Los Alamos

The world’s first atomic bomb was created in the scientific research laboratory of this small town nestled in the Jemez Mountains.

The small New Mexico town of Los Alamos is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where physicists crafted the world’s first nuclear bomb. Many of the region’s residents work at the nuclear research facility. Several attractions in the area, including a science museum and a historic society, are dedicated to the atomic past and present of the town. Away from the historic attractions, visit the scenic and rocky landscape of Los Alamos atop the Pajarito Plateau.

Find museums in the central area of the town. Look around the 40 interactive displays at the Bradbury Science Museum to learn about atomic energy and its history in wars. Peruse the temporary exhibits on a variety of themes, such as energy, nanotechnology and explosives. Try the audio tour that functions from your cell phone.

The museum of Los Alamos Historical Society sheds light on intriguing local geology, nature and human societies. See exhibits about the Manhattan Project, which centered on the construction of an atomic bomb by the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer during World War II.

Next to the museum, visit the Fuller Lodge Art Center’s gallery. See traveling exhibits that change monthly. Take art classes and attend photography events in the building. 

Explore the picturesque countryside around the town. Hike to Overlook Park for mesmerizing vistas of White Rock Canyon, the Rio Grande and the region’s rocky landscape. Visit fascinating cave dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples at the Bandelier National Monument.

The town’s name comes from the Spanish for “The Cottonwoods” in reference to the trees dotting the vast countryside.

Reach the small town of Los Alamos by bus or shuttle from Santa Fe. Use one of the many direct bus services that take around 45 minutes to travel between the two areas. Many travelers choose to drive or cycle. The town is 1.8  miles (2.9  kilometers) from Los Alamos Airport. The Bandelier National Monument is located just outside the town.


Guide to Exploring Los Alamos


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