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Valles Caldera National Preserve

39201 New Mexico 4

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.


Gwen Sund

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
This is one of my favorite spots in New Mexico. It is beautiful year round and the sound of the wind in the grass and trees is wonderful. New Mexico is such a desert state that it amazes me each time I go there and find a prairie. This is definitely a place to go if you want to do some landscape photography. There aren't many trails, but the grassland is open for wandering. And since it's high elevation it doesn't get as hot as the rest of the state. Well worth the visit. Plus if you like the show Longmire his house is in the Valle Caldera and the park rangers will sometimes drive you there. Just one other cool thing.

Rae Lynn Herbster

Saturday, March 24, 2018
This place never gets old. One of these days we will get there early enough to get passes to see "the back county." But this is mother nature at her finest. The main tourist area is about three miles out of the nearly 14 mile wide caldera. Lots of wildlife calls this place home. And, you are literally in the middle of 360 degrees of beauty all around you. Highly recommend!

Shelton Bruce

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
If you are up in the area, stop and see some magnificent views. Definitely a place where you have to get out and walk to get the full experience, so make sure to being good walking shows. Small ranger stations and not a lot of facilities, so expect that.

Pablo Diablo

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Have been wanting to visit here for years and finally was able to come here last summer. I was not disappointed, this place is so beautiful! Friendly staff here will answer all your questions. Get the back-country pass and drive into the caldera....miles of amazing scenery....I went for a hike and didn't see another soul, it was so cool!

Bryce Carpenter

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
I just did a walk around the largest Valle. It is very nice. There is obsidian lying around from the volcanic activity and we saw a number of birds, dozens of prairie dogs and a coyote. The views are incredible. High desert prairie and forest. Mountains rising up out of the Caldera that is already at 8000 feet.

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