The ‘Jemez Cliff Jumps’ have long been a popular recreation area for visitors to the Jemez Mountains. The Cliff Jumps are located a mile or so off Hwy 4 (mile marker 32) on the East Fork of the Jemez River. The hike is beautiful and the cliff jump area is spectacular. Varying levels on the cliffs allowed for jumps into the river for both the brave and the timid. Having said all of this, cliff jumping in the Jemez is currently a thing of the past.

Last year’s burn scar flooding from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire and the 2013 Thompson Ridge fire washed a huge volume of silt and ash into the river and the Cliff Jump pools were filled in to the extent that the pools no longer exist. Presently the “pools” are maybe a foot or two deep and nowhere close to being safe to jump into. Because of social media and information dispensed from Amanda’s Jemez Mountain Country Store, this very important information has been spread to those that have been accustomed to this recreational activity.

However, a couple of weeks ago, the local La Cueva Volunteer Fire and Recue were dispatched to the cliff jump area to rescue a young man that was uninformed and did not ‘test the water’ before jumping. My understanding is that, while his injuries were very serious, they were not life threatening. This incident prompted me to post this message in the hope that it might help prevent another unfortunate incident.

Who knows what the future may hold for this very popular recreation site in the Jemez Mountains. Regardless, the hike on the East Fork Trail #137 is something that should not be missed. Just don’t jump.