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Author: Leigh-Jo Anzures
If you haven’t visited Soda Dam, then you’re missing out on one of New Mexico’s spectacular attractions. It’s one destination you’ll certainly want to add to your things to do list when visiting Jemez Springs.
The 7,000 year old formation is a favorite destination for Jemez Springs locals and tourists. During the Spring, Summer and Fall, visitors can see the beautiful Jemez River flow underneath the dome on its way down to the Jemez village.
In the Winter months when temperatures drop, massive icicles form around the inside creating a breathtaking sight.
Soda Dam was created by calcium carbonate deposits from a bubbling spring beneath the dam. It is still forming to this day. The dam is approximately 50 feet tall, 300 feet in length and 50 feet wide at the base.
Soda Dam is surrounded by 15 springs with a maximum temperature reaching as high as 118°F. That’s 16-18° hotter than the average hot tub! Other travertine deposits in the area are 500,000 to 1 million year old.
Around 1970, the New Mexico State Highway Department blasted a large hole in the dam to run the current Highway 4 through it. The disruption from the blast alerted the spring resulting in slow disintegration of the dam. In 1976, Soda Dam went into the administration of the U.S. Forest Service.
The dam is located directly off New Mexico State Road 4. It’s only 3-4 minutes (1.6 miles) from Jemez Village and 4-5 minutes (3.7 miles) from Battleship Rock and 25 minutes (17 miles) from Fenton Lake.
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