Los Alamos by van
the Atomic City
Call 505-662-2547 for the most current tour information.
Cost: $25/person, accompanying children $10 each. Cash preferred.
Winter van tours are available by prior arrangement, weather permitting.
Small groups in our signature yellow Sprinter van tour the community spawned by the secret Manhattan Project during WW II, and peek at today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. Get to really know Los Alamos, where discoveries are made!
Hear the story of the volcanic Jemez Mountains and Pajarito Plateau; from the ancient inhabitants to the world-renowned Los Alamos National Laboratory.
See where World War II scientists lived, worked, and played during the secret Manhattan Project.
Discover our recreational and cultural treasures
The once secret city is now the hub of 3 National Parks. Atomic City Tours can help you discover them!
The Obvious Question: Why Los Alamos?
1935 photo taken from Portal of Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos Ranch School. Los Alamos Historical Society Archives.
Prior to WW II, there was no town on the Pajarito Plateau. Abundant evidence of Prehistoric settlements testify to hundreds of years of occupation by the Ancestral Puebloans who had left during a severe drought to re-establish their communities along the Rio Grande. Nearly 400 years later, homesteaders, primarily northern New Mexico hispanos, started farming and ranching this isolated region when the railroad reached New Mexico in the 1880s. In 1917, one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, Mr. Ashley Pond, Jr., bought one of those farms to realize his dream of a “ranch boarding school” as a health and preparatory school for boys, especially the scions of wealthy eastern families. By the time these hard-earned enterprises and surrounding Forest Service land were summarily taken over in 1943 as a “demolition range” for the war effort, there were 40 proved-up homesteads in the area now known as “Los Alamos”. The exclusive Los Alamos Ranch School had grown to 55 buildings primarily built of the local logs and stone, supporting a student body numbering 44 boys ages 12-18. University of California physics professor, J. Robert Oppenheimer, vacationed in New Mexico at his cabin in the mountains east of Santa Fe, and was well acquainted with the beautiful setting and gentrified facility of the Ranch School. He did NOT attend the Ranch School, but knew that its buildings and remoteness would be an ideal place to sequester the people working on fission….an Army post, Site Y, for the Manhattan Project.
Come to this spectacular and remote place to discover the rest of the story for yourselves!
Come View Our Unique Places
|For Los Alamos History Museum and Archives: [+] LosAlamosHistory.org|
|For group tour planning and friendly advice about visiting Los Alamos and all of New Mexico, please contact Atomic City Tours: [+] Contact Us!|
|For more about the award winning Los Alamos Science Fest, in July: [+] LosAlamosScienceFestival.com|
|For Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum: [+] lanl.gov/museum/|
|For Los Alamos on-line Visitor Guide: [+] visitlosalamos.org|