12 Amazing Waterfalls In New Mexico Families Will Love (With Map!)

Waterfalls in New Mexico for families? Yup! New Mexico is known for many things. The stunning landscapes and diversity of attractions draw millions of visitors each year. Historical sites and national parks definitely reign supreme in The Land of Enchantment when it comes to tourism.

You will find lists of museums, tourist attractions, national parks, state parks, Native American and other historical sites when searching for things to do in New Mexico with kids, the waterfalls shouldn’t be overlooked!

While you won’t have hundreds of options like you do with the waterfalls in Tennessee, you can still take your pick of exciting waterfalls in NM! Hiking families are sure to love the adventures that these falls will lead them to. Which will you visit first?

skinny waterfall falling down large cliff

New Mexico Waterfalls Map

12 Amazing Waterfalls In New Mexico Families Will Love

Nambe Falls

When it comes to family-friendly waterfalls in NM, Nambe Falls is the most popular. It is popular for many reasons. First, it is one of the waterfalls near Santa Fe. This town is such a hot spot for travelers and explorers so proximity plays a big role. But, that’s not all!

Other than being one of the best waterfalls in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it’s also super kid friendly. The trail is ranked as easy in difficulty and only takes around twenty minutes to reach on a hiking trail in the Nambe Falls & Lake Recreation Area.

For those traveling with young kids or those who aren’t big hikers, you’ll be a fan of the super short 0.5-mile out-and-back trail that takes you to the waterfall.

In order to get to the trail, you will need to pay the entrance fee for the recreation area. The day rates are paid by the carload. You can also do some camping in the recreation area as well which is also paid for by the carload.

As always, if you are camping, try your best to arrive before 7 pm so that you can get check-in before closing. Arrive even earlier if you want to make sure you are all set up at camp before the sun goes down.

This recreation area not only provides campsites, waterfalls, and a hiking trail, you will have access to some necessities on-site. There are picnic areas and a ranger station where you can purchase water, snacks, soda, and ice. Also, this is one of the dog-friendly waterfalls in New Mexico to visit with your family! So, there’s no need to leave your furry friend at home!

To top everything off, there’s excellent fishing on site and you can rent boats, fishing poles, and other watercraft like rafts, paddle boards, canoes, and floating tubes to add to your experience there. Kayaks are available for a half-hour or hour rental for both single-person and two-person kayaks.

multiple layered waterfall falling down a canyon

Bar Canyon-Soledad Canyon Waterfall

This is one of the most exciting New Mexico waterfalls! The Beautiful Soledad Canyon Day Use Area is something that you won’t want to skip over when you are exploring NM. It is reserved and cared for by the Bureau of Land Management at the juncture of the Soledad and the Bar Canyons.

This beautiful waterfall is in the western foothills of the stunning Organ Mountains. Offering hikes near Las Cruces, hikers will love the hikes available in the area. The three-mile Bar Canyon Loop Trail is among the most highly trafficked trails at this site.

While you are there, you will enjoy picturesque views of the central Organ Mountains as well as the southern Mesilla Valley. Now, let’s talk about the gem in the canyon, the waterfall.

The three-mile loop trail at Organ Mountain around the Desert Peaks National monument is going to take you to the gorgeous falls. You should plan on spending around an hour and a half to two hours on this trail. The idyllic desert landscape is something that you won’t want to miss!

Used for both hiking and horseback riding, you may see some four-legged friends on the trail while you make your way to the falls. Keep in mind that the time of year that you visit will affect the flow of the waterfall.

You should also be aware that tarantulas call this area home. Of course, other less-creepy animals like jackrabbits, birds, and deer can be found there too. This is definitely one of the best waterfalls in New Mexico for families!

quick flowing waterfall down an angles rock facing, a man standing on the rocks near the waterfall, great waterfalls in nm
Patrick Alexander: Flikr

Bluff Springs Waterfall

Ready to check out the waterfall in Cloudcraft, New Mexico? When looking for Cloudcraft hiking waterfalls, Bluff Springs Waterfall is almost 9000 feet up in the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico.

You’ll cross a little wooden footbridge, up wooden stairs, walk along a stream, and through green shire-like hills before you reach Bluff Springs Waterfall. This area offers a picnic and camping area as well.

The camping offered here is dispersed camping. For those who don’t know, dispersed camping means that you can park and set up a tent out in the open. Don’t expect bathrooms or a camp store here, just camping out in the great outdoors. Don’t miss Bluff Springs as it is one of the best family waterfalls in New Mexico

Jemez Falls

The highest waterfall in New Mexico is Jemez Falls. Arguably one of the most popular waterfalls near Albuquerque, Jemez Falls should be on your NM bucket list!

The trailhead for the waterfall is adjacent to the Jemez Falls Group Area. You will find the trailhead midway through the East Fork Trail. There are toilets at Trail 137 and dogs are welcome on the trail as long as they are leashed.

Ranked as easy, this trail in the Santa Fe National Forest is perfect for families. As one of the best waterfalls in New Mexico, you are likely to see someone others on the trail with you. In total the out-and-back trail is 0.7 miles long so plan to spend around 20-30 minutes hiking the trail.

Jemez Falls is among the best Albuquerque waterfalls, so be sure not to overlook this dreamy waterfall while you are exploring beautiful New Mexico.

angles waterfall down a cliff facing with greenery on the cliff

Sitting Bull Falls

Can you swim at Sitting Bull Falls? Yes! If you’ve been looking for waterfalls in New Mexico that you can swim in, here you are! Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area can be found in the Lincoln National Forest. Truly a desert oasis, this waterfall sits about an hour outside of the town of Carlsbad, NM.

Pack yourself a little picnic and head towards this beautiful waterfall to spend a day in the sunshine in the great outdoors. While there aren’t any campsites, there are historic picnic areas that you can use during your visit. Be sure to bring lots of water, especially during the summer! And keep in mind that there is a small fee for visiting the falls.

The trail to reach the falls is ranked as easy in difficulty and is roughly 0.7 miles out and back. It takes around thirty minutes of hiking to complete the trail. This is another one of the dog-friendly trails in New Mexico so grab the leash and get ready to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

From the overlook, you can head to the left to see the lower fall where you can climb over rocks and see different pools at the bottom of the falls. There are even small caves that can be accessed from the larger falls.

skinny waterfall falling into a pool of water that you can swim in, grass and small rocks in the foreground

Folsom Falls

Along the Dry Cimarron Scenic Byway is one of the best New Mexico waterfalls. Folsom Falls can be found while you are exploring the wide canyons and high mesas that showcase themselves on the byway.

If you love a bit of wildlife spotting while hiking, you will love the journey to Folsom Falls. The most commonly seen wildlife includes mule deer, lizards, and pronghorn. The waterfall is roughly three miles from the town of Folsom, NM.

This small village is often called a ghost town since there are basically no active businesses. The community focuses on the Folsom Museum which was established in the 60s. This High Plains Ghost Town is surrounded by buttes and mesas, and old volcanic cones.

The first European settlement in the area was settled in the 1860s and you can still see the remnants of the life they created there when you visit the area today. Seeing what remains of an attempted life and settlement they built is something quite interesting to see and photograph on your travels.

This is one of the best family-friendly waterfalls in New Mexico for those looking to see a bit of natural beauty and cultural history while you are hunting waterfalls.

White Rock Falls

No, this isn’t one of the best waterfalls in Virginia, although there is a waterfall in Virginia that shares the same name. White Rock Falls makes the list of New Mexico waterfalls for families as it is located in White Rock Overlook Park.

This park offers some incredible sprawling views of the New Mexico landscape that both you and your little ones will love. If you have older kids and are looking for an adventure, head out on the hunt for the waterfalls in the park.

a skinny waterfall shooting out from a rock cliff, trees all around and boulders beneath, one of the best kid friendly waterfalls in new mexico
Ron Cogswell: Flikr

Holden Prong Cascades

One of the best hikes in New Mexico with waterfalls is the Holden Prong Trail in the Gila National Forest. The trail starts at its highest elevation in the Black Range Crest. Your hike will move forward at a moderate grade through dense mixed conifer and aspen forests.

The falls along the trail are at full force during summer rains and snow melt. You will pass many small pools and cascades along the way. There’s also some excellent fishing in this area along the trail so if you are a fisherman, pack up your gear; you may get along in one of the pools along the trail! There are diverse species of fish that you can’t find anywhere else.

Best for families with older kids and experienced hikers, the Holden Prong Trail goes eight miles deep into the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.

Upper Frijoles Falls

The Upper Frijoles Falls is hidden in a little corner of Bandelier National Monument. This fantastic site features two waterfalls on the river. The colorful rocks around the waterfalls make it a super unique and visually appealing waterfall.

You must pay the entrance fee to the national monument to enjoy this waterfall, but it is way worth it as it is one of the best waterfalls in New Mexico for families. You can take the Falls Trail that starts at the end of the parking lot near the Visitor’s Center.

Tent rocks can be found along the trail. These resistant rocks are formed when resistant rock is left over after softer rock is eroded away. These unique formations are awesome to see on your hiking adventures.

photo of a super tall waterfall, layers of color on the left rock formation

Resumidero Falls

Resumidero Falls is one of the best waterfalls in New Mexico to visit with your family. It can be found in the SanPedro Parks Wilderness Area in Santa Fe National Forest. There are three waterfalls but the most unique is Resumidero Falls.

You can find lichen-covered rocks around the falls and pools of water at the bottom, creating a dreamy, fantasy-like atmosphere. There are campsites around the falls that are quite popular. Locals and travelers alike are fans of this campground. The sites can accommodate large groups and lots of vehicles, so there’s plenty of room for everyone.

You will find varying trails around the waterfall where you can find hidden waterfalls along the paths, including the 25-foot Resumidero Box Falls which is absolutely stunning.

photo taken above a waterfall looking down the cascade, two small pools of water below the fall, best waterfalls in new mexico
Derek Velasquez: Flikr

Catwalk Trail Falls

Among the family-friendly waterfalls in New Mexico, Catwalk Trail Falls is among the very best. The waterfall is located along the Catwalk National Recreation Trail which is a wooden plank boardwalk along steel bards through a canyon.

You can see geological and historic foundations along the trail, and of course, pretty waterfalls. The Catwalk Recreation Area is for day use only and is open from sunrise to sunset. The Whitewater Canyon was the central point of the mining history of the area, so it is also a hotspot for history lovers.

All ages can easily hike the Catwalk Trail as it is a very accessible area. So, moms of toddlers and young kids, don’t overlook this awesome NM waterfall!

aerial photo of a waterfall falling into a pool of water below. a woman standing in the shallow water at the bottom, one of the best waterfalls in new mexico for famliies
Chris Dodson: Flikr

Soda Dam Falls

If you are looking for short hikes in New Mexico, it is just a short 0.1-mile loop trail to reach Soda Dam Falls in the Jemez National Recreation Area. This trail is rated as easy in difficulty and dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed!

When it comes to kid-friendly waterfalls in New Mexico, it doesn’t get much better than Soda Dam Falls. This waterfall is actually a part of a natural hot spring and you can see unique formations formed by the spring while you are there.

roaring waterfall coming from a natural hotspring, rocks all around the falls

Now that you have learned about some of the best waterfalls in New Mexico, which one will you and your kiddos visit first?

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