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Valles Caldera National Preserve

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Address: 39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025-9428
Phone Number: +1 575-829-4100
Website
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 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. Bring your camera and enjoy the expansive views. Pet Friendly: Dogs on leashes are welcome at the contact stations, but are prohibited elsewhere on the Preserve. Registered assistance animals are allowed.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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We came here a day or two before Thanksgiving. It had snowed and was beautiful

The drive is beautiful and particularly with snow on the ground, but none on the highway. It is full of natural beauty and geographic interest.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
46749
,
Fayetteville, Arkansas
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250 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 247: English reviews
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Level Contributor
459 reviews
138 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The drive is beautiful and particularly with snow on the ground, but none on the highway. It is full of natural beauty and geographic interest.

Helpful?
Thank 46749
laconia, nh
Level Contributor
361 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I had read a lot about the Caldera but had no idea what we were in store for. I did not know it was now a NP and on our first day in the area we merely stopped along the road above it and took pictures of it, as it is truly a unique geographic area. A few days later... More 

Helpful?
Thank jwredlabel
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Valles Caldera was new to us and a very pleasant surprise. Lets get the negatives out of the way - the roads through the caldera were terrible. We have a small car and we made it fine, but it was not fun. Very rocky. Now the positive: beautiful grasslands surrounded by mountains, nice hiking, not crowded. Recently taken over by... More 

Helpful?
Thank perryrr64
Boerne, Texas
Level Contributor
249 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great spot for a drive. Pack your binoculars and watch for wildlife. The history of the are is very inteersting and its amazing to think you are driving around in a supervolcano. Great photo ops.

Helpful?
Thank pamelaL74
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Level Contributor
183 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Go early so that you can get a pass for the backcountry, otherwise stay for the small Museum and displays at the half. When the elk are out they have a telescope so that you can watch them.

Helpful?
Thank gregnx
Colorado
Level Contributor
294 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is one of the newest "parks" ~ actually a "preserve" ~ in the national system, & they're just getting organized with lots of plans for the future. It's remote ~ along the Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway ~ & well worth the stop as long as you don't want or need lots of amenities & hand-holding. The first thing... More 

Helpful?
Thank JamaisVu
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2016

The Valles Caldera is a must see. This ancient volcano is a gem - filled with elk, blue sky, golden grasses, brown trout, obsidian, and vistas for miles. Go early to get a back country permit and enjoy having a national preserve almost to yourself!

Helpful?
1 Thank Juli F
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2016

Exceptionally beautiful area. Arrive early since they only grant 35 cars permission to drive the "backcountry." All roads are gravel and passable by ordinary cars. Great interest to geologists since it is an enormous volcanic caldera having erupted 1.2 ma. Visitor center opens 15 May to 30 Sep. Formally known as the Valles Caldera National Preserve which allows it also... More 

Helpful?
Thank David S
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
172 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2016

While we knew in advance the road was not paved, "ridiculous" would be a better way to describe it. If you are the driver, don't expect to see anything, because if your eyes stray from the road, even momentarily, you will hit a pothole, drainage ditch, large rock or sundry other surprise. Ten MPH is about the maximum speed you... More 

Helpful?
Thank jads8627
Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
219 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2016 via mobile

Hey, it's a caldera, never seen one so we drove by it. It's in the middle of nowhere, but you'll go past Los Alamos Lab on the way, which is sure to stir up conversation. The caldera is natural and raw, beautiful, w elk and other critters roaming. Watch getting close to the prairie dogs, they have been recently afflicted... More 

Helpful?
Thank hbrown1025

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