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

Features Animals
Closed Now: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Interesting place

There is a nice small visitors center with friendly and helpful staff. Decent book selection on... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Bellvue, Colorado
Day drive from Fenton Lake

This is a great day drive from the Jemez or Los Alamos. Beautiful country. Valle Caldera is very... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Terry S
Read all 338 reviews
All photos (244)
All photos (244)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good21%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“prairie dogs”(36 reviews)
“valles caldera”(61 reviews)
“visitor center”(34 reviews)
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...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025-9428
Improve This Listing
Reviews (338)
Filter reviews
335 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Traveler rating
Show reviews that mention
All reviews prairie dogs valles caldera visitor center van tour super volcano new mexico national treasure tv series per day los alamos ranger station elk herd volcanic eruption dirt road vast area amazing site million years
Selected filters
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 335 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

There is a nice small visitors center with friendly and helpful staff. Decent book selection on local history. The view on the road leading to entrance road allows for great photo opportunities. Real interesting place to see.

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank Poudre1
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a great day drive from the Jemez or Los Alamos. Beautiful country. Valle Caldera is very large with sprawling green grass and mountains with gorgeous evergreens. Would be a great place to have a picnic. There is no camping allowed as it is...More

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank Terry S
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Enormous old ranch with a huge meadow with mountains in the background in all directions. Lots of wildlife as well.

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank devinh513
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The is a very scenic place! We saw prairie dogs everywhere and tons of evidence of elk presence. The children loved lassoing the rocking horse and “branding” us at the visitor’s center.

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank OutWithTheAllens
Reviewed January 9, 2019

Hidden gem if you wish to hike and explore. Likely to view large elk herd if you stay long enough. Meadow with streams great for catch and release of native trout. Outdoors at it best. High altitude so take it easy.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Michael S
Reviewed December 11, 2018

Atop the climbing, winding mountain road, the last thing I expected to see was this beautiful sprawling meadow. We spent a few minutes debating where would be the perfect place for a small cabin. The ranger station was well stocked, informative and wee maintained. The...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank pogopony
Reviewed November 8, 2018

Went there on a whim after visiting Los Alamos. It is beautiful and worth the drive. A nice hiking area with wildlife and great picture options.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank oktravelerokc
Reviewed November 6, 2018

The Valles Caldera is a stunningly beautiful national treasure, fortunately now in the care of the US Park Service and open to public enjoyment. The largest crater in North America is a photogenic and breathtaking view in any season. The largest herd of elk in...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Firplace
Reviewed October 15, 2018

As a kid, we picnicked in Valles Grande (which is now Valles Caldera). What I remember is the wide open spaces and the lush feel of the place. It's still there! Valles Grande is a bit different than other natural features in that it's one...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank MikeB1952
Reviewed October 13, 2018

We almost stopped at Bandelier but decided we didn't want to spend time on the shuttle bus to get there. Valles Caldera was great. We hiked in the Ponderosa pine forest, saw 60+ elk, 2 coyotes, ravens, raptors, it was just a great day in...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Kathy F
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 2 nearby hotels
Elk Mountain Lodge
124 reviews
7.67 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Los Alamos
131 reviews
11.88 miles away
Bodhi Mandala Zen Center
14 reviews
13.84 miles away
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Los Alamos Entrada Park
188 reviews
14.49 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 8 nearby restaurants
Ruby K's Bagel Cafe
189 reviews
12.10 miles away
Nomad Mountain Pizza
14 reviews
7.75 miles away
Chili Works
96 reviews
12.15 miles away
El Parasol
158 reviews
12.09 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 22 nearby attractions
Jemez Hot Springs: Home of The Giggling Springs
300 reviews
14.08 miles away
Bradbury Science Museum
821 reviews
12.23 miles away
Jemez Trail National Scenic Byway
74 reviews
13.47 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
July 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Joseph R | Reviewed this property |
I recommend you call ahead of time. And of course, high altitude Winter weather is unpredictable.
December 21, 2017|
Response from alicew919 | Reviewed this property |
I would call the Valles Caldera directly about the sleigh ride and tickets. Plan on an hour from Santa Fe, it’s a beautiful twisty road thru the mountains with great views. Bundle up in layers of clothing, it’s cold in the... More
June 18, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from CyndyandByron | Reviewed this property |
Check out the Jemez Heritage Trail which is a good quality two lane roadway that passes through the Caldera. You will be able to make a circle from Albuquerque to Jemez Pueblo then to Jemez Springs then east though Los... More