The Missing movie set.jpg
This serene scene at Valles Caldera National Preserve served as a movie set for the film, "The Missing."
The vast expanse of the Valles Caldera National Preserve offers time for quiet reflection.
- SPECIAL EVENTS
Earth Skills Gathering — May 24 & 25,
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Demonstrations may include creating primitive tools, hide tanning, flint knapping, an edible and medicinal plant walk, and more.
Jemez Mountains Storytelling Jamboree—
July 26, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Free.
The Ranch Road Ramble and Photo Adventure, which are guided scenic tours through the preserve utilizing your personal vehicle, provide special access to the preserve. Go to the website or call 866-382-5537 for dates and reservations.
- WHEN YOU GO
To preserve the knowledge of the Valles Caldera National Preserve’s early cultures, it is critical that visitors adhere to the rule to “take only photographs, leave only footprints.” The preserve has a strict “no collection” policy.
39200 N.M. 4
661-3333, 866-382-5537, www.vallescaldera.gov
Directions: From Santa Fe, take U.S. 84/285 north 15 miles to N.M. 502 (Los Alamos/Bandelier National Monument exit). N.M. 502 becomes Trinity Drive in Los Alamos. When Trinity ends at Diamond Drive, turn left. Turn right onto N.M. 4 and drive 18 miles to reach the main entrance of the preserve.
The preserve offers hiking, fly-fishing, mountain biking and equestrian trails in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Online reservations are suggested. Elk hunting is available through a lottery in the fall. Guided activities include van tours on archaeology, sightseeing, botany, ecology, geology, history and wildlife, as well as fly-fishing clinics and photography workshops. Group tours (by van or hiking) are also available.
Volunteer activities provide an opportunity to help with various projects and experience areas of the preserve that regular visitors never see. Projects range from wetland restoration with Los Amigos de Valles Caldera (www.losamigosdevallescaldera.org) to archaeological excavations with the Earthwatch Institute. For volunteer opportunities, contact the Valles Caldera.
Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014 5:48 pm
Updated: 12:49 pm, Fri May 16, 2014.
The vast grassland now filling the Valles Caldera is both awe-inspiring and disorienting. Standing at a turnout along N.M. 4 on the edge of the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve, it is difficult to imagine a volcano this massive. The rim of the crater stretches for miles in a panoramic view, yet the far northern border is hidden by Cerro del Medio and Redondo Peak, two volcanic domes that formed within the immense bowl after the main crater collapsed. Visitors stand on the rim wondering whether that dot in the distance is a coyote or a bull elk, or how long it would take to walk across.
With only one visible road stretching to the visitor center — which looks like a tiny Monopoly house from here — the first word many people associate with the sight is “pristine.”
Or, use your
Monday, May 5, 2014 5:48 pm.
Updated: 12:49 pm.