Jemez sooner than later this spring, as the best conditions will probably be in April this year….at least until we can get into the monsoon season in July and August. May and June are our hottest and driest months historically. High fire danger, fire restrictions and possible forest closures will contribute to limited camping and recreational activities. Hot and dry conditions will also cause an early algae bloom in the lake that will limit or curtail stocking activities. Likewise, with the streams, low and warm water conditions can restrict stocking activity to certain Jemez streams. I don’t like to sound pessimistic, but this is the reality of the situation.

Now, some positive news.

The NMDGF will be stocking heavily throughout the month of April. Check back often with our JemezCentral stocking report for up to the minute stocking information. Jemez Falls Campground is scheduled to open on April 19, 2014 (about a month earlier than normal). San Antonio Campground (reservation only) is scheduled for an April 29th opening (also early). I may have some exciting news concerning Redondo Campground soon, so stay tuned. Vista Linda Campground, of course, is open year round. Forest roads 144 and 376 (to the south) are scheduled to open on April 15th. These openings will provide for good camping opportunities for both improved and dispersed camping.

In spite of the fact that we received from 2-6 inches of new snow today (April 3rd), the Jemez Mountains remain very dry. The fire danger is  listed as HIGH. There are, however, no fire restrictions at this time. I realize that I am ‘preaching to the choir’ here, but please be extremely careful and responsible with your campfires.

Once again, my advice is to get on up to the mountains now (April) while the getting is good. Stick with and I will keep you updated with the most current developments….be they good….or bad.


Early Spring? - January 29, 2014

Filed under: News — admin @ 3:16 pm
High Fire Danger In January....Not Good

High Fire Danger In January….Not Good

The old timers in the area have told me of days past when they measured snowstorms in feet. Since I moved to the Jemez Mountains in 1989, we have measured snow events in inches. Now it seems that we measure snowfall by the number of snowflakes that we can count. Of course that is an exaggeration, but sadly, it is not far off.

And, we are not alone. The entire southwestern part of the US, including much of California, has been affected by a persistent high pressure system that is diverting the winter weather far to the north.

So far this winter season, I have measured 12 inches of total snowfall. Last year I measured 72 inches and the year before that….96 inches. Needless to say, this winter is shaping up to be one of the driest in a long, long time. I remember the winter of 2001-2002 that a grand total of 13 inches fell in this area.

However, according to the ‘Farmer’s Almanac’, the Southwest is predicted to have cold and snowy weather the first and last part of February and the first part of March. I am hoping that the Almanac is correct. Many swear by it. As of this writing, the NWS forecast is calling for a chance for stormy weather tomorrow (January 30) through the weekend and into next week. We can only hope.

So what does this mean? If we do not have significant moisture this late winter and into the spring, the Jemez Mountains will once again become a tinderbox susceptible to wildfire. The reality is that because of extreme fire danger within the Santa Fe National Forest, Jemez Ranger District, the forest and campgrounds could be closed to public use early and often. I am not trying to be an alarmist, but these are the facts as we have them right now.

My advice is to keep your eye on this website for up to the minute information and plan your Jemez recreation early this year. With an early ice off at Fenton Lake, some of the best fishing of the year can be March and April. There will be virtually no runoff this spring in the rivers, so plan your river fishing early as well. The forest roads usually open around April 1st, and perhaps earlier this year, providing opportunities for dispersed camping. Who knows, perhaps the Forest Service will open the campgrounds earlier than their normal early May opening.

On the other hand, we can hope that the ‘Farmers Almanac’ will prove correct and we can start measuring our snowfall in inches (or feet) this late winter. Wouldn’t that be dandy. Do your best snow dance and let’s hope for the best.

Happy Thanksgiving And Christmas Trees - November 28, 2013

Filed under: News — admin @ 10:21 am
That Perfect Tree?

That Perfect Tree?

November 28, 2013.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. No matter our situation in life, we all have much to be thankful for. I know I do. Enjoy the day, love those around you, provide for those less fortunate, safe travels and good eats.

There is much to do in the Jemez this time of year. While some of the Forest Roads are muddy, snowy or icy, all of the highways are in good condition. Check with for current weather and road conditions. Whether you come to the Jemez to hunt, fish, gather firewood, camp, enjoy the hot springs, or just want to get out of town, be sure and stop in to Amanda’s and say hi.

There will be a lot of folks coming to the Jemez Mountains to harvest a Christmas Tree during the next few weeks. Here are some things that will help you to have an enjoyable time:

Santa Fe National Forest is selling Christmas Tree permits now and trees may be cut between November 25 and December 24, 2013. Forest Service Offices will be closed today in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Jemez Ranger District Office just north of Jemez Springs is also closed on the weekends. Permits may also be purchased from the Walatowa Visitors Center at the Jemez Pueblo Red Rocks next to the gas station seven days a week. The cost is $10 per tree (up to ten feet tall). For trees taller than ten feet, an additional permit must be purchased. The tags are also good to dig up a living tree.

Be prepared for winter weather with wet, muddy or snowy roads. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Winter storms can occur suddenly. If one comes up, start heading home. At a minimum, the following items should be a part of your trip into the woods:

Tire chains, tow strap, shovel, warm clothing, blankets, first aid kit, matches or flares, flashlight and a full gas tank. You cannot rely on your cell phone as it will not work in most areas of the Jemez Mountains.

Bring Grandma and the kids and be safe while having an enjoyable time and continuing to build family traditions.

Labor Day 2013….What You Need To Know - August 26, 2013

Filed under: News — admin @ 6:29 pm
Jemez Mountain San Antonio Hot Springs

San Antonio Hot Springs

Labor Day Weekend provides for the last three day weekend of the summer and is a popular time for families and friends to enjoy their ‘last hurrah’ in the Jemez Mountains.

The Jemez Mountains are beautiful right now with lots of wildflowers and damp, grass covered terrain. Although, we have had a great ‘monsoon’ with lots of rain, the forecast for this weekend is calling for warm sunny days and cool nights with only a slight chance for afternoon showers. It should be a perfect camping weekend. Fenton Lake State Park, San Antonio Campground (reservation only), along with Jemez Falls and Vista Linda campgrounds will provide opportunities for improved camping. These campgrounds will fill up fast, possibly as early as Wednesday night or Thursday afternoon. However, there are limitless dispersed camping opportunities along the forest roads. These are not campgrounds in these dispersed areas so you will have to do without picnic tables, bathrooms, neighbors (for the most part) and fees. If you need help locating these areas please stop by the store and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Fire danger is rated as Moderate right now and there are no fire restrictions currently within the Santa Fe National Forest – Jemez Ranger District. Enjoy your campfires, but enjoy responsibly.

Fishing is improving, as most waters in the Jemez are clearing significantly. All waters are fishable now and I have heard that the hatchery truck will be out and about tomorrow (Friday Aug 30th). Even the lake is improving ( water quality wise) and most anglers are catching fish.  The Rio Cebolla from the lake on up to the Seven Springs Hatchery and the Kid’s Pond (11yr and younger) at the hatchery continue to provide the best fishing.  Click on our ‘Fishing Report’ section for more detailed information.

Lucy and Her Big One From The Kid's Pond

Lucy and Her Big One From The Kid’s Pond

The East Fork corridor ( EF Trail 137) including popular hiking opportunities to the ‘cliff jumps’, McCauley Warm Springs, Jemez Falls and Spence Hot Springs, remains closed. I know a lot of folks are ignoring the closure signs, but be aware, that fines can be hefty if you are caught. The Forest Road 376 to the San Antonio Hot Springs is rough, but open.

The Forest Service is really promoting the “pack it in….pack it out” philosophy, so please plan on cleaning up your campsite and hauling your trash out.

We’d love to see you in the Jemez this weekend….but if plans keep you in town, please try and make time for the Lobos football team vs Texas-San Antonio at University Stadium, 6:00 pm Saturday (Aug 31). Go Lobos.


Nineteen Heroes…. - July 1, 2013

Filed under: News — admin @ 6:19 am
Thank You Granite Mountain Hot-Shots

Thank You Granite Mountain Hot-Shots

The news of the Arizona tragedy is heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost in the fast moving wild fire near Yarnell, Arizona.

The Prescott, Arizona Granite Mountain Hotshots were part of our community for a couple of weeks during the Thompson Ridge Fire. They were customers of mine. They represented themselves very well. They were nice people. They are trained well to fight wild fires, to protect life and property. They are also trained well to be respectful of the communities of which they become a part. They are courteous, polite and well spoken. This is the way they all are….all of them. We had the privilege of having over a thousand of these heroes among us for over a month. We were lucky to have them.

Nineteen heroes. Here one day….gone the next. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.