Located in North Central New Mexico, the Jacarilla Apache Reservation encompasses 750,000 acres of splendid mountain ranges, sage brush flats and deep mesa canyons. traveling north from Albuquerque on NM 44, one may reach the reservation -- and its capital, Dulce -- by way of NM 537.
The name Jicarilla means "little basket" and denotes an art form for which they have become famous. Beadwork, leatherwork and jewelry are among their other skilled handicrafts, examples of which may be purchased at the Tribal Arts and Crafts Shop, located on the reservation.
A region of ancient history, the reservation houses the La Jara Archeological Site, where cliff dwellings and ruins may be visited. Pictographs and various other artifacts are on display at the tribal museum. Ranking high among energy producing tribes, the Jicarilla Apache Tribe was the first in the nation to own 100 percent of the oil and gas-producing wells located on its reservation.
Two annual events are among the highlights of the Jcarilla Apache Reservation. The Little Beaver Roundup is held the second week in July and the Stone Lake Fiesta takes place September 15. Visitors are welcome at all their numerous activities, which include rodeos, carnivals, colorful traditional dances, and foot races. According to tradition, the winning clan will prosper in the coming year.
A diversified land, the reservation offers a multitude of outdoor recreation for all ages. Considered one of the last unspoiled hunting lands, the reservation offers triophy mule deer, elk, bear, turkey, and water fowl. A fisherman's paradise lies within the numerous lakes located on the reservation. Stocked periodically with rainbow trout, the lakes have yielded trout upto 29 inches long. Nature lovers can explore all of the beautiful 750,000 tribal acres. Untouched remote areas are accessible by the earliest means of transportation in the Southwest -- a well-trained horse, or a more conventional four-wheel drive vehicle. The reservation also houses a variety of ancient ruins, cliff dwellings and pictographs.
Owned and operatred by the tribe, the beautiful Jicarilla Inn in Dulce offers full hotel accomodations.