There are multiple entry points to Anniversary Trail that leads to Meditation Point.
1. Turn off of NM 502 onto a small dirt road right across (south) of the Manhattan Project Main Gate Park.
2. Park along NM 502 near the water tower.
3. Heading east on NM 502, park on the right wide turnout just before the road descends around the end of the mesa.
No matter where you park on this road, begin hiking east. This is a small piece of land, bordered by NM 502 to the north, and Lower Los Alamos Canyon to the south. The original Otowi Hill Road zig-zagged to the top of the mesa along the south side of the point. The Manhattan Project road improvement reaches the top of the mesa on the north side of the point (following 502).
In 1921 Otowi Hill Road was constructed to serve Los Alamos Ranch School and homesteaders on Pajarito Plateau. This road included a series of six switchbacks near the top of Los Alamos mesa.
When the Manhattan Project arrived on the mesa, they found the switchback turns too tight for some military trucks. Those unable to make the turn would have to back up one of the switchbacks. In 1943 the road was straightened to remove the final hairpin turn.
"I myself can never drive toward the Pajarito mesas without feeling what I did as a little girl, that I am about to enter a legendary land."
What are your feelings as you stand in this place, surrounded by historic roads and dramatic vistas?
1. Find the names, initials, and years recorded in the tuff along the old Otowi Hill Road.
2. Compare the final leg that is part of the Ranch School Road (on the south side of the mesa) with the improvement created by the Manhattan Project (on the north side of the mesa).
3. Find a rectangle made out of concrete in the middle of the Otowi Road near the top on the south side of the mesa. This is the remains of an old cattle guard across the road.