A Diverse Landscape Born from an Explosive Past

About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide circular depression now known as the Valles Caldera.  The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history. Read More

green grasses of Valle Grande

Visit a Volcano

Everything you need to know before visiting the Valles Caldera. Start planning your trip today!

Gunnison prairie dog standing in grass

Wildlife Viewing

Valles Caldera is home to elk, Gunnison prairie dogs, coyotes, badgers, black bears, Eastern mountain bluebirds, golden eagles and more.

Woman looking at expansive landscape with distant mountains

Hike, Bike, Photograph, See an Elk Calf

Smell the flowers, walk a path, look for wildlife, be inspired by stunning landscape views, ride your horse, and wander the backcountry.

View from La Garita looking south across Valle San Antonio toward Redondo Peak

Explore the Backcountry

Want to see more of the preserve? Learn how you can enter the backcountry via vehicle, foot, bike, or horse.

Two bull elk fighting

Elk and Turkey Hunting

Hunt applications now processed through New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Review changes regarding vehicle access during hunts.

Last updated: January 27, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs , NM 87025


575 829-4100 x3

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