Current Conditions




Valle Grande from the Cabin District

A view into Valle Grande from the Ranger Station.

Image description: Tall Ponderosa pine trees are scattered in the foreground. Behind them, the landscape opens into an expansive, grassy valley with wooded hills in the background.

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An orange snowplow truck drives past a snowy Valles Caldera National Preserve entrance sign.
An orange snowplow passes the Valles Caldera National Preserve entrance sign along NM State Route 4.


Road Conditions

During the winter season, road conditions in the Jemez Mountains can be treacherous. From December through March, NM State Route 4 is often snow-packed and icy, restricting access to Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation offers an online resource that displays real-time road conditions and closures along state highways: NM Roads. Drivers are encouraged to consult this resource before driving to Valles Caldera in the winter months. Park-specific closures, delays, and alerts are posted on Valles Caldera's Current Conditions webpage.

For drivers accessing Valles Caldera from the east (Santa Fe/Los Alamos), the most dangerous part of the drive is usually what locals call "The Chute," which is the stretch of NM State Route 4 from the Valle Grande Trailhead to the park entrance gate. For drivers accessing Valles Caldera from the west (Albuquerque/Jemez Springs), the most dangerous part of the drive is usually from the community of La Cueva to the park entrance gate.


Human Health


What to Know

The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In areas CDC identifies as HIGH COVID-19 community level, masks are required in NPS buildings regardless of vaccination status. In LOW and MEDIUM COVID-19 community level areas, masks are optional. Signs at park buildings share the current status.

When recreating, please follow state health orders and recreate responsibly by physical distancing, wearing a face covering when physical distance cannot be maintained, avoiding high risk activities, and staying home if you feel sick.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

This is a rare but serious disease that humans can contract through contact with infected rodents or their urine, saliva, blood, or droppings. Reduce exposure by staying out of structures not open to the public.

Learn more at the CDC's web page on hantavirus.

Fleas, which transmit bubonic plague, are present throughout the Gunnison's prairie dog colonies at Valles Caldera National Preserve. Reduce exposure by keeping your distance from prairie dogs.

Learn more at the CDC's web pages on plague.



Prescribed pile burning begins on the south side of South Mountain on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, and will likely last for several weeks during favorable conditions. Smoke will be visible from New Mexico State Route 4 and the Valle Grande area.

Last updated: December 5, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs, NM 87025


Ranger Station (for general park information)

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