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Valles Caldera National Preserve
About a million years ago a volcanic eruption in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains created the Valles Caldera, one of seven “super volcanoes” in the world. Today this unique landscape is home to about 2,500 elk as well as to bears, coyotes and other wildlife. Travellers on the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway, which crosses the southernmost corner of the Caldera, can often see the peacefully grazing herds in the vast meadows below.
The Preserve, 65 miles west of Sante Fe, offers 54 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of trout streams, and a variety of activities such as mountain biking, equestrian trail riding, hunting, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and sleigh rides. Special events such as a marathon, an 80 mile mountain bike ride, moonlight skiing, and the Jemez Mountains Elk Festival are featured throughout the year. The Preserve’s goal is to provide a quality experience and to create opportunities where visitors encounter the beauty and solitude of this incomparable landscape.
The Valles Caldera is one of those places you
don’t want to miss during your visit to New Mexico.