Valles Caldera National Preserve

Located in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, the Valles Caldera National Preserve is located on the ancestral land of many Native American tribes. The caldera was created around 1.25 million years ago by a volcanic eruption that left a nearly 14-mile hollow. Since its creation was volcanic in nature, the Valles Caldera was left full of obsidian, which Native Americans like the Navajo used to fashion spear points. Many Spanish and Mexican settlers passed through the area as well to graze their cattle alongside the Navajo, which caused many clashes between the groups. Acquired by the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the Valles Caldera soon became the site of the Indian Wars, as well as a place for ranching and logging. Nowadays, thousands of visitors from all around the world flock to the Valles Caldera National Preserve to view prehistoric dwellings and various wildlife. 

Where to Stay

RV Parks & Campgrounds Near Valles Caldera National Preserve

Using an RV to traverse the Valles Caldera is a great way to take in all of the sights. Since the caldera stretches almost 14 miles, it's a smart decision to camp nearby so you can explore the park for multiple days rather than doing one jam-packed day. RVshare is the ideal way to rent an RV because it's all the fun of an RV trip without the commitment of owning an RV. 

RV Rentals Near Valles Caldera National Preserve

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Valles Caldera National Preserve

Before you head out into the Valles Caldera National Preserve, be sure to grab a $25 day pass for your vehicle to join the 120,000 travelers that enter the park every year. Many people go to enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, and the immense history. Fish for trout in the Jemez River or Jaramillo Creek or enjoy cross country skiing during the winter months. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Valles Caldera National Preserve

To get to the Valles Caldera National Preserve from Santa Fe, head north on Highway 84-285. Once you reach the town of Pojoaque, there will be signs directing you toward Los Alamos and Highway 502. If you follow Highway 4, all you have to do is follow signs to the Jemez Mountains. Otherwise, continue through Los Alamos until you see the Bandelier National Monument. Turn away from Bandelier to the right and head into the Jemez Mountains. 

Even though the busy season is from May until October, the Valles Caldera National Preserve is open year-round. Different entrances and times will be available depending on the season, so it's best to contact the park with any questions. As of writing, all park fees are currently waived. However, certain groups may have fees apply to them.


39200 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025

Fee: Seven Day Pass for any noncommercial vehicle $25.0

Fee: Seven Day Pass for bicyclists, horseback riders, and buses (per person) $15.0

Fee: Commercial Sedan $25.0

Fee: Commercial Van $40.0

Fee: Commercial Mini-Bus $100.0

Those who visit the Valles Caldera National Preserve do so to see the convergence of the prehistoric and the present, through nature and infrastructure. Here you can literally hike back in time to millennia ago with stunning views and untouched wildlife. With an RV trip, you can immerse yourself even further into the culture and beauty of Jemez Springs and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.