We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Valles Caldera National Preserve

Address: 39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
Phone Number: 866-382-5537
Website
Improve this listing
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...
More attraction details
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.
Write a Review

137 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    104
    28
    4
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
New Milford, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

you feel so small when you stand in the middle of the caldera.prairie dogs have a network of tunnels in the parking lot.saw coyotes and deer from parking lot.road from highway to could be better maintained

Was this review helpful? Yes
Edwardsburg, Michigan
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
52 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

Valles Caldera has interesting geology, as it is the site of previous large volcanic eruption(s) due to its position along a rift zone. However, without studying the geography and geology, it can be hard to realize the forces of nature that have unfolded here. The so-called national preserve isn't all that user friendly for visitors. The meadows, some with snow... More 

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

Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to write a review. I invite you to come back in the spring when the Preserve is in bloom and the meadows are green and grazed by the elk. That's when we'll be open 7 days a week and hosting guided hiking and van tours that will allow you to get... More 

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
56 attraction reviews
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2015

Another not-to-be-missed natural wonder in New Mexico. There are so many — you never run out of places to see. Take a hike—literally, around the Caldera and its trails for an unbeatable outdoor treat.

Was this review helpful? Yes
St. Petersburg, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

We enjoyed traveling through, but would have loved to have been there when they were offering snowshoeing (the next day). We hope to go back to experience the preserve more.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
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
17 helpful votes 17 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
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
18 reviews 18 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
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 

Travelers who viewed Valles Caldera National Preserve also viewed

 

Been to Valles Caldera National Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Valles Caldera National Preserve staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?