Formerly know as the Baca Ranch, this 89,000-acre property is encapsulated inside a collapsed volcanic crater. In 2000, Congress voted to adopt the property and renamed it The Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Caldera is dotted with eruptive domes and features a large peak as a backdrop (Redondo Peak 11,254 feet). This old ranch property is currently being developed and studied to explore a new way of managing public lands. The Valles Caldera National Preserve has always attracted people who wish to examine a wide range of topics, such as geology, archaeology, cultural history, wildlife and botany. Since Congress has named the property as public land, the opportunities for studying the area is growing.
The preserve is open to the public and guarantees that you’ll find your visit unlike any other you’ve had in a national park or forest. They restrict the numbers of visitors to small activity groups so you’ll feel like you have the place all to yourself. This means that you won’t see big crowds or have difficulty finding a parking spot. You won’t see a shop full of touristy gifts either. Instead, they will offer you a chance to get out and really experience a sense of natural solitude and tranquility that will leave you refreshed and relaxed. You’ll see wildlife, beautiful vistas and learn about the preserve’s rich history and geology. Visit the website: Valles Caldera National Preserve
Click here for their Calendar
Free, self guided daily hikes are everyday from sunrise to sunset
– Valle Grande Hike, 2 miles,
- Location: Trailhead is off Highway 4 near mile marker 43
– Coyote Call Hike, 3 miles,
- Location: Trailhead is off Highway 4 near mile marker 41
No prior reservations are required for these hikes. Only service animals are allowed to accompany owners on the trail, no pets. To view a complete list of their hiking guidelines, click here.