Jemez Springs Soda Dam – Jemez Springs, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura
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Jemez Springs, New Mexico

Jemez Springs Soda Dam

The 7,000-year-old calcium carbonate formation creates a magnificent natural bridge. 

Situated along the east side of New Mexico State Route 4, just north of the Village of Jemez Springs, is the fascinating Jemez Springs Soda Dam. This unusual geologic feature—essentially a hot springs deposit—is estimated to be 7,000 years old. 

The dam is primarily composed of calcium carbonate and travertine. It extends more than 300 feet in length across the Jemez River Valley. In addition, the Soda Dam is 50 feet in height and 50 feet wide at the bottom. Where the river flows through the dam, it creates a unique natural soda bridge over the stream and a scenic waterfall. 

Sadly, according to the Forest Service website, when State Route 4 was constructed through this area, a portion of the Soda Dam was destroyed to make way for the road. In doing so, the natural plumbing was disrupted and re-routed, which is leading to its gradual disintegration.

Know Before You Go

Access to the site is quite easy since it is located along the state highway and there is no fee to visit it. Caution should be taken when parking along the shoulder of State Route 4. Precautions should also be taken when visiting the site due to potentially slippery conditions and fast flowing waters. 

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