Wildlife Viewing

Two bull elk lock antlers and spar
Two bull elk lock antlers and spar.

Justin Smith

Valles Caldera is home to the second largest elk population in New Mexico. Other popular residents include Gunnison prairie dogs, coyotes, badgers, black bears, Eastern mountain bluebirds, and golden eagles.

Habitat preferences and seasonal cycles of movement determine, in a general sense, where a particular animal may be at a particular time. Early morning and evening hours are when animals tend to be feeding and thus are more easily seen. But remember that the numbers and variety of animals you see are largely a matter of luck and coincidence.

Wildlife Safety

Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing wildlife. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close! It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.

Also be sure to visit our page that provides advice about bear and mountain lion safety.

 

Last updated: September 26, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs , NM 87025

Phone:

575 829-4100 x3

Contact Us

Tools

Stay Connected