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“One of the favorites parts of our trip to northern New Mexico” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Valles Caldera National Preserve

Valles Caldera National Preserve
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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. 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.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“One of the favorites parts of our trip to northern New Mexico”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2014

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of the most beautiful spots we've been in the U.S. -- and we've been to a lot of beautiful spots. About an hour's drive north of Santa Fe, this is an area of tremendous natural beauty created by ancient volcanic activity. The basin, a vast meadow surround by mountains with the Jemez River running through it, is particularly stunning. There is a guided tour of an historic ranch that we didn't take because the timing didn't work out for us. The preserve is something of a well-kept secret, having come under government management fairly recently -- it was privately owned until 2002. If you are a fan of magnificent western vistas and taking photos of same, this is your place.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank sharon d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thanks for visiting and writing the great review! I see you took a great photo of our lookout atop his watchtower. Please plan to come back and take the one hour Magma to Magpie van tour or one of our many other tours. You can also tour the Preserve from the comfort of your own vehicle on selected days. Either way you’ll be able to take many more great photos which we hope you’ll share with us. Come back soon. – Terry
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255 reviews from our community

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English first
Crown Point, Indiana
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A truly amazing geological place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2014

We took the 2.5 hour van tour around the caldera with Bill Trout on 8/15/14. The caldera is a must-see for anyone interested in geology, history and scenic beauty. I would recommend this as a side trip from Santa Fe. Then go to Los Alamos to see more recent history about the Manhattan Project. Bring your camera!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the tour. The Valles Caldera is one of three active calderas in the mainland United States and the hot magma is only three miles below your feet when standing in the Valle Grande. Next time you might want to try the geology tour hosted by Fraser Goff and his wife Cathy. Fraser is a retired geologist who has been working on the Preserve for many years and has authored numerous books and papers dealing with the geology of the caldera. Cathy is retired from the US Geological Survey. Together they conduct a great fact filled geology tour of the Preserve. Please come back and thanks for taking the time to write a review of your experience.-Terry
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Las Cruces, New Mexico
1 review
“Great Mountain Biking Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2014

Awe-inspiring setting! We did a 25-mile ride around one of the Preserve's main roads, with a side trip on a less-traveled road that took us near Redondito. While the altitude was challenging, the gain was fairly slow and steady, and any breaks were rewarded with incredible views. We saw elk at the higher elevations, a host of birds throughout, and a stunning diversity of wildflowers. Preserve staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful - Lance was particularly great as he gave us tips for future rides. We will be back!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank bg_nm2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
There are quite a few roads less travelled on the Preserve which are ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Lance does a great job with our mountain biking program and he’s planning more. Have you tried his mountain bike hill climb? I’m glad to hear you had a great visit and look forward your next review. -Terry
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Mission Viejo
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Scenic drive”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2014

The trip from Los Alamos. through the mountains and down to the Valles Caldera was spectacular. We saw beautiful green meadows and then suddenly, as we descended to the bottom, we were surrounded by deep red rock.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank chocaholic00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
You must have had a great view of the storm clouds that formed over the Preserve. The next time you're in the neighborhood please stop by the Valle Grande Staging Area for an up close and inside look. From there you can take a hike, a van tour or just drink in the quiet and beauty of the Preserve. Please come back soon. - Terry
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Super Tour of a Super Volcano”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 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 best deal in New Mexico. This gem is really part of our Land of Enchantment.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Dorothy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VallesCaldera, Public Relations Manager at Valles Caldera National Preserve, responded to this review, 21 August 2014
Jim Trout does conduct a great tour. He grew up in the area and brings the heart and soul of the region to life. Did he mention that he’s been an extra in some of the movies that were filmed on the Preserve? I hope he displayed his primitive tool making skills. If not, then come back and see us for the Earth Skills Gathering event next spring. Thanks for taking the time to write about your great experience. Come back soon. -Terry
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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