Los Alamos Historical Walking Tour MapWalk Into the Atomic Age
First inhabited by the ancestors of Northern New Mexico’s pueblos, Los Alamos is located on the Pajarito Plateau of the Jemez Mountains, formed by eruptions of a giant volcano more than a million years ago. Pueblo ancestors and later Hispanic homesteaders used the plateau for seasonal farming and grazing. In 1917, H.H. Brook’s Alamos* ranch was purchased by Ashley Pond II to start Los Alamos Ranch School, a boys’ school which combined academics and a physical curriculum. During World War II, the Army Corps of Engineers took over the mesa and sealed it for a secret mission to end the war, the Manhattan Project.
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The tour can be taken at your own pace, but try to set aside time to enjoy the museums, shopping, and restaurants along your way.
1.) LOS ALAMOS HISTORY MUSEUM & SHOP
Built as an infirmary in 1918 and later used as the guest cottage for Los Alamos Ranch School, the museum is in the oldest continually occupied structure in town. During the Manhattan Project (1943 to 1947), the cottage continued to serve as guest quarters, notably for General Leslie R. Groves, commander of the Manhattan Engineer District, whose office and residence were in Washington, D.C.
Now it serves as an award-winning, comprehensive history museum which presents our world-changing and varied history. A book and gift shop fills a former bedroom.
Right now, we are open:
- Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Admission is $5/person, with free admission for residents, under 18 years of age, and active military. Two daily walking tours are available Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. On Saturdays, there is one tour at 11:00 a.m. Tours are $25/person, under 18 years of age free with a paying adult. It is recommended to reserve your spot on a future tour by calling (505) 709-7794. Private tours can also be arranged in advance for an additional cost.
For more information, see the Museum’s website (www.losalamoshistory.org).
THE BAKER HOUSE
2.) FULLER LODGE
3.) ICE HOUSE MEMORIAL
The post-war laboratory was built at its current location on the mesas south of here. Note also the adjacent memorial plaques and historic markers.
4.) TOUCH THE SKY SCULPTURE
PIEROTTI’S CLOWNS MOSAIC
MESA PUBLIC LIBRARY
5.) RANCH SCHOOL POWER HOUSE
6.) LOS ALAMOS MEMORIAL ROSE GARDEN
7.) ROMERO CABIN
8.) THE BIG HOUSE SITE
On the former site of the Big House is Central Park Square, formerly known as The Community Center. It was planned by architect Lawrence Sheridan and constructed by W.C. Kruger in the New Mexico Territorial Style. Built in 1949 under contract to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, it was a predecessor of modern enclosed shopping malls with perimeter parking. Among businesses housed here were a soda bar, theater, bowling alley, bakery and grocery store.
ANCESTRAL PUEBLO DWELLING
10.) BATHTUB ROW
11.) PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
12.) BRADBURY SCIENCE MUSEUM
13.) POST OFFICE
REMEMBER TO STOP AND SHOP
Unique local shops also line your route. There is an old-fashioned department store that carries chocolates, furniture, clothing and luggage. There is a pet boutique, a jewelry store, a hardware store, and many other shops to offer you goods to remember your visit to Los Alamos.
The History Museum gift shop stocks books, toys, cards and souvenirs that are uniquely Los Alamos.
Stop by the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for lots more information about Los Alamos and the surrounding region. We’re open 362 days a year!