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Valles Caldera National Preserve

Features Animals
Closed Now: 09:00 - 17:00
Open today: 09:00 - 17:00
Review Highlights
Huge caldera to explore

Hidden gem if you wish to hike and explore. Likely to view large elk herd if you stay long enough... read more

Reviewed 9 January 2019
Michael S
Dallas, Texas
Amazing vistas!

Atop the climbing, winding mountain road, the last thing I expected to see was this beautiful... read more

Reviewed 12 December 2018
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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  • Excellent76%
  • Very good20%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“prairie dogs”(35 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: 09:00 - 17:00
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39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025-9428
+1 575-829-4100
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All reviews prairie dogs valles caldera visitor center van tour super volcano new mexico the national park service national treasure dirt road tv series per day los alamos ranger station elk herd volcanic eruption vast area amazing site
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1 - 10 of 331 reviews
Reviewed 9 January 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 12 December 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 8 November 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 6 November 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 15 October 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 14 October 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
Reviewed 12 October 2018

We drove the several mile long gravel road to the Preserve headquarters, where we were greeted by a colony of prairie dogs! They were quite brave and chattered away as we snapped photos. A bit later, wandering over to a cattle corral used at round...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank turtlemom1
Reviewed 10 September 2018 via mobile

We loved our stop at Valley Caldera, the station is small and the staff very friendly. We did the junior ranger program and it was fun and manageable for our 6 year old. We took a peaceful loop hike that was easy to follow and...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Jdehart
Reviewed 4 September 2018

Having visited the area for over 20 years and stopped to view the Baca from the rim, we finally got to drive inside. What an amazing experience. There are so many birds, prairie dogs, and we even saw a coyote. A visitor may see elk,...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank terrywO8231ED
Reviewed 27 August 2018 via mobile

The caldera features beautiful picturesque views before you even arrive and is worth the drive! Elk early in the morning and of course the Longmire Cabin! Ranger Johnny Y. was unbelievably helpful, with tons of great advice and information, and such friendly and courteous directions!

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank 362kylet
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Questions & Answers
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12 July 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.
21 December 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
19 June 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