Camping in Nambe

Camping in Nambe
The Nambe Pueblo is one of 19 pueblos in New Mexico. Situated north of Santa Fe at the foot of the dramatic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Nambe is open every day except holidays. Local artists do weaving and make jewelry, micaceous pottery and stone sculptures; they sell their wares at the gift shop. Nambe Pueblo is open from early April to mid-October and has a cafe. Admission to the pueblo is free; other activities for the outdoor enthusiast are available for a modest fee.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Camping gear
  • Hiking shoes and socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Flip-flops or sandals
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat or baseball cap
  • First aid kit
  • Cooler
  • Food
  • Snacks
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Fishing rod
  • Tackle box
  • Hooks
  • Fishing line
  • Sinkers
Step 1
Pack your camping gear, hiking shoes, swimsuit and flip-flops or sandals. The summers are hot, so take casual, comfortable clothing, plenty of sunscreen, a hat or baseball cap and a first aid kit. Load your cooler with food, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Take your fishing rod and tackle box with extra hooks, line and sinkers.
Step 2
Fly or drive into Santa Fe and drive north on Highway 84-285 to Pojaoque. Take exit 503 toward East Nambe. Turn right and travel 3 miles on NP 101, then follow the sign to the pueblo.
Step 3
Observe correct etiquette at Nambe Pueblo. You must obtain a permit to take photographs; do this by contacting the tribal office before arrival. Never take photographs of tribal members without asking permission. Do not carry in alcohol or drugs. Do not press tribal members for answers to questions. Maintain silence during ceremonies and dances. Do not enter Kivas, cemeteries or ceremonial rooms. The pueblos don't permit scaling walls, climbing to the top of buildings, entering off limit areas or littering. Only enter a pueblo home on invitation. Leave your cell phone at home. Never remove pieces of pottery or artifacts you find while hiking.
Step 4
Camp at one of Nambe Pueblo's sites, which the Tewa ethnic group maintains well. You may only camp in the campground. Group campsites are available.
Step 5
Hike up to the base of the three Nambe waterfalls from the campground; it only takes 15 minutes. Continue your hike up the side of the canyon. The Rio Nambe reservoir is the source of the waterfalls. Fish for trout and salmon in the 56-acre Nambe Lake, but not downstream from the dam; the ranger station sells bait, tackle and a Nambe fishing permit.

Tips & Warnings

Tribal ceremonies do not start and finish according to the clock, but rather to acts of nature.

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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