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Valles Caldera National Preserve

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Address: 39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025-9428
Phone Number: 575-829-4100
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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

Read all 231 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 170
  • 52
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
One of the most beautiful places on earth

The Valles Caldera is the collapsed basin of a very large volcano. The basin is 13 miles across and is a beautiful meadow. It was a private ranch until the last 10 or 15 years... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 6 days ago
Guadalajara, Mexico
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231 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 228: English reviews
Guadalajara, Mexico
Level Contributor
126 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The Valles Caldera is the collapsed basin of a very large volcano. The basin is 13 miles across and is a beautiful meadow. It was a private ranch until the last 10 or 15 years when it became part of the Park Service. As a private ranch it was used for a number of movies.

Thank LostInSpace
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

My husband wanted to see this historic site - it having been mentioned by the Robert Oppenheimer character in the series "Manhattan." Let me warn you, the road in to the Visitors' Center is terrifically bumpy! It seems many people come here to hike, fish and camp. While my husband gleaned all the information he desired from the Park attendant,... More 

Thank mis4mysterious
Purcell, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Beautiful place to visit. You can see lots of wildlife. The elk are amazing. We took a short tour. Next time will take a longer tour.

Thank Connie662016
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This place is breathtaking we arrived early and were able to get an off roading pass to drive throughout the park. They only give out 35 a day. With kids it is necessary. Although even with a pass it was too boring for them. If it was just me and the hubby it would have been a great time its... More 

Thank persephonek
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Park service personnel are very nice and knowledgeable. We had a great time just hanging out at the visitor center and reading up on what the area and wildlife were like. We got some great photos of some local wildlife and plan on going back this fall to see the elk.

Thank Charles H
Level Contributor
193 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I visited in September 2015, before it became a National Park. I was also unlucky enough to visit right at the start of the hunting season, so all the trails except for the short one around the central 'Island' in the middle of the caldera were closed to the public. Still, this was a stunning location and the huge blue... More 

Thank Paul M
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A trip to Valles Caldera is a wonderful, peaceful experience. This is an 89,000 acre caldera with valleys and formations from a 40,000 year old volcano (I hope I have these numbers correct). The scenery is spectacular and the quiet and peaceful feeling of this huge, open expanse of grass, marshes and forests is only interrupted by birds and crickets.... More 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was beautiful but I got more out of it from the road above than in the park. I think the main issue was the roads are very rough if you drive a Prius like me. I was white knuckled most of the drive. Since it's such a new National Park, there is no signage so we couldn't find where... More 

Thank Hope L
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This was our first visit to this NPS site. Unfortunately, a storm moved in just as we arrived, so we weren't able to do any hiking. This is a new park, so the visitors center is rather small and the road leading to it is unpaved and very rough, but passable. Visitors should also note that there is a $20... More 

Thank Andrea D
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
338 reviews
219 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Although we were too late for the guided elk tour, we could imagine these noble animals grazing the belly-high grass following the recent summer-afternoon rains. The park doesn't have much in the way of facilities, but the location is so lovely that it has served as a setting for Westerns, most recently the TV series "Longmire."

Thank Sandy S

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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?