Places To Go

A slope covered with aspen and evergreens with a valley below and mountains in the distance.
View from the South Rim looking out over the Valle Grande toward Redondo Peak.

Please note we ask all visitors to stop at the entrance station for a vehicle pass if driving past the entrance station (Cabin District, History Grove, Jaramillo Creek, and San Antonio Creek). Dogs are allowed only in the entrance station parking lot, and on the La Jara, Coyote Call, and Valle Grande trailheads.


East Fork of the Jemez River

Home to both brown and rainbow trout, the East Fork of the Jemez River meanders through the largest valley—Valle Grande—within the 13.7-mile wide volcanic caldera that makes up the Valles Caldera. The 6.5 miles of river is a popular destination for anglers, hikers, and sightseers alike.

The Valle Grande Entrance Station is the launching point to explore the grandeur of the Valle Grande along these waters either to the headwaters 4 miles to the east, or 2.4 miles downstream to a secluded Hidden Valley where the river leaves the preserve to the southwest.

Vehicle access is via the entrance road, which is open from 9 am to 5 pm in the winter, and 8 am to 6 pm in the summer.

Access to the creek via hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is available year-round as conditions allow.

San Antonio Creek

Below the north rim of the volcanic caldera lies 12 miles of the San Antonio Creek. The creek meanders through the lush mountain meadows of the Valle San Antonio and is home to thousands of brown trout. Elk, bear, coyote and mountain bluebirds are often spotted along the banks of the creek.

Vehicle access to the San Antonio Creek is limited and available seasonally as conditions allow. Parking is available 12-14 miles or about 1 hour from the Entrance Station. Please obey all speed limits.

Access to the creek via hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is available year-round as conditions allow.

Jaramillo Creek

Located in the middle of the preserve, Jaramillo Creek is a popular fly fishing area. Although smaller and more overgrown than other streams on the preserve, it provides good fishing for those who enjoy a challenge. Primarly found here are brown trought, and large fish are consistently caught at this stream.

There are several elk exclosures to protect willows and other vegetation from browsing elk, but anglers are welcome to fish inside if there is a walk-through or gate.

Vehicle access to Jaramillo Creek is limited and available seasonally as conditions allow. Parking is available about 6 miles or 30 minutes from the Entrance Station. Please obey all speed limits.

Access to the creek via hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is available year-round as conditions allow.

Historic Cabin District

Four miles from the main entrance is the Historic Cabin District. The District consists of the Historic Ranch Headquarters buildings and includes: the Valle Grande Contact Station, where you can find stamps and souvenirs, the Greer Cabin (1951), the Otero Cabin (1915), the Commissary (1941), the Bond Cabin (1918), and the Ranch Foreman's Cabin (1918) where the Netflix series Longmire was filmed. Visitors are welcome to take photos, but we ask you to please to stay off the porches and outside of the buildings. The cabins are not available for rent.

Parking and portable toilets can be found behind the Otero Cabin and Commissary. Please park here if you wish to hike the South Mountain trail.

History Grove

This 125-acre old-growth forest of 250–400-year-old Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees is among the few locations that make up the remaining five percent of magnificent forests not lost to 20th century logging. It stands in testimony both to the intact ecosystems before historic land-use practices and to the long-term potential of sustained forest restoration underway at the preserve. Easily accessible by vehicle on the northern edge of the Valle Grande, about 4.5 miles from the the main gate, this destination allows visitors to step into the past natural heritage of the Jemez Mountains and to experience the profoundly quiet soundscape of the caldera.

NM State Route 4 Pullouts

There are several pullouts along NM 4 to stop and view wildlife, take photos, stargaze, and find more information about Valles Caldera National Preserve at our informational waysides. These pullouts are open 24/7 for amazing views of the Valle Grande during the day and the best views of the night sky after dark.

Access to the Coyote Call and Valle Grande trailheads can be found at pullouts off of NM 4.

Last updated: November 22, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs, NM 87025

Phone:

(575) 829-4100 x3

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