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Valles Caldera National Preserve

Address: 39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
Phone Number: 866-382-5537
Website
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96%
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Owner description: This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super volcanoes in the United...
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Attraction details
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Owner description: This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super volcanoes in the United States. Known for its expansive high mountain valles, large elk herds, and diverse history, the Preserve is a favorite among the locals when friends and relatives are in town. If you are in New Mexico you do not want to miss this. Recreational Opportunities This experiment in public land management focuses on the quality of your experience instead of visitor volume. Bring your camera and enjoy the expansive views. If you only have a couple of hours, be sure to check out the one hour Magma to Magpie van tour.Activities by the Season:Summer Season; hiking (guided and self-guided), fishing, van tours (wildlife, geology, archeology, history, artist's) , mountain bike trail riding, equestrian trail riding, star gazing, a marathon, an archery event, elk festival, photography toursFall: Hiking, van tours, fishing, and elk huntingWinter: skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, moonlight skiing and snowshoeing, and a very unique New Year's Eve celebrationSpring: Hiking, van tours, and turkey huntingSeasons AccessibleObservation points and two free hiking trails are open year round. Other activities are available 7 days a week May to October and Friday through Sunday from November to MarchFees: Fees vary based on activity. Reservations are available, but are not required.Pet Friendly NotesDogs on leashes are welcome at the staging areas, but are prohibited elsewhere on the Preserve.Registered assistance animals are allowed on the Preserve.
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133 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2014

I'm a geology nut married to someone who is not; however, she does appreciate scenic drives in the Southwest (that's why we moved to New Mexico from DC). A little over an hour from downtown Albuquerque, we arrived at the visitor center for Valles Caldera. While the last eruption was recent in geologic terms, it was the outstanding interpretive tour... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

Working at a world class example of calderas and resurgent domes, we are geology nuts ourselves. We are glad you had a great time! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. - Rob More 

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

We recently went on the one hour tour of this national treasure----hard to beat for the price. It is one of the unspoiled places in the US and we can only hope that it stays that way. The tour was great....you get a bit of history of the place and learn about the geology. Saw a few coyotes, but it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. The undeveloped nature of this land makes it easy to imagine what it looked like thousands of years ago. Time with Carmen on the Valles Caldera is well spent. She truly loves exploring this natural wonder with visitors and it shows. More 

Delafield
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2014

I have made 2 trips to Valles Caldera, once in the spring once this fall. This is definitely a place to give yourself some time to explore. Use their webpage to plan to take advantage of tour times and to be sure of access. The staff at the Preserve headquarters are exceptionally helpful.

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

Thanks for sharing your experience and the photos! We are glad you made it out twice this year and had a great time. More 

Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2014

The drive here from Los Alamos was incredible & the preserve is beautiful. We enjoyed the tour & the history of the property.

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

That is a beautiful drive. We are glad you had a great trip. - Rob More 

Incline Village, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

This site is just breath-taking in its enormity. Worth the drive down to the station where you can learn a lot of very interesting information about how it was formed, etc.

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

Thanks for stopping by. We are glad you had good visit. - Rob More 

Rinconada, New Mexico, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2014

Valles Caldera is an amazing place. Looking across the vast expanse of this volcanic caldera, I tried to imagine it as an exploding volcano! We weren't there at the right time to see the elk, but we did enjoy the drive down to the visitor's center. This makes a nice day trip from Los Alamos or from Jemez Springs. There... More 

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

Thanks very much for visiting AND taking the time to write about your visit. The best times to see the elk are early in the morning or in the late afternoon. They will remain on the Preserve until the snow flies or forage becomes more difficult to find. During the late fall and winter months we are open Fri-Sunday for... More 

Berkeley, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014 via mobile

one of the biggest in the world. Endless views. We did not see the Elk, but read that it is a huge heard. Hope to come back and see the elk. Beautiful area

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

The Preserve is home to an elk herd of 2000+. Late summer into the fall is when the elk are very active. The best times to see them are early morning or late afternoon when they venture down into the grassy areas. You can also see them throughout the spring and summer by taking one of our van tours for... More 

Poulsbo, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

We first saw this magical place in the late afternoon. It glowed in the "golden hour" light. The next day we took a van tour of the preserve, a bargain at $5 each.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

I hope you had a chance to see and hear the elk bugling during your visit. They are very active this time of year. Next time you're in the neighborhood try one of our evening wildlife van tours for an up close and personal look at the other critters that make the Preserve their home. Thanks again for visiting and... More 

NC
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

Liked the short hike through prairie dog town. Amazing meadow views. If staying nearby, go to the viewing areas at dusk to look for elk.

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VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. There is an extensive scientific study being conducted on the prairie dogs. A recent story on the prairie dogs appeared on the Albuquerque's KOB-TV if you are interested in more information. Please come back and see us again and thanks for writing your review. -Terry More 

Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Touring in the caldera takes planning but limited small bus drives can be available. It's a interesting place and easy to visit superficially just to have a look.

Was this review helpful? Yes
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review

We begin our winter schedule next week which includes Magma to Magpie van tours and hikes Fri-Sun from 9am - 5pm.When the snow falls we'll host snowshoeing,X-country skiing and horse drawn sleigh/wagon rides. Come up and take a look at the winter beauty of the Preserve, Thanks for taking the time to visit and write your review. Terry More 

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