Valles Caldera Fall Fiesta

Elk herd in a grassland and near the edge of a conifer forest.
Elk herd on the edge of a valle

NPS

 

With elk bugling during misty mornings and aspen leaves turning shades of gold, Fall is a magical time in the Jemez Mountains. Come celebrate the season at the Valles Caldera Fall Fiesta. The 2023 fiesta will run from Saturday, October 7 through Sunday, October 15, from 9 am to 5 pm. Each day will highlight different aspects about this special place. The event and entrance into the park are both free.

 

Daily Schedule

Here is a brief overview of events that are going on each day.

Come learn about elk, while they are still in the rut (mating season), and the varied fish species that inhabit the pristine waters of the East Fork Jemez River, Jaramillo Creek, and San Antonio Creek.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about elk, fish, and recreational activities based around those species.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on elk and why they are bugling this time of year.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District listening for bugling elk.

Come learn about the deep human history of the park that goes back more than 11,000 years. Learn why this is such a special place to so many people, meet local artists, and become a part of that legacy of human connection.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with artists, park employees, and special guests about human connections to Valles Caldera and the importance of art to local cultures.

Cultural Demonstrations

Tribal artists from around New Mexico will be sharing their crafts and their stories, and making their art available for purchase. Current list of artists:

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the varied cultural history of the park.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Come learn about the deep human history of the park that goes back more than 11,000 years. Learn why this is such a special place to so many people, meet local artists, and become a part of that legacy of human connection.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with artists, park employees, and special guests about human connections to Valles Caldera and the importance of art to local cultures.

Cultural Demonstrations

Tribal artists from around New Mexico will be sharing their crafts and their stories, and making their art available for purchase. Current list of artists:

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the varied cultural history of the park.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Not only does Valles Caldera have a deep human history, it is home to a rich natural history. Discover why this is a world-famous caldera, how the ecology of the place changed over time, what damage human causes as a result of exploiting those natural resources, and how we are adaptively managing the landscape to be resilient to the changing climate.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about the history of the caldera, the varied natural resources of the park, and how the park is working to renew the landscape.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the caldera and how it has changed over time.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Not only does Valles Caldera have a deep human history, it is home to a rich natural history. Discover why this is a world-famous caldera, how the ecology of the place changed over time, what damage human causes as a result of exploiting those natural resources, and how we are adaptively managing the landscape to be resilient to the changing climate.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about the history of the caldera, the varied natural resources of the park, and how the park is working to renew the landscape.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the caldera and how it has changed over time.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Guest Speakers

  • 11 am - Dr. Kirt Kempter, author of "Valles Caldera National Preserve: Geologic History of the Southwest's Youngest Caldera," will give a presentation about the geology of Valles Caldera. Location: Fiesta Tent.

Not only does Valles Caldera have a deep human history, it is home to a rich natural history. Discover why this is a world-famous caldera, how the ecology of the place changed over time, what damage human causes as a result of exploiting those natural resources, and how we are adaptively managing the landscape to be resilient to the changing climate.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about the history of the caldera, the varied natural resources of the park, and how the park is working to renew the landscape.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the caldera and how it has changed over time.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

In 2021, Valles Caldera was declared an official International Dark Sky Park. An IDA International Dark Sky Park (IDSP) is a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment. Night skies at Valles Caldera are in the fortunate category of places with some of the darkest night skies in the world.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about the night sky and why the night sky is important to protect.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the night sky at Valles Caldera and the nocturnal life within the park.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Night Sky Viewing Event

  • 7:30-9 pm - REGISTRATION AND WAITLIST FULL. 

At about 10:37 am, the moon lines up in front of the sun to for an annular eclipse. Visible across a large part of the Southwest, come to Valles Caldera if you are looking for a personal viewing opportunity. We will have locations scattered around Valle Grande for you to park your vehicle and watch the eclipse. Rangers will be roving at those locations to answer basic questions.

Eclipse viewing parties with more information and speakers can be found in other locations, like nearby Los Alamos and at the International Balloon Fiesta.

SAFETY NOTE: Looking at the annular eclipse at any phase without solar viewing glasses will cause severe eye injury. You MUST use solar viewing glasses.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to pick up a pair of solar viewing glasses. After the eclipse, stop by to visit about astronomy, eclipses, and the night sky.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on the importance of Valles Caldera and why it is a special place to so many people.

  • 11 am - Meet at the Entrance Station after the eclipse and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.

Astrophotography Event

  • 6:30-8:30 pm - Meet at main entrance starting at 6 pm. Register here.

We are living through major changes in our climate and environment. Wildfires are noticeable change-agents. Come discover how the park is being managed to be more resilient to the changing climate, how wildfire plays an important role, and what actions the National Park Service is taking to be ecologically sustainable.

Fiesta Tent

Located in the Entrance Station area, head into the large tent to visit with park employees and special guests about sustainable practices the park is implementing, what work has gone on to manage the park for a changing climate, and wildfires.

Ranger Programs

Both programs will focus on how we're managing for a changing climate.

  • 10 am - Meet at the Entrance Station and join a ranger for a walk around Cerro La Jara.
  • 1 pm - Meet at the Ranger Station and join a ranger for a walk around the Cabin District.
 
White text reads Eclipse Soundscpaes in the middle of a ring of fire

Eclipse Soundscapes

Be an Eclipse Soundscapes Observer

During the annular eclipse on Saturday, October 14, you can participate in a NASA citizen science project by making observations about how animals are affected by the eclipse. On the day of the event, find a ranger and pick up an observation form.

Prepare Ahead for Being an Observer

Head over to the Eclipse Soundscapes website to learn more about the program, eclipses, how to participate, and what scientists are hoping to learn. The Observer web page is full of great resources, including videos, that will help you be prepared to make observations around the eclipse.

 
 
 

Last updated: October 16, 2023

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs, NM 87025

Phone:

505-670-1612
Ranger Station (for general park information)

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