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Valles Caldera National Preserve

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Address: 39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
Phone Number: 866-382-5537
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Today
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Description: This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 141
    Excellent
  • 38
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
awe-inspiring place with terrific guides and education

We are writing specifically to rave about our "movie tour" on 8/23/15. Our guide, Mr. Trout, was a treasure trove of knowledge--not only about the 20-ish movies made in Valles... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 28, 2015
JeanH11005
,
Baltimore, Maryland
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185 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

We are writing specifically to rave about our "movie tour" on 8/23/15. Our guide, Mr. Trout, was a treasure trove of knowledge--not only about the 20-ish movies made in Valles Caldera since the 70's but also about the history, geology, geography, and sociology of the region and its people. He kept us all engaged for five hours as we drove... More 

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Pittsboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2015 NEW

We drove from Corrales through Jemez reservation up to the Valles Caldera on Rt 4 I think. We did not take the side route for sake of time. The Valles Caldera approach is amazing. the Drive into the Caldera is beautiful. We arrived late in the afternoon so only had time for a short 1.5 mile hike, but it was... More 

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Ashland, Ohio
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2015 NEW

Up to recently little known, this caldera (huge crater from an ancient volcanic eruption) is truly amazing. It's hard to realize at first sight the scale of it: those tiny brown dots across the caldera might be an elk herd. It has been administered since 2000 by the Dept. of Agriculture, I believe, and is now being transitioned into the... More 

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Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015 NEW

Breath taking scenery, views of elk with their calves, coyotes prowling for food, great horned owls, etc. Our guide, Jim is extremely informative and does an excellent job pointing out every detail of the incredible tour! Anxious to return! Would strongly recommend this area as a "must see" if you are in New Mexico!

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

Thank you for taking the time to rate your visit to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. We are glad you enjoyed your visit; however, we are a bit confused as to why you gave it a low rating. Could you explain the low rating for us? More 

texas
Level Contributor
126 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015

This park offers a number of hiking trails among an unusual geologic formation. Other visitors raved about the wildlife, but we saw none. On the other hand, we also saw very few people, just a few in the parking areas and on the road. Great place for peace and quiet and stunning views.

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

We are glad you enjoyed your visit within New Mexico's only supervolcano! The best times to see wildlife are early morning and later evening when they are more active. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. More 

Brookfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015

Made a day trip into the caldera and a middle of the night trip for night sky photography. So picturesque. Fun ride down Route 4.

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

We are glad you had a great time! The night sky views over the Valle Grande are amazing. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

Valles Caldera is a national treasure - beautiful and awe inspiring. We went on the evening Elk Van Tour and had a wonderful time. We reserved our spaces in advance for a Friday evening tour, but to our surprise the van wasn't full; only one other couple joined us. Jim Trout, our driver and guide, was excellent - friendly and... More 

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

David, thank you for your review. The Valles Caldera National Preserve and the surrounding Jemez Mountains have the second largest elk population in the state of New Mexico, and the herds are a huge draw for visitors. So glad you were able to see so many! More 

Los Alamos, New Mexico
Level Contributor
94 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

This is a place that must be visited while in Northern New Mexico. The scenery and the wildlife is just fantastic! It can be visited at any time of the year and it is just beautiful no matter what the season. You can hike, bike, ride your horse or drive your car - but it is a must see.

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

Renee, thank you for your review. The Valles Caldera National Preserve is beautiful all year. One of my favorite seasons is winter because the preserve is transformed into what seems like a different landscape. More 

Crescent City, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

Just had a wonderful tour with Jim Trout, one of the guides at the Caldera. He was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and obviously loves the area. Took his time to point out various points of interest and told us about the history of the area. Many western movies are shot there and one of the old cabins is used in the... More 

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

James, thank you for your review, and we are happy you had a wonderful time. Jim Trout is one of our most popular park rangers. When he is not giving tours, he can often be seen giving flint knapping demonstrations. More 

Roswell, New Mexico
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

A very interesting place to visit, lots of hiking and picture taking opportunities, they offer only a limited number of people into the "park", after that you have to wait so get there early.

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

Thank you for sharing your review with us. Sounds like we didn't communicate clearly what the options were. Sorry about that. In 2014, we had just over 120,000 visitors to the Preserve. Our most popular hiking trails are in the front country and do not require a back country vehicle permit. The back country vehicle permits are limited to 24... More 

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