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Valles Caldera National Preserve

39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
866-382-5537
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
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,... more » 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. « less
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121 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

excellent gift shop, super friendly and courteous staff. I love the trails and hiking areas. the elk viewing areas are great

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Tennessee
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
4 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW via mobile

Did some hiking here during the elk rut. took a shuttle to the trail head (preserve entry and shuttle were $10). The shuttle runs regularly and they picked me back up when I was finished. The preserve is absolutely gorgeous. I felt like I had the place to myself. The elk were beautiful and I have never heard so many... More

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Washington, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014 NEW

We were headed from Santa Fe to Albuquerque via Los Alamos and Bandelier So hard to believe that the grasslands we saw were the inside of a former volcano. Drove down to the preserve and took the inexpensive ($3) one hour van tour with Jim Trout. Just recently it came under the ownership of the US government Great to see... More

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Marana, Arizona
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

We were staying in Santa Fe. We decided to take a day and drive around and went to Bandelier National Monument. We weren't sure where to go next so we just drove around and wound up at Caldera National Preserve. We drove in because it looked so beautiful from the road. We signed up for a tour ($5 PP). Our... More

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Weare, NH
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

This ancient super volcano is a unique and beautiful place. We had a special guided tour by the staff biologist which was about as good a tour as we have ever had. Don't arrive during the elk hunting season as many of the trails are closed.

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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

We have been to New Mexico a number of times, but never to Valles Caldera. What a magnificent place!! Both the elk and the Magma to Magpie tours were fantastic. Such beauty; this is an unforgettable place for animal and nature lovers. It's so worth the extra drive.

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Simonton, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014 via mobile

This was our second visit after coming across it by accident 2 years ago. We took a short hike around the do e closest to the visitors center. We saw prairie dogs, coyotes, several bird species as well as Wildflowers. All the while, we heard the elk bugling in the distance. Our guide on the Magma to Magpie tour was... More

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

This tour was a wonderful way to see the beautiful elk that roam through the Caldera. We were amazed at the number of elk we saw - somewhere between 150-200. Their bugling was very cool to hear and we were even treated to a bull fight or two! Great experience!

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014

We go to Valles Caldera preserve every year for a sleigh ride. It is a special, magical place, with unsurpassed natural beauty. It is wonderful that this outdoor gem is open to visit and explore!

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Washington, D.C.
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
51 attraction reviews
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

Valles Caldera National Preserve is such a spectacular place. I have seen some prior reviews complaining about not being able to drive their cars on the preserve roads. These complaints totally miss what is so fantastic about Valles Caldera: that this vast area is left for exploration under your own steam: foot or bike. The preserve provides reasonably priced van... More

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