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

39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM
866-382-5537
Website
Improve this listing
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
Write a Review

101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    78
    19
    3
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Sunday in the park (Aug. 10, 2014) for the Lights, Camera, Caldera Tour was excellent and our guide, Jim Trout, really knew his movie history and geography and wildlife. The tour was very informative and took us back into beautiful country of the 89K acres preserve. Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and for the price, it's the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tempe, Arizona
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

We drove through on way to Jemez Hot Springs, such an amazing, beautiful place. Hope to go back someday and hike, take a tour, etc. Saw huge Elk herd coming down into grassland at dusk. Breathtaking.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rosenberg, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

The park was stunning, but too many restrictions to make it really enjoyable. They only let you drive on it one day out of the month. You have to pay to hike on one of their longer trails. The shuttle service to the back country only runs basically on the weekends. I was quite frustrated with all of the can't... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Richmond, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

We took the 1 hour van tour. The guide was well informed and friendly. Very beautiful! We were disappointed that we could not drive on the roads ourselves.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Grapevine, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

Growing up in Los Alamos the closest I had been to the caldera was the pull-offs on State Road 4. This year we were blessed to drive into it and take the $5 tour with Jim Trout. All of the staff were wonderful and Jim gave us one of the best tours ever! His knowledge of the area made it... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Salisbury, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

We had a well informed guide who took us on a van tour of this 185,00 acre former cattle ranch. We saw coyote, elk and cute prarie dogs. The kids enjoyed getting out every little bit and running around.

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

I'm glad you had a great tour. It may seem like 185K acres but it's actually about 90K. What's important is you had a good time and took the time to write about your experince. When you come back please sample one of our wildlife tours or our evening events. Thanks again for visiting and come back soon. Terry More

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

If you visit Valles Caldera, plan to stay in a lodge nearby or a campground. Bandelier National Monument has a great, quiet campground and is a wonderful destination itself. It has cliff ruins with ladders that the kids will love, hiking trails, plus a seasonal waterfall. We have always had great experiences there. Be aware that since the Los Conchas... More

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

Sorry to hear about your camping troubles but I am happy you had a great experience on the tour. Next time plan a little more time on the Preserve so you can take a guided hike or one of our Wildlife tours. We also have a Ranch Road Ramble where you can tour the Preserve at your own pace from... More

Albquuerque New Mexico USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Jim Trout gave us a short, enjoyable and informative tour of the ranch houses. He explained a bit of the geologic background to this natural wonder, the Valles Caldera, one of the largest calderas in America. We want to come back and do a longer tour.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 experience. Please do come back soon and spend more time with us. We have multiple van tours and a self guided road tour called the Ranch Road Ramble which you can enjoy from the privacy of your personal vehicle. We also have late afternoon/early evening wildlife tours.... More

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

Highly recommend visiting this extraordinary natural attraction. We saw a herd of elk and very much enjoyed the tour with Jim Trout. He took the time to explain the geology and history of this wonderful spot (a formerly private ranch now operated by USDA).

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

Thanks for coming and taking the time to review your visit. The natural history attracts many visitors like yourself. We also have special geology tours and wildlife habitat tours for a deeper dive into the science and chance to enjoy even more spectacular views. Please come back for a longer visit. Terry More

Miami, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

My parents, my grown son & his girlfriend, and my husband and I took a tour with Jim Trout. He has a good knowledge of the region, the preserve's history, and volcanology. We thoroughly enjoyed it! (And only $5 a piece.) The Preserve is beautiful with gorgeous vistas. There are hiking trails. We saw mountain blue birds, barn swallows (who... More

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

Sounds like you had a great tour and if I'm not mistaken it took just about an hour. Next time you visit you might want to take one of our wildlife habitat tours to get a closer look at the elk and outher critters who make the Preserve their home. Thank you for coming and writing such a great review.... More

Travelers who viewed Valles Caldera National Preserve also viewed

 
Jemez Springs, NM
Jemez Springs, NM
 

Been to Valles Caldera National Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Valles Caldera National Preserve, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing