Valles Caldera’s 2013 Recreation Program Highlights


VCNP News:

Thirteen years ago, July 25, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the Valles Caldera Preservation Act, which created the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

To celebrate that occasion and the many accomplishments of past and present staff, volunteers and contributors, we will host the second annual Valles Caldera Preservation Act Celebration from July 25-28. A new addition to this year’s celebration will be the Jemez Valley Storytellers Jamboree July 27-28. Storytellers from across New Mexico will gather to share their tall tales and legends from the Land of Enchantment.

Valles Caldera Trust staff members will add to the local flavor with accounts about the people and the natural history of the preserve. We invite you to enjoy this and other free events as we celebrate the creation of the experiment in public lands management. Whether you are coming up for a special event like the anniversary celebration or just visiting the area, we have something for you. We have one-hour van tours and several short hikes for those just passing through.

Those with a little more time can take advantage of programs in the back country. We are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, starting May 10 through Oct. 13. For more details about all VCNP programs visit


Special Events

  • Earth Skills Gathering: May 25-26. This free event will let you see primitive skills being demonstrated by regional experts (fire making, knapping, beadwork, etc.)
  • Run the Caldera Half Marathon and 10K: June 8. A great warm up for the next day’s marathon.
  • Run the Caldera Marathon: June 9. Run through the heart of the Caldera.
  • Valles Caldera Preservation Act Celebration: July 25-28. Come celebrate our “anniversary.”
  • Jemez Valley Storytellers Jamboree: July 27-28. This free event features storytellers from around New Mexico.
  • Cruise the Caldera: June 22 and Aug. 17. A fun mountain bike ride with 85 miles of roads from which to choose.
  • Twilight Mountain Bike Ride: June 22 and Aug. 17. This family event allows you to ride when the animals are coming down to the meadows.
  • Jemez Mountains Elk Festival: Oct. 10-13. Four days of celebrating elk in the Jemez, with special activities for school groups Oct. 10-11.
  • Ranch Road Ramble: June 29 and Aug. 31. Take a self guided driving tour from the comfort of your own vehicle and discover the Valles Caldera National Preserve.


Educational School Programs

We are taking reservations for school groups to visit and explore the Preserve this fall and next spring. We have educational programs for grades K-12. To reserve your date or to get more information, call (505) 629-1418.


Our programs are successful because of the quality and number of people who help out. We are always looking for help with the events described above as well as with answering visitor questions in our stores and pullouts. There are even opportunities to lead events. If you are a dependable person and want to spend some of your valuable time helping the Preserve, please email

The Valles Caldera Trust oversees the Valles Caldera National Preserve, formerly the privately owned “Baca Ranch.” The 88,900 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, meandering stream, remarkable scenery and science based adaptive management. More information about the preserve can be found at

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