JEMEZ SPRINGS—Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29 through Dec. 24, visitors to the Valles Caldera National Preserve can either cut their own Christmas tree or purchase a precut tree while supplies last.
Tree cutting permits and precut trees will be sold 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Valle Grande Staging Area (VGSA.) Visitors can cut their own trees for a permit fee of $10. A map and directions to the cutting area will be provided with your permit. Once you obtain a permit, be prepared to drive an additional 12 miles to the cutting area. High clearance vehicles are recommended, and chains and/or four-wheel drive may also be necessary if snow conditions exist.
Visitors also can choose to purchase a precut Christmas tree at the visitor’s center for a fee ranging between $20 and $30. Cash or personal check will be appreciated.
The VGSA is accessible through the Valles Caldera National Preserve’s main gate, which is located at mile marker 39.2 along N.M. 4. Proceed through the main gate and down the road approximately two miles to the visitor’s center and gift shop. There is no entrance fee to visit the staging area.
Trees will not be reserved for later pickup but will be sold during regular business hours on a first come- first served basis. All proceeds from tree and permit sales will go to support the Preserve.
The Valles Caldera Trust oversees the Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly the privately owned “Baca Ranch.” The 89,000 acre property is located in the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. It was purchased by the federal government in 2000 under the Valles Caldera National Preservation Act The property is known for its huge meadows, abundant wildlife,